Care to share a dressage show warm-up tip? I know there’ll be many that’d like to read it!
For Valiosa’s warmup after two earlier days of rushed, spooky and more stressed out warm up, my only goal was to have her go on the aids without too much tension before going in the ring.
Super pleased with her for pulling off a sort of “blah” canter, despite multiple other horses in the arena, announcers, and audience. Success!
My goal was to have her reasonably attentive and when there were more than 7 horses in there we did several walk-trot transitions instead of trying to fight for space.
Some trainers like to warm up their student’s horses really forward and deep. Really proud of Valiosa for doing her thing just with me, even when some ponies came close and large horses breathed heavily down her hind.
Have a warm-up tip, below Fourth Level? We’re all ears!!
Always amazed at the incredible level of support the reader community can offer.
Thank you to everyone who invests time in commenting and reading the posts here! I’ve never reposted any comments – but this one is a must read!
First; Your Daily Dose of Duchess Rice Dream.
This is from Tonia. We both clearly play on the same team. Enjoy!
“… A bit of good old classical dressage wisdom, which is that we as riders should ask ourselves regularly–why are we doing this? Why do we ride? For some people, the answer is they want to be at the top of the sport…to compete, win and be the best. But for me (and probably–hopefully–for most equestrians) the answer is because I love horses. I have loved them since I was barely old enough to recognize that feeling.
… With that answer in mind, and channeling my inner nine-year-old-self, I go out and do the things that are hard and scary and that progress us forward… if at any point I start to lose touch with the core reason I am doing all this, then I know I am on the wrong track and I need to take a step back and return to a place of love and enjoyment again, wherever that may be.
This idea of love and enjoyment over competition/progress/goals was reiterated so eloquently to me recently at a lecture I attended by Paul Belasik …it was such a good reminder and came at a really good time for me, when I was in the throes of being hard on myself for what I felt was slow progress over the past couple years (during which time I had a baby, ahem).
I’m passing on that reminder now–not to suggest you should take a step away from showing, but because this concept enabled me to loosen the grip that perfectionism and competitiveness had on me at that time and allowed me to just ENJOY THIS, no matter where we are or what we’re doing or how “good” we’re doing it.” (Tonia)
Unless you’ve got a roached mane, braiding is required at any show.
With a horse that shakes the head a lot (Hello, I know one.), both during the braiding process and after between classes, sewn braids are great since they stay in really tight.
They take a lot longer to put in though. Yes, even with practice at countless shows.
Last show, I did old school rubber banded ones instead. There are various ways to roll them up, rosette style (Gorgeous, but falls out easier unless the mane is pulled thinner and kept shorter/short-ish.) or banded in the middle.
Different necks look best in different braid styles – want to give your input on this one?!
Vote for your favorite in the poll below! Which ones look the best?
How hard can it be? For us, quite a challenge, but this time out Valiosa did everything right and we had two solid tests.
Her show result from last Friday’s Training Level Test 3 was 64.1, a 2nd Place ribbon. Thrilled with her, and that score included a low 4′ score for coming on the wrong lead once – all stemming from tension which I hope will go away with time.
Pictures today are all from the First Level Test 3 Class last Friday. Complete photo overload, sorry, but if your husband comes out and takes wonderful pictures of you poppin’ around endlessly in the ring, they’ve got to be shared! 🙂
This is the big ring, with the big horses – expectations are higher here than the shows we did last year. Miss Silky Blue’s lengthenings, both trot and canter, are what really hurts our score.
Canter lengthening scores were a bit stronger with 6’s. I think she did phenomenal, staying straight and focused.
The score for this First Level Test 3 class was 61.8. Nope she didn’t place in the class, but it’s a qualified score and she was wonderful and very different from the show just the weekend before.
This was a wonderful experience for her – strong-willed and with a mind of her own, we negotiated on being a show horse for the day. Carefully.
I don’t have the tools to be super strong and ride her perfectly. Instead, I try to be very tactful in moments of tension, and together we get through it.
This crazy sport of dressage. Last halt; square, straight, prompt and in the right spot. (Bit of nose tilt out to the left.) Still only a 7′. Judge’s comment – Not closed.