Show Bucking & Other Moves

petting the horse in a dressage test

Gray Bean struggled to keep it together in the first test.

Way in over her head, and with a secret abscess brewing in her left front, she really just wanted to get out of there.

Giant buck, followed by sloppy half levade.

rearing after bucking

On to other interpretative move.  Not even sure which end is coming up or down here.

horse misbehaving in test

New Rider Score Sheet Check Box:  Rider carrying on like nothing’s happening.  Check ∅!

bad dressage show behaviour

Several pats to carry on with the canter in a 15 meter later on. She was very strong here. Sometimes the only way to get through then is to completely soften and follow.
We all know this, but wow it can be hard in the show-ring.

petting the horse in a dressage test

Excellent, square halt wasn’t enough to make a good impression of it all.  Her chomping on the bit, head popped up, and look of “What-Just-Happened-?” in her eyes is priceless.

square halt at x

March Show – Here’s The Picture Evies

turning on to centerline in trot

Good moments from the show.

She can be a real sweetie, and these are the good parts in the first test!  As promised, the crazier parts will be up this weekend.

Leg yield right, and left.  Although in the first one, maybe I’m leg yielding more than her.  🙂

leg yield right

leg yield left

Nice, deep, canter corner. Go gray mare!

canter at first level test 2

Nailing the Centerline turn.  First Level has 4 of them, one of these days we’ll get all!

turning on to centerline in trot

Recovering from spooking.  (You get no points for that, but hey, it still counts right?!)

showing horse with abscess

This was the first test, which was our worst. Still – had fun with Marshmallowpuff, and while she was scared and tense she tried her best.  Extra points if you’re still smiling after butchering a test!

having fun while showing dressage

Coming up Saturday morning – The Uglier Parts…

Not Our Day

gray horse in sunshine and grass

Show Recap –

No fantastic results.  Valiosa was tense in the indoor warmup.  Never released over her back.  Very worried in the main large indoor during the first test.

Two judges in the first ride, one which gave us a qualified score, but the other didn’t see any harmony.

horse schooling well at home
Blurry little video-capture from home. She can be awesome then.

In the second test, possibly even more tense warmup in another new indoor, with some background thunder rolling by.  A steam train in the actual test, which was in an additional different indoor.  A qualified score in that test too, but truly, it was low and our worst performances to date.

Summary:  tight, worried, harried.  Pretty good canter lengthenings – she’s really improved there!

Overall, it’s clear she can’t roll in for just one day.  Some more rides there would have made for a more even playing field.

trot lenthening using the hocks
Trot lengthenings CAN happen, but only at home. 🙂

My mare, who has started to feel more soft and willing at home never once let her guard down.  With this, I’m rethinking everything – she’s going to have only relaxing work for some time.  (And actually nothing for a whole week as she seemed off on a hind today – vet check in a few days.)

Showing should be fun, for both, it’s not negotiable.  Didn’t like the look in her eye.  To keep doing it now, would mean only doing it for the rider.  And that’s not why we ever got started.

gray horse in sunshine and grass

Pictures from one of the tests coming up!

Show Day Today

gray horse on top of grass hill

It’s been raining and windy for days.

Gearing up to get Valiosa presentable for later today.  This is our first show out this year, and the first show since October.  At a venue brand new to her.  We’ll see how it goes 🙂

preparing for first level

This particular one is really large, with 5 covered indoors, 13 outdoor arenas, 379 Permanent Stalls and 500+ Portable Stalls. 

Many riders trailer in Wednesday and stay through Sunday. Yes, that’s a really great idea…

We’re scooting in this afternoon, with some possible hysterical traipsing in the parking lot (both) and snorting at all the stuff (her only.)

horse and rider walking close up
Ready to have some fun!

It’s supposed to rain all day, but right now it’s beautiful.  Fingers crossed if you’re out there too this weekend!
gray horse on top of grass hill

Fall Training Wrap Up

Elinor Yee dressage

Someone asked a question on how the canter lengthening went at the show.

Only fair to wrap it up with pictures.


lenghtening the canter

She was a good girl, stayed straight, and yes, forward.  More would be better.  Well, more is always better.  Gray Mare don’t really care…

canter lenghtening in dressage


She looked like a real beef cake occasionally though, absolutely trying hard.

Elinor Yee dressage

This show was eye-opening in many ways. New training mantra even.  More on that soon!

Main site “About” page has some small updates – find it here  to take a quick look!  Need to change something?

October Show Success

Elinor Yee

Proud of this horse for pulling through and delivering a total of 4 good tests!

Saturday we were at the Foothills CDS Schooling show, she was every bit of down-to-business as I could hope.  She took first place in First Level Test 2 with 65.3% and placed 3rd in First Level Test 3 with a 62.5!

first level test 2

two mares kissing at horse show
After the schooling show. My fun trainer in the middle. She was great help in the first warmup!

One of our sticking points continues to be the change of lead through trot over X.  A piloting error where we lose a percent or so every time.

Last show, I thought she’d come onto the wrong lead and corrected it, completely botching the movement and setting up for a strange start of the 15 M canter circle at A movement.

dressage first level test 3

This show, it felt just as awkward, but I still went into the corner, not wanting to make the same mistake again.  Of course, this time it was the wrong lead…

She spent the night in an outdoor paddock in a huge pile of shavings under a tree, and stood nicely for snail-pace braiding in an all new barn early the next day.  Wonderful mare!

gray horse in dressage test

Sunday – rated show, the Foothills Fall Classic for two different judges.  We impressed with an 8 for the entry halt, the rest was, well, pretty tight backed…

tight backed horse in dressage

Both tests went better, and with scores usually a “little harder to get” at a rated show it was great to get a 63.1 in the first one and a 4th place.  She didn’t exactly impress (You need a real trot lengthening for that.  “Quickens” is the standard comment for us.).

keeping tempo in dressage canter

The last test was “slower”, she fell out of canter at one point and seemed a little overdone.  No ribbon there, at 6th place, but a 62.3.  So proud of her for still getting a good qualified score with all that!

gray dressage horse

With this, it is NOT time to gear up for second level.  At all.  We’re far away from “correct dressage”, and she’s still difficult to access, both over her back and in the contact.

Thrilled to have some pictures of her working well!  Over the winter there’s a lot of homework to do to figure out how to create a more relaxed horse.  I think we’ve just hit that roadblock that keeps many riders from ever getting to second level…  Or, we’ve been stuck there the whole time,  just didn’t realize it until now 🙂

Elinor Yee
Go Gray Mare!