|Fuzzy mare hanging at the trailer|
The funny thing is that the judge is someone who has judged us many times over the last five years. I really like her as a judge, and I think she is fair. She was diplomatic enough at the end to say that our canter looked OK, but that she realized that this was "probably the best it was going to be" and she felt I was riding it as best as I could. She did make a comment at the end of the test about Dreamy's age; she basically said that while she looks great for her age (21), that she would "love to see me on a younger horse". She admitted she meant no disrespect to me or my horse and thought we looked good, but you could tell she wanted to be like, "This is not a dressage horse!!" LOL! I felt a little defeated at first, wondering if I should just retire Dreamy for good. I mean, I fully realize we have hit our limit in dressage, and I had planned to spend the year playing around at Beginner Novice eventing and trying some new, fun things (team penning, foxhunting, etc). The BN A test is pretty much a Training 2 test, so after spending last year at First level, I knew the dressage would be fine. Dreamy will probably never do a regular dressage show again. I will keep doing what we are doing as long as she is happy and sound.
Anyway, I was bummed, but I also realized that the judge only echoed what I already knew. She really was not being mean or disrespectful at all. In fact, after dwelling on it for about a half hour, I realized I actually MUCH rather have her say what she did and give us a sort of backhanded compliment that to go on and on about how I should be fixing her canter, doing this, doing that, yadda yadda. When dressage judges do that, I feel like rolling my eyes and saying, "Yeah, OK, thanks, I know her canter is not "normal", it is what it is, she is a freaking old broodmare, chill out, I am just an adult amateur having FUN!" HA HA HA HA! Obviously, I don't and just smile and say thank you. I recognize it is their job to "judge" us on what they see and our backstory really doesn't matter.
Then of course, when I went up to the scoreboard, I realized that our score was better than everyone else in our division, both junior and senior, as well as those in the other divisions too. (Not that you can really compare tests, but still, we had one of the best scores of the day!!) So, I left feeling that we are "just fine".
|Dreamy "Starlit".....ahhhh, gotta love how one of our names is always spelled incorrectly. ;-p|
|Showin' 'em how to get it done with a Standardbred. Good mare! I love that saddle pad!!|