I want to put a few more show details down here for my own documentation purposes. It’s a lame post – I know – but I really value this blog as a journal as well.
I know that our halts need work – getting square is really a matter of luck at this point – so I feel like a 6.5 on our first halt is both generous and lucky. I’m also happy with a 7 on our free walk; as Robbye has gotten stronger and rounder, she’s lost a bit of the fantastic stretch she used to have.
A 4 on our left lead canter feels generous. We botched the lead twice and only ended up cantering on the left lead for probably 5 strides. I was proud of myself for maintaining nice geometry in my circle even as I struggled to pick up the correct lead. I’m hoping that I learned from this particular mistake and that it won’t happen again.
That final halt 10, though. #schoolingshows!
I felt all of these were very fair, and the “very patient correction to L canter” comment gave me a warm fuzzy. I really appreciate judges (and trainers, and bosses, and … everyone) who can turn a failure or mistake into a compliment or gentle lesson.
I am very happy with these numbers. All of the scores below 7 are issues I know I need to work on – the halt (I lost her haunches), the canter to trot transition (it’s still a bit of a “run her into the ground” type transition, instead of being back-to-front), the trot to canter transitions (still a tad hollow), and the stretchy movements (need more stretch!).
The 8 on our medium walk is reassuring; I’ve always felt that Robbye’s weakest gait is her walk, and I really struggle to get any impulsion out of her since she prefers to walk as slowly as possible. We really worked it for this walk section and I’m happy the scores reflect that fact.
And there’s another high score for our final halt! I need to figure out what we do differently in our final halt and do it in our initial one. I bet you anything it has something to do with the tension I release for the second one…
Again I felt these scores were fair for a schooling show. Truly, to get three 7s and a 6.5 on impulsion and submission is huge for me and especially for Robbye.
The “obvious leg aids” are just something I need to deal with until 1) Robbye is more sensitive and forward and 2) I’m a better rider. I’m very happy to have more obvious aids if it means replicating the work we got in this test, and I’ll willingly sacrifice my Rider Aids score for it, at least for now 🙂
Our final scores are just…mind-blowing. From reading your blogs, I feel that these would have been perhaps 60%-65% at a recognized show – scores I would be extremely pleased to earn.
The rankings, too, are very heartening for me. There were 8 people in T1 and ten in T2. When I saw these numbers, I just hoped to placed in both classes – I know it shouldn’t be, but being competitive is important to me. Along the same lines of “don’t embarrass myself” and “make my trainer proud”, I want people to see my partnership with my horse and recognize it as a good one. The recognition that comes with ribbons is validating for me. So to beat ~15 other scores is huge.
Yes, I fell off at this show. Well, no, I didn’t fall off – I got dumped. And that really sucks. I heard later that Robbye was a huge disruption as she galloped through the warmup arena to get back to her stall.
That’s embarrassing, and embarrassing is the last thing I want at a show (especially one where I’m there representing my trainer).
After crashing into a fence at a jumper round more than a year ago and subsequently taking a huge step back from jumping entirely, I never imagined that a fall could make me stronger.
But this particular crash awoke some passion that I don’t think I’ve felt before, and that passion led to a quality of work that I definitely haven’t felt before. I used the fall and the way I felt after it for me.
My goal for this winter is to make that quality of work my every day. Every day should be passionate and 100% committed – like I’m heading into the ring to score a 70%, or to win in a class of 10.
And if I don’t have the passion every day – that’s okay! But I won’t be riding. I want that work I got after my fall, and I’m not willing to let Robbye compromise at 50% anymore. If I’ve learned anything from the struggles – and now success! – that she and I have endured as partners, it’s that I am in charge. When I decide what happens, we’re both happier.
So I may be riding less than 6 days a week this winter. And yes, this goal completely contradicts my 2015 goals to have zero days.
But the fact is that I want to work hard. I want to devote 100% to this relationship and to our progress, even if it means fighting sometimes, or falling off sometimes, or taking days off sometimes.
I know what I’m chasing after now, and I know how good it feels to catch it.