|All thoroughbred. All awesome.|
|That's a lotta coffee! Also pictured: A lotta rain...|
|White breeches ≠ white skirt|
|Relaxation, thy name is jogging.|
|The Preakness and my dressage show were battling the same awful weather.|
Screencap via YouTube
Of course, whether it was raining or not was besides the point. As I mentioned the other day, the footing was already a completely sloppy mess. The base was stable, but there were inches of rain in spots, making all horses nervous. While good in adverse conditions, Pig isn't great in overly sloppy footing. His sensitive thoroughbred skin takes offense to splashes of mud and grit, which leads to some wild leaping and bouncier steps.
|"Dis footing be gross" -- Pig|
The ring was running ahead, so when I felt I had him fairly relaxed, in rhythm, and on my aids, we headed in. Watching the test now, I feel that an additional 10 minutes of warm up could have made for a better test. Still, I made the best decision I felt I could.
|Back still a little tight, but trotting through the puddles with minimal drama.|
|The test came back scored almost entirely with 6s, and that's about how I felt about it too...|
I felt the left shoulder in was better than the right, as Pig was more on my aids. To the right he wanted to fall out with his shoulder, and so I had to really ride the snot out of him to keep him near the rail. Both half passes were just okay. The half passes in 3-1 are incredibly shallow. That makes them really tough for me to ride. With a horse that struggles with half pass, I bet they are great. For us, I have to keep riding straight to make the whole length. It's harder for me to keep Pig engaged in the movement. He wants to step under too much at my aid and rocket us to to the wall. I can't get too much collection here, for accuracy sake. That lead to comments about crossing and bend being unclear, which I completely agree with.
|Open up them shoulders, Pig.|
|An extended walk to make Marilyn Monroe jealous. #datass #muchswing #mygooglesearchanalytics|
|"Mom has me convinced there are alligators in these puddles!"|
Though I expected lower scores due to the tempo issues, the canter work was solid 6s, except for the changes. Both changes were a fraction late behind for a 5.
|Lolz. Late changes.|
|Actually pretty quiet and obedient here...|
|Are we starting to really get the extended trot?!|
I was quite pleased with the collective scores, especially the 7s for gaits and rider position. I agreed with the judge that Pig and I weren't communicating the best in this test. He wasn't confident in the footing, so I wasn't sitting the best. Plus he was backed off the contact. I don't think the footing was allowing him to be forward enough for the double to be useful. I really never felt that I needed to use the curb. If I'd had another test on Saturday, I'd have tried the snaffle to see if we had better results.
Jan assured me that the test didn't look as bad as it felt, and she was sure we had gotten our last needed 60% for my bronze medal. Turns out, Jan is a pretty good score predictor. We ended up scoring a 60.455%, which did finish out my bronze medal! As everyone else in our class scratched, we ended up with a lovely blue ribbon and our pick of the prizes. Our score was right along those in the 3-1 Open class, so I didn't feel the "win" was completely undeserved. Plus, the satin and prizes felt like a good celebration for finishing up my Bronze.
|True story. I chose this plate over the others because I was pretty damn sure it would hold the most cheese. #priorities|
I bedded in Pig for the night and shared a glass of celebratory wine., Then, I headed home, happy in the knowledge that I had accomplished my intended goals against the odds on a long stressful day. Does anything help you sleep better?
Day 2 adventures coming tomorrow!