Today we competed at Green Acres Horse Trial. It is our fourth event ever, and our first event in 2008. I opted to show again at Pre-Elementary, only because I was unsure if we were 100% ready to move up. We earned a second and 2 thirds last year, but I just wanted to play it safe. There are enough problems in eventing right now....I did not want to be another injury statistic. :(
Well, let's just say we are DEFINITELY ready to move up! :) Dreamy was fantastic and we ended up FIRST IN OUR DIVISION! There were 14 riders in our division so that was no small feat! We ended on our dressage score of 27.3, which means we went clean in both XC and stadium jumping. Eventing is scored using penalty points, so the lower your score the better. (This is unlike "straight" dressage, where you score a percentage and higher is better). So a 27.3 in "straight" dressage is a 72.7%! HOLY COW! This is our best dressage score EVER. We scored four 6s, six 7s, and three 8s!!! One of the eights was our first change of rein, the other was our medium walk, and the other was under collectives for her gaits. I FINALLY scored a 7 on rider position! WHEW!
And the neat part was the judge, Janet Briggs, was my riding instructor in college. :) She ran the UNH Equestrian program for many years. I was excited to ride under her....again! :) Her comments "Nice overall flow, forward, and fairly good out to bridle, needs a steadier connection to bridle at times, OK left and right bending."
Dreamy was great in warm up. She was almost sluggish to my leg, but that was better then nervous and rushing. It was very hot and our dressage time was 12:24...right when the sun was beating down. She was very relaxed in the warm up ring and then got a bit tense when we switched over to the competition ring. But it was not awful, just a little perkier and tense through her back. It was not nearly as bad as SOME of our tests in the past (thinking about our FIRST event at Hilltop last year where she bucked through warm up and then could barely trot in the ring.....). And by the middle of the test I felt her relax more. Truly this horse just needs mileage and she will continue to improve. :) We were first after dressage...no pressure or anything. :)
Cross country was an absolute blast as usual. The nice thing about the tadpole level (LOL) is that the jumps are very very very inviting. Tiny logs, teeny coops, hay bales.....I mean we could walk over them if need be. So it makes me completely relaxed. Dreamy did not look funny at ANY of the jumps. I was impressed with that. :) We even had some AWESOME cantering between jumps. I brought her back to the trot when I felt I needed to rebalance her or a few times she came back on her own. But when it felt good, we cantered along like REAL EVENTERS! YAY Dreamy! :)
Stadium jumping was only 15 minutes after cross country. Of course, this entirely stressed me out because I had to do stadium in my XC colors! ACK! My inner George Morris was SCREAMING in protest. I had planned to do a quick stop at the trailer to rip off the ORANGE square saddle pad and replace it with her fitted WHITE one. And at least remove my god awful tye-dyed helmet cover! (Don't get me wrong, I love the new orangey red yellow colors.....better than the more subdued maroon and navy from last year...LOL But to have to do stadium in my XC attire just seemed sacrilegious!)
SO, OK, as you can see, I got over it. I had such fun on XC that it seemed like needless stress to run to the trailer and do the quickest tack and clothing change of the century. So I walked her around, her TPR came back VERY quickly, and we were able to watch 2 riders go. I like being able to watch riders go ahead of me....not to learn the course (since they might go off course), but in order to just see how the course flows.
And the stadium went fine. We did get our only pace of the day on stadium...I think she was tired (DUH, it was 90 degrees out!) and at one transition we did get a few steps of pace. But all in all, she was a rock star and I could NOT have asked for a better horse.
Dreamy was the only Standardbred at the event. Of course, we had our STB patch on our saddle pad.....and I had a lot of people say positive things about her...she is so pretty, she is such a nice mover, what a cool Standardbred! One person even said, "Is she really a Standardbred?" I am assuming she saw the patch...and I answered, "She sure is!" LOL....no she is really a fancy expensive warmblood but I like to pretend she is a STB. ROFL! :) Because we all know how awesome and superior STBs are.
So needless to say, we had a great day. Tired, a little too much sun, and a little sore...but MAN DO I LOVE EVENTING!
ps- Not only was Mrs. Briggs from UNH the judge, but I also saw THREE other UNH alumni at the show...it was rather funny...two were riding (Kim Cartier and Sarah Isherwood....I rode with Sarah at UNH) and one was the EMT (Paul "Spanky" St. Cyr-Butler...yeah I dated Spanky twice...and broke his heart. LOL! Nah, he is a good guy, an AGR brother, real salt of the earth).