Results From Show Last Weekend

Miss Blue Pudding, showed she can sort of do it.

We had the hardest 3-day weekend show to date.  The kind that can really test your confidence in ever completely making it even at the lower levels with your horse.

Here are the picture evies of Silverminx, actually surviving, and yes, sometimes nailing a few moves.

showing dressage in windy conditions

First day, a qualifying score, although low, of 60.9 in Training Level Test 3. The First Level test on each of the three days never got a qualified score.

showing at training level

Second day, an even better score at Training Level with a 61.8, even with a costly course error for a full percentage point.  She felt so much better on day two – best decision ever to do the full multi-day show!

riding straight on to centerline

In the First Level test there was so much tension she swapped leads once in the counter canter, which cost points in the movement following too.  Live and learn for us both.

canter at training level on center line


Day three, we didn’t manage to pull off a good score in any of the two tests.  Dressage can be very humbling this way.  If scores sit at 6 to 6.5 in general, it doesn’t take much to completely botch up an entire test and completely blow the score up below 60…

This is why people decide not to show their horses, I’m sure of it.  All that work, only to bomb things once it really matters.  I was still happy with her, she was brave and much more focused on the last day – all that matters.

collecting the trot with short gaited horse
Sugarbuns trying hard and looking so Incredibly Fit, Wow, and Wonderful.

We met some really wonderful people at the show – the dressage community can be really supportive if you let it.  How great is that!  Amazing riders who all work really hard, some of us a little harder than others.

Brought home three 4th place ribbons and a plan to try again.  Go out and enjoy your horse!

halting at x in dressage test

Poptart got two days off, then two schooling rides, and then we went again.  More next time!

Thank you to friends and family for showing up – lucky to have your support.  Very special husband showing up in a wind storm to take pictures of what looks like the very same thing, over and over 🙂  .

Windy Warmup

Super windy spooky warmup on the first day of last week’s show.

I had help ♥ the first day, which was great since Cottonball thought it was extremely concerning to stand still for even 5 seconds.

having help to mount

A lot of pressure for her.  I thought it was cool with two different out-of-state barns driving down from Oregon and tons of horses filling up our home barn.

She wasn’t the only one completely tense and wound up in the high winds.  Yes, this is what we had going on. ⇓ Possibly the only one spending a long time rushing around like this though.

horse running with nose in the air
While the trees turned themselves inside out and with sand plastered on our teeth, Sparrow Eye slowly got it together.  Warmups with tons of other horses can be intimidating – doing this for 3 days in a row was great practice for her.

horse tense in warmup

Maybe the warm-up is harder than the real test, not sure… By Sunday, she was a lot better and I was really happy with her.

dressage warmup at show
Straightness is a serious problem for us. In the windy warm-up, we were twistier than ever.  Here, Cornchip is going reasonably straight, a small victory 🙂 .
pushing hands forward in dressage warmup

Minutes later, by the showring, we kicked off with a major balk at the judge’s booth at E and never made it far past K as the bell rang – great set up for a test 😉 .

horse spooking at judges booth

This is where it became such a great learning experience – by the third time we showed in this arena Peach Muffin made it around without any spooks.

Showing you all this so you know we’re out here struggling just as much as you.  Or probably more but who’s counting 🙂 .

The most difficult show weekend to date…  Results and some really nice pictures from two different tests coming up next.  Focusing only on the good parts here.  The way to go!

Right now, off to groom and do a fourth show day.  Somebody’s got to finish last!

We Survived

Left you hanging from the last announcement.


Life is in the way.  Social media stories go on the back-burner then.  I have two pantry-raiding boy scouts at home who forever seems to need a ride somewhere, be fed, or picked up from camps hours away.  And then there’s something about a job.

horse waiting for better days

But there’s going to be an update.  Not a pretty one.  (Although the pictures look sweet if we can ever get them off the camera.)  We did incredibly bad all show weekend.

Wow.  If you ever wonder if you should go to a show and risk being the worst ever, fear no more – we’ve got that covered already.

Seriously, it was fun.  And in the end, very pleased with Miss Sugar Crumb.

Stories on this site speak through pictures, we’ll just wait for them.  And here’s the shocker – showing again tomorrow!  Going in knowing there won’t be some magical improvement.  Ignoring everyone else, Cream Puff and I are just going in for miles.

Humbling.  Possibly embarrassing.  Definitely brave.  Guess what builds more character – staying home, or sucking in the showring? 🙂

being brave at dressage shows

If I can do this, so can you.

The place is smackful of beautiful horses!

Later today, our first two classes.

We’ll be marinating in the late afternoon sun together.

This, quiet and empty in winter, is completely different this weekend.

empty show venues in winter
Today’s post goes out to all riders out there, finding themselves really out of their element at some show this month.  Maybe your horse has been riding like a bat for the past two days, skittish with every single new trash can or tent appearing, crazy distracted with all the new horses and activity.

I’m in the same boat over here, wondering if we’ll even make it into the ring

Have fun, and measure your riding success in how many times you can fail at something while still staying positive and coming back for more! 🙂

show barn before the show
The indoor is the warmup.  Wonder mare has decided she can’t exist in the warmup right now…

Thanks to you guys it’s sort of like having a little cheering crowd on the sidelines! 🙂

We’re going to have fun – and hopefully, she’ll be a lot less distracted than this in all the outdoor rings once the tests are underway.
distracted horse in outdoor arena

With less All-four-in-the-air-moments than the last show 🙂
canter stride with all four hooves in the air
Back with a report next week.

Late Night Sale Posts

Clicking through some dressage horse ads.

Just for kicks. To see what’s out there.

Wouldn’t it just be so nice to trade in for something more talented?  A little more disposed to dressage. Something with natural ability?

Or how about something that’s been started and done right for the past 5-6 years…  Anyone can daydream.

Next morning in the cross-ties after riding, patting the troll-looking mare.  Her sweaty neck and shoulder gritty with dirt and foamy flyspray.  Realizing there’s absolutely no way you could ever let go.

horse and rider portrait

Definitely all YOUR horse.
Sappy, whatever.
But so much more fun his way.

why you should not trade in your horse

No Regrets

Half the battle is just showing up.


Of course riders won’t do well if they don’t even show up.  Also, they can’t do too terribly bad, either.

Just days before registry-closing for the next show, it really didn’t feel right signing up for it.  At all.

A simple schooling ride in the outdoor went haywire.  No reason;  no excuses, no distractions.  Easy transitions from free walk-through walk-trot were ridiculously complicated.  Canter on diagonal, transitioning down to trot for a smooth corner was tense and hurried.  Not pretty.

straight leg yield
Little relaxed leg yield in the dusty outdoor like this? Forget it.

Who wouldn’t wonder:  All this training and we’ve got THIS?  Basic understanding of the aids wasn’t even there.  Extremely humbling.

Really, who’d feel up for spending a small fortune on a long 3-day show, with all the time and energy wrapped that goes along with it then?  I started to think that it’d be better to just continue schooling on our own, without showing.

Forget the stress.  Forget placing ridiculous demands on us as a team, since we don’t have it together right now.

And then the other reminder; – “It takes a village.”  And you don’t have a village.  It’s you, crappy aids, and a crooked horse with a big heart trying to figure out where and how she’s really supposed to be.  Showing 6 tests, three days in a row on your own, whose idea of fun is that?

leg yield at first level

Only way to handle it – hurry up and enter online really quick, late at night, before there’s time to change your mind.  Show coming up Friday.  No regrets.