Valiosa – 1st Level Debut

Hands down, she was awesome!

Her very first time out at First Level, she stayed composed, focused, and, most importantly, inside the showring.

So happy with her!

azteca dressageJudge was Melissa Creswick.  I liked her style when auditing at Starr Vaughn earlier this year (Read about it here:  The Adult Amateur Clinic – Is It For You?) and really looked forward to showing for her.  I knew she wouldn’t miss a thing!

dressage show first levelOur First Level Test 1 ride was good enough for a 66.67!  First time out!  If you’ve followed this blog for some time, you know how hard we’ve worked to get to this point.

young horse in dressage testTo make this experience really easy on her, just one test with her this time.  (You’ll still end up paying more than showing 2 tests in a non-rated show, let’s not be silly now, this is drezzoaah.)

And yep, the shortened warmup worked really well for us!  More on the warmup later this week…  With photos.  (Thank you again to the best husband ever for taking pictures!)

first level dressage test 1Still posting the trot throughout.  I’m looking forward to a better connected feel once there’s more strength and she can have her back up for me.  We experiment at home for just a few minutes.  Well, sometimes.

canter lenghtening at first level

first level test 1 dressageNo 8’s this time, but no score below 6.  Absolutely amazed!  (And thrilled, since there was a small playful buck into the second canter transition, right at C.)

square halt unattentive dressageNice square halt.  She got 7.5 on both, even with popping up like this.  Next fall, I bet we’ll have that part all sorted out 🙂

first place blue ribbon on grey horse
At least for 1 day, First Leveling like a boss.

32 thoughts on “Valiosa – 1st Level Debut

  1. BRAVO!!!! This is excellent news. I know you have worked very hard for this and the two of you look beautiful. I am a bit jealous of the clearly warmer weather than what I showed in this past weekend ( blog post tomorrow). Congratulations and ps your husband takes very good photos.


    1. Yey, thank you!
      And yes, much warmer here. Will it help if I told you I was ridiculously sweating? ( No one here will EVER admit to being hot if it’s below 85. Ugh.)
      My next life, I’m moving up North, just a little bit 🙂
      Looking forward to seeing your post!!
      And, my husband will be thrilled to hear he did a good job – he tries really hard, and then I erase all the ones from the downstride in canter 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. How can I NOT love this blog – fantastic support, right when I need it, I love sharing it with you all.
      I was so happy with this Alli, because I could feel ALL the tiny small “mistakes”, and I know which areas I can possibly improve on, and still go well over 66… Great confidence boost that there’s hope for us 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on another blue ribbon!

    You’re moving in the right direction on building off your success, plus you were both gorgeous in the show ring. After a little more savoring of the first place finish, when you ease back into the practice sessions, you already know which area(s) to focus on. Important thing is not to become only focused on those items. The other thing is work on consistency – not so much for Miss Valiosa but for yourself. A lot of this riding “thing” is about us in terms of focus and having our trusty steeds to perform. In hunter/jumper, we always talk about consistency. When you ride consistently, treating practice and show ring rides the same, it improves the flow of the ride. And, yes, judges do notice it. What sets the best riders apart from the rest of us is how consistent they ride, always in the flow. That’s the hardest part to learn, and the hardest part from an instinctive standpoint. I hope this makes sense.

    Again, congratulations. And, it may be time to start wearing an ascot. 🙂

    Continued good riding,

    PS – Dad said the photos were very excellent. Kudos to your husband.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah, you are SO right, coming into the flow and staying focused is a big part of this for me. At a show, there can be many distractions, and the trick is to really narrow it down to a very consistent mindset in the warmup, in the hole, and then that last 45 second lap right before entering at A. If there’s no flow by then – I know it will be very hard to create it once on centerline. Hard, but not impossible 🙂
      Oh, I just have SO much fun with all of this and I love it that you come to check on us. Come back!
      And now with all those kudos to my husband for the pictures, his chest is swelling up! He deserves it 🙂


  3. As proud as though I were your mom, and as though I were right there and had anything to do with it :-). Reading your blog does feel like coming along for the ride, and it’s fun to see how you both are growing in confidence. The difference in Valiosa is so striking. She looks quite nicely connected and confident in all these pictures (and very beautiful!). I am not at all surprised that you are now competently handling the challenges of First Level. Well done! And Congratulations! Brava!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oH, on top of my list is to get us together somehow at an horsey event later on next year again. It would be fun to catch up again!
      Even if all it takes is for me to drive out and audit or something. I just LOVE seeing other young horses progress, and not just my own!
      Now, First Level Test 1, is very, firstish. Not even a leg yield… I think we may be dabbling around here for quite some time…Which is OK, because 2nd Level looks Uber busy right now, we would both tweak out. Oh, and the small detail I’ll have to teach ranvers, travers, shoulder in, an canter walk tranisions. Details 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So stick with First Level for the next show season, but keep in the back of your mind Second Level for the end of next year’s show season, depending on how things go. Start teaching those lateral moves as they will help her balance herself. Shoulder in, the “Masters” say, is the aspirin for the horse, it fixes everything. Well, I’m not so sure about that but it is an excellent exercise when done correctly (ha ha, that’s the clincher). Anyway, your winter work is lateral work and tons of transitions. Have FUN and you will be amazed at how she changes and grows!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, judging from where we are, I will definitely stay at 1st level all next year.
          It will be a big challenge to get all the lateral work to actually, well, work. Teaching it to her so far has been so silly we just don’t do it
          Can’t wait to be able to easily position her in and out of shoulder fore, and float down the whole longside in shoulder in. Correctly!
          One can dream 🙂
          Most of all, yes, we’ll have FUN trying it! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Super Husband needs a T shirt of some sort for these events. He really is good about it, as he has no experience with horses and would rather not be there.
      The few rare times he shows up, it’s a quick stint.
      This time, I even got him to hold on to the reins for a while! I was changing boots, sort of concerned to see Valiosa and him circling… But they did it OK, and he said she “had some heft to her.” OK, well that’s half the magic there then!


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