Monday, September 17, 2018

Les Bois Dressage I & II

After having done the show a few weeks prior, I was feeling overall pretty excited to compete again, especially because it was at the same facility. I had a slight worry that the last time had been a hoax but overall I knew that it would go well. Les Bois Dressage was pretty much a repeat of Boise River minus the ridiculously generous judge. I was only able to do one test each day, (T-3), so it was pretty low key. My goal was to just have another productive show and get some nice higher scores for Training level.

Because my braids looked so horrendous last time I did something very sinful. I didn’t have the time or energy to pull, so I shaved the underside of E’s mane. It worked out surprisingly well and I would only recommend it if you aren’t planning on having a full show season and your mane resembles that of a draft horse (E is half shire). If I show E next year I will definitely hire someone to pull her mane in spring and just maintain it throughout the year.

Overall I thought my scores for this show were very fair and Saturday received a 66+% (a little low IMO) and Sunday a 72+%. The show was incredibly laid back and fun and I wish I could have been in the running for a champion ribbon! 

Friday, September 14, 2018


Lately I've been noticing I have had a hard time reading things that are far away. I didn't think much of it and assumed it was at a normal distance to not see. I always kind of joked about things being blurry. One day in class my coworker (I share a class with two coworkers!) asked if I could read a sign across the classroom. I kind of looked at him and laughed, fully believing now one could really read the sign that well. My other coworker looked at me funny and told me to try on her glasses as normally she couldn't read it either. I didn't expect to notice a huge difference but immediate could READ. What?!?

I don't think I've had an eye exam since middle school and quite frankly never thought I needed one. But that day after I left class, I called the eye doctor and set up an appointment. Sure enough I could use some plastic in front of my eyes. I couldn't get over he trial glasses and kept laughing like a child every time I took them on and off. Sure enough, I had the same response when I got my glasses for real.

So, teach me blogland, what do I do now? Ride with glasses or without? Try to transition to contacts even though I have a fear of poking my eyeball? I couldn't even go 6 hours without scratching them as I thought I was super smart when using paper towels to dry them off *facepalm*

Thursday, August 23, 2018

All Aboard

The past three weeks I've been sick/injured. I'm not sure exactly what happened but my chest x-rays show a swollen lung and bronchitis. Now, this is not a woe is me post, but my issues currently allow me to take a mini break from life and get back to things that have fallen by the way-side. Aka this blog. 

So what has happened that I need to recap (is this blog just turning into once every other month recaps on my life?):

Test look back from Boise River Dressage
Les Bois Dressage Show
First Level Dressage Debut (!!!!!!)

And that is about all the exciting stuff. I've missed blogging, and catching up on blogs.I have this weird association with blogging that made me lose my voice for awhile. It seemed like if I had nothing big or exciting to share no one would care (uh why do I care what people think? Its my blog!) and after going so long without writing it just seemed like one of those things to keep ignoring. I have this problem where I am 100% the object at rest stays at rest. It is hard for me to get moving again once I start slacking off. However, I've learned this about myself and I'm trying to be more retrospective. 

I hope everyone had a lovely summer, and I will be silently lurking in the background, speed reading a few months worth of blogs!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Epic Dressage Show

Saturday June 23rd I packed up my trailer and went to my first dressage show in three years. And who did I have the pleasure of riding? Miss Evita of course!

 All PC: Jannae

I was so exceptionally nervous for this show. I had heard she gets very "up" at shows and I felt I had something to prove and needed over a 65%. I also knew I wanted to set us up for success at our first show together and opted to show training 2 & 3.

This pic and pic below are PC: SB

I tried on my show clothes a few days prior (I'm great at procrastinating) and realized my coat and shirt didn't fit super well so I bought a new coat and shirt (review to follow!). My ride times weren't scheduled for the afternoon so I had a leisure morning acquiring braiding supplies and liquid courage (see: procrastination). I pulled Evita out of pasture late morning and began to bathe and braid.

This is where my anxiety kicked it. E started yelling for Mae after being separated. I thought for sure this was the sneak preview of how the show was going to go. I also kicked myself for not thinning her mane earlier and broke out in tears over how fugly it looked. 

I hastily finished my shitty braid job, realized I was running late, and threw together a sandwich to take on the road. E loaded up ok but clearly was on edge. I checked my hitch job and hit the road for my long 15 min trek. 

We arrived and despite parking arrangements not being idiot proof, I took a deep breath and went to check in. I saw some friends and literally asked them to babysit me because I've never shown by myself and my coach had other clients so would just see me in the warmup. I was advised to breathe and handwalk E around to let her look at the surroundings. I unloaded E and she took a look around, yawned, and lowered her head.

The more I walked with E, the more she yawned and chewed. Apparently she knew right where she was and was completely relaxed to go dance around. I was still worried that when I got on she would be different so I remained reserved. I tacked up a little behind schedule and headed over to warmup nervous. I got on and immediately told E we were here to do the thing. I'm pretty sure if I could have seen her face she would have been rolling her eyes at me. Shortly after a quick walk around I saw Jannae and my parents there to cheer me on. 

My coach gave me a quick warmup and off I went to enter at A. The test itself was easy and although I noticed E gained a small amount of tension as we entered, it was pretty solid. Mare had my back! After  our final salute I was so happy. I just couldn't help but think that omg we did the thing and E is easy and fun at shows! 

I hopped off because I had an hour until my next test and chilled happily with my friends. Next thing I know the score runner tells me congratulations and unsure, I said "thanks?!" before looking up at my placing. First! First? No wait, not just first but 80% first? What?! What!!! "You're the highest score of the day!" Again, what?! I proceeded to freak out (as E napped, naturally) in excitement. I couldn't believe we scored that high, it was unreal. I knew for my next test I didn't want to warmup very long and my goal was to just have fun.

The beginning of the test went great but I noticed I was lacking energy and on my last canter circle and thought my downward transition was two letters before it actually was. My thought process went: "hold on E, our downward is just right there! Hm, we've been trotting for awhile. Oh..look..C...that's where my transition went" so we had a minor mistake, oh well. I finished up my long and low and was just happy to have laid down another pretty solid test. This test wasn't scored as favorably (lol I mean compared to the 80) but we got a well deserved 71%. I hopped off super pony, went to acquire treats (because I'm the worst and forgot some) and cracked open my wine while waiting to see who got high point. T'was me! Hell yes! I thanked the pony numerously for being the best teacher/babysitter ever and packed up to go get her home. Best. Show. Ever.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Green Bean Thoughts

So fancy in his inherited PSOS bridle

Being given the opportunity to ride such a well trained horse as Evita certainly has been a blessing. But, it makes riding and wanting to ride the green horses a lot less motivating. I can get on Evita and pretty much put her exactly how I want her and do whatever suits my fancy. And I started to run into trouble with my greenie. 

Greenie's first side rein

Merlot has an incredible work ethic and despite his spookiness, is a pretty chill dude under saddle but after prioritizing my rides on Evita I found I would get frustrated and pushy with Merlot. And it isn't fair. He toodles like a pro, but if I try and put on trainer pants, I started to expect he had an education when he didn't. Even though Ries was not a dressage pro, he had a foundation put on him and once trainer taught me to unlock and develop it, we were golden. But greenie he was not.

Mer and V Have a huge bromance. Also photo bomb by Mae and E (E is in fly mask)

So here I am sitting with a lovely pony who will work sun up to sun down and give you snuggles when the day is done. But I really don't know how to get that first step of the dressage foundation put on him. So we toodled and moved at a snails pace. I tried to do "hey look, if I weight this seat bone and put on this leg you move over" and "I know contact feels weird but I'm just going to have soft forgiving hands" and yet I felt my tool bag kind of empty. 

So many smiles <3

I had my first dressage lesson on Merlot two weeks ago and that helped so much. It was enough of a push but also a "we are only focusing on one thing this entire lesson" that I finally feel I have a start in the dressage direction. I knew I looked like a sack of potatoes riding a llama but I couldn't help but smile. I didn't just buy a green horse because I think he will be fancy and he has a forgiving attitude (and I have a limited budget), but for how much I wanted to experience the process of bringing a green horse up and how much joy it gives me.