Dreamy's second SMDA show of the year was on June 12. Unfortunately, like the first one, it was raining and the ring was a complete mess. :-( We did the Prix Caprilli again, and this time we did First 1 and First 2. I know that First level is hard for us, and First 2 is really pushing it, but I am happy to be pushed out of my comfort zone this year. I figure we might as well try it out. We can at least school all the movements, sometimes quite well and sometimes not so well. ;-D
Plus the way I look at it, Dreamy has proven over and over and over again that she is a good mare. For a failed racehorse and retired broodmare who was started under saddle at age 15 by an average, insignificant adult amateur (that'd be me), she has talent that I am sure no one ever thought she would have. She is not the best Standardbred out there by any means, but I am exceptionally proud of her. We have nothing left to prove, in my opinion, so I want to have fun playing around with First level. I just want to be able to say we DID it. I don't care about ribbons, year end awards, or high scores. (As long as we are above a 55%, I am happy, because lower than that tells me we are totally out of our league and might as well not show.) This year for me and Dreamy is about having fun, pushing ourselves to try something hard, and just seeing what we can do. I am fully aware that Dreamy will never be able to try a test beyond First level. Who cares??? I have never ridden a First level test in competition before I did it with Dreamy this year and might never ride a test beyond that either!!! LOL! :-D
Anyway, I was pleased with our show. The footing was worse than it had been at the first soggy show in May and I knew she would struggle in the canter. Let's face it, we always struggle at the canter, but the thick mud in the ring that day only made it worse. We sometimes luck out if the footing is just a little wet with puddles, as it makes her canter have a bit more "lift" as it does when we ride in the snow. But wet mucky footing is just bad. Oh well.
I felt iffy about jumping in the mud, but the spot where the jumps go for the Prix Caprilli was actually the driest spot in the entire ring. I decided to try it out; I told the judge before I entered that if I felt she was slipping or the footing was just too bad, I would withdraw. Despite forgetting part of the course (DUH....no caller and I completely blanked when we picked up the second canter lead) it was a pretty decent test. This time there were three riders in the class, both juniors who are good little riders, so I knew I had some competition. ;-D But in the end we won again!!! This time we scored a 66.6%, just .4% less than the first show! Yay mare! I wish more competitions offered the Prix Caprilli test, because I honestly think I would rather do this than regular dressage! ;-D Besides the cross country jumping in an event, Prix Caprilli is a close second!
First 1 was a so-so test. We struggled with our trot work this time, which is usually what saves our score. ;-) Plus I have always found that learner judges are much harder scorers than rated judges. Oh well! We scored a 59.7% on First 1, which was 2.4% lower than the first show. I admit, I really wanted to score above a 60% again, but it just wasn't our day. We placed 3rd out of six riders.
First 2 was a hard test. We had trouble with our 10m half circles, as I apparently made them too large. We did not cross enough in the leg yields (should have carried my whip! ARG!) And the canter lengthenings were much harder this time, as Dreamy was really not willing to extend in the awful footing. But that was OK; she has always been very self perserving about her footing so I was happy with what she tried to give me. We did get some 6s on our canter transitions, which was lovely, as two years ago they were 4s. LOL! We ended up scoring a well earned 56% and placed 2nd out of three riders.
Overall I feel like this show was a good judgment of where we are. Granted, had the footing been dry and normal, we might have had better trot and canter work, but oh well. You cannot control the weather. I feel good that we are scoring above 55%, because if we were scoring lower than that I think I would wait until next year to show at First level. But we are having fun (well....showing in the rain is not really fun, but...) and working hard. Plus, I really like to show, so as long as we are not completely making fools of ourselves, I figure why not??
I wish I had photos, but there was no professional photographer and no one came along with me. :-( Apparently, I will have no dressage pics this year and it will RAIN at every show! HA HA HA!