First Level Or Bust

Keep filing away at First Level.

How hard can it be?  For us, quite a challenge, but this time out Valiosa did everything right and we had two solid tests.

horse posing as Breyer horse
Valiosa, making her best Breyer Horse pose. Although she went rogue with one hind.

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.

canter at first level
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! 🙂

horse that looks like breyer horse
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.

trot lengthening with short gaited horse
For Lady Pumpkin Tush, this is really good, but this lengthened trot diagonal got only a 5′.

Canter lengthening scores were a bit stronger with 6’s. I think she did phenomenal, staying straight and focused.
canter lengthening with horse with short gaits
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.

white horse in dressage ring
Peach Tart, doing her thing and being fantastic.

collection at first level dressage

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.

riding tactfully on tense horse

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.
square halt at first level

It can only get better from here.

Go & be someone you’d like to remember!

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

Monday Morning

Just two days off.

Can’t wait to get out there to see her again!   That’s what just a couple of days off will do.  Good stuff!

On Mondays she’ll sometimes pop her head up, all the way out there in pasture, when I come in with the quiet hybrid.  She knows what’s up.

– “Yay, my servant is here!”

gray horse in cavesson with flash

Happy to have her.  Growing respect for this mare, with her peculiar ways.  Do it just right, sitting square, and she’ll sometimes let me access her back and she’ll get very sensitive, almost hot, accepting only small aids.  It’s a taste of what I think she really could be.  I just need to catch up!

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

Lots of stuff to say this week.  Kind of unusual.  Buckle down!