Monday, September 14, 2015

MDHT Dressage

For well over a month now, getting close to two months, we've had hardly any rain at all. I know some parts of the country are like "take our rainfall PLEASE," and believe me, we'd love it if y'all would share (Florida, I'm looking at you). The grass is dead, I don't want to take Mo cross country schooling because the ground is concrete, it's awful.

So what day does the rain come back to this region of the country?

Saturday! Of course!

The rain didn't really start until I was just about to go in for dressage, and even then it wasn't so bad. Then it poured between dressage and jumping, but that's a story for another day.

I put Mo on the lunge line for a couple minutes to see what kind of horse I had, and he was super chill the whole time. My mom fed him carrots while I got on and then I got brave and rode him down the very narrow path past people and dogs and other horses to the warmup area. This was going to be the first time Mo had to canter in the dressage warmup, but lucky for me, it was quiet in there, just one or two other riders when I was warming up. He was a very good boy. We had an abbreviated version of our discussion about contact, but then he came through for me and his trot work in the warmup was great. The canter was about what I'd expect to get out of him at home--inverted in the transition, then inconsistent in the contact. No big deal. Honestly, the reason I needed to go back to Loch Moy was to see if he'd jump around XC this time (and I'd entered him at a higher level than last time, because I'm brilliant like that).

When it was our turn to head to the ring, he was being good and listening until the judge's car's windshield wipers moved just as we were approaching to say hello. He was like WHAT THE FUCK and the judge stuck her head out the window to apologize which also scared him. I was giggling at him and assured her it was fine, he needs to see stuff like that, but we didn't go back up there again. On some horses I would have, but Mo just needed to calm back down before we went in, so we circled at A until she rang the bell.

I'll post video of the test when I can, but for now, screen shots.

A enter working trot rising
I mean, for an intro horse, what's not to love?

X halt salute

Check to make sure your buddies up the hill saw your good halt

Right 20m trot circle

I liked this trot circle. It was balanced and relaxed and accurate.

Right "20m" canter circle
Someone who may or may not have a PhD got so worried about getting the correct canter lead that they forgot to ride the circle accurately. Just, like, totally forgot what a 20m circle looks like. Instead I rode a 10m egg. Well done.

KXM change the rein

Forget the canter circle, try to get the horse across the diagonal like a gentleman.

Aw, look who can change his bend without inverting!
Heading into the best trot circle of his life
E circle left 20m

This left trot circle was GREAT. The only thing that would have made it better was a little more forwardness, but unless this is the very first post of mine you've ever read, you know that forwardness is The Thing We Deal With.

Buy a racehorse and KICK IT, that's what I say.

A circle left 20m
This canter circle was MUCH better because I remembered where to go. He was in and out of the connection, which is fine. I don't expect anything different right now. But no one watching would have thought I was near death, and isn't that really the goal?

Medium walk transition
His transition down to medium walk was great, but then the gait just died under me. Not a huge shock. I tried to kick him into a bigger step and he took like half a step of trot. Oh well.

Free walk
Consider the speed of continental drift...

Taking the loooooong trip back to the centerline
The judge liked this part, called it "straight."

Back up the centerline we go
G shuffle around and put your head up and eventually stand still for one second
I was pleased with it (except my idiocy in the right lead canter circle, won't make that mistake again). He'll get better, I'll get better, but this is MILES from where we were last time we came to Loch Moy in May.

But enough about what I have to say, here's what the judge thought:

34%, fine for this month
And here's the best part:

I love this entire thing. I like her compliment of my horse, I like his score on gaits (which will get better as he goes more forward), and it cracks me up that she called me brave. I'm not sure why, he was a good boy! Maybe the windshield wiper thing?

Anyway, I still have a big smile on my face after that I'm looking forward to our continued improvement in this phase. We have a dressage lesson tomorrow so hopefully we'll get those halts ironed out a little bit before Morningside next weekend. Stay tuned for Part 2: The Jumpening.


  1. Yay I love this!! You guys look great. (Not kidding. Jealy of that position).

    1. Thanks! He's pretty easy to sit on these days.

  2. Boy, Mo is really looking good!! He's carrying himself so much better nowadays

    1. I know, I'm so pleased with him. Things are coming together in his little brain.

  3. Love the judge's comments! Y'all look fantastic

    1. I think she felt guilty about spooking him twice, ha!

  4. Great job! Your position is so lovely (how do you sit up like that?) and Mo looks relaxed and happy, just like he should. You must be so proud!!

    1. Thanks for the compliment! My coach yells at me until I sit the way she wants, basically. :) Today in a lesson she was like "ugh" and "oooh!" and "blah" an then she said, "If anyone asks you what it's like to take a lesson with me tell them I just grunt at you and you fix things until you get happy noises." I love her.

  5. Mo looks so fancy! Great job on your test. :)

  6. Correction: for an intro, BN, or novice horse, what's NOT TO LOVE?!

    Beautiful work! Congrats on an awesome test. Ignore any jealousy that may seep out of my every pore. ;)