She did it! With flying colors!
It was an apocalypse. The Mokelumne fire laid a ginormous lead grey cap of a smoke cloud right above the entire foothills and Sacramento Valley.
The sun, just a swirl behind it all. Soon we’d all die. The perfect day to pull off a first attempt at a dressage show with Valiosa.
And she did beautiful!
Had no idea how she’d react to being on the show grounds, as she’s never been to an event before. Below was about as “Up” as she’d ever be the whole day. The rest; acting like she’d been there, done that, at the trailer. At age 4.
Ridiculous warm-up, but she was mostly “sticky” among the other 6-7 riders, no shenanigans. Just getting her into the dark, busy, arena, with all the mirrors and energy was good enough for me.
She ended up with a 1st place in Intro A, with a 71.9! (And not for lack of competition, there were more than 12 entries in both Intro Level classes.)
In Intro B she got a 68.1 and 2nd place. So happy with my little mare for staying sane her very first time out! ♥
No photographic evidence other than the shot of her head going into the ring… Or how about my shot of her, after, with only a half head?
I was looking forward to seeing my friend Nancy ride her gelding Gandalf in the afternoon. We both almost melted waiting for it to get going.
Some bucking and bolting in canter right before going into the ring made her change plans. I don’t blame her – would perchance have done the same, if I wasn’t so frustrated with Gandalf. He’s always Mr. Steady Eddy at home!
With a last-minute switch of rider I showed Gandalf at Training Level Test 3. Then again, after an exhausting added 30 minutes hard work with him, at First Level Test 1.
I highly recommend knowing the test inside and out… Very challenging not truly knowing what’s coming, or what the horse will need in those movements.
I also recommend stepping out of your box and just trying something crazy like that. Any opportunity to look foolish while riding, is better than not riding at all.
BIG thank you to Jessica Naten who stepped in and read both tests beautifully for us! Very grateful for it!
Gandalf got 2nd place at Training 3 with a 64.3. He also scored 64.3 at First Level (which was generous as he felt like a steam train and my wedding ring was about to cut through my finger.) and a 1st place ribbon. But that doesn’t count as his competition had scratched ?
Here’s to more show days ahead, and for trying challenging stuff at shows!
If I can do it, so can you!
Last week’s Oldenburg Inspection had to take place without us. My friend’s filly puncture wounded her hind leg the day before in pasture! The brain-wrecking way horses hurt themselves in the strangest ways… So sorry for her! Heal up soon!