Saturday, August 12, 2017

Annie's First Show: Final Thoughts, But Mostly Media

I finally have ALL the media from the show - the jumping photos, the dressage tests, and a video of one of our jumping rounds that I somehow forgot to upload into my previous post.

Anyways, this is mostly going to be a media heavy post with some epiphanies and thoughts about how it all went and how I feel about it. 

First up, the Dressage tests. I went and grabbed them last week from a friend and was surprised to find we had placed in our first two tests - it was more or less a default ribbon tho since only two of us were in that class, but it was kind of nice to have some satin to bring home anyways.

For the most part, I feel like her assessment is fair although I am confused with the
3 we garnered for movement 11 (Circle right 20m trot). I asked a few friends if they remember
it being that bad and no one recalls anything other than me trotting a circle... so not sure about that altho
I'm sure it was deserved somewhere in the test.

Training Level Test 2
Again, I feel like this is a good representation of our abilities. I think
the judge may have been a touch generous in some aspects, but not too far off. Again
I had a 3, but I'm not sure what the judge meant by careful positioning - to
obtain the right lead or??

Second page of Training Level Test 2.
I agree with the judge stating Annie was behind my leg - unfortunately,
when she gets worried/hotter than usual, she kind of just flails and I resort
to sitting quietly vs actually riding her.
I did go off course - I thought my reader said MXH not FXH - not her
fault tho, I was so nervous I forgot my test.

The show organizers were nice enough to give me a
4th place ribbon even though I was technically eliminated. I appreciated the gesture
and I also appreciated the judge let me continue the test AND still scored it.
Again, I feel like this was a good representation of our abilities with perhaps
a bit of sympathy points, lol.
I don't remember going off course in Movement 4, so not sure what is going on there.

The comment she left actually made me cry - in a good way, haha.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in all the bad that happened that
we don't appreciate what good we DID achieve. 
All in all, after seeing the comments and the scores, I feel better about everything. Yes, our canters are messy and yes they need work, but the trot work and walk work for the most part was right in line with where I figured we would be. There was a bit of generosity with the judging, but for the most part I feel like she was bang on on what she called us out for (being behind the leg). I feel like Annie is generally pretty good about the leg, but when you add in a tense situation and a young horse, a lot of things go out the window.

I had loved the commentary the judge left me - the heartfelt memo at the bottom of my last and most disastrous test was like a beacon of hope. It sounds really stupid and cheesy, but it made me realize that one bad test does not equate to being a bad rider. I did also think to myself, "Wow, we could have been competitive with the other horses if we had our canter leads" - it was just a cool feeling that even though we are wiggly and not as broke as other competitors, we could've been somewhere in the same league as the rest of them. It's something to work towards and something to strive for.

For Dressage, I've put the whole leaving the ring thing behind me. As my Dad said while I was growing up, "Shit happens."

There were no photos from our walk/trot flat classes, so onto the jumping media!

^ A good friend of mine took the video while I was doing my 18" Equitation course. You can see
how I start out tentative and just let her pick her pace before asking her to canter and
bringing her back down where I need her in order to make straighter lines. As my confidence boosts,
so does hers. We had to come back down to trot after the blue line against the fence
to do a simple change - I had no intentions of being competitive about it, I just wanted
to try it out. And we got it! A shame about the dropped rail due to my pilot errors and Annie's
wigglys down the brown line, but I was SO happy. This horse has had three rides where I've jumped her - that's it. And she gives me this kind of a ride? Yup, my whole weekend was made right here.

And I finally have the pictures from our rounds - ignore what is going on with my hands, idk where this super weird defensive hand position is coming from...

I wish this one wasn't blurry, but I love her expression here.

That tail tho

A bit of mouth gaping - but look at that hind leg tho.

Loving the forward expression she has here. 

Our "bad" lead doesn't look so bad... esp with that hind end reach ;)
Untidy, but good baby for not even blinking an eye at the
boxes and flowers!

I believe this is the jump where we took down the front rail
of the oxer - she was drifting right and I corrected her too late.

A swingy-trot.

This picture is my favorite of the entire weekend - she looks so balanced 
and the amount of lift she is achieving is beautiful.

I was happy to see I was more or less generous with my reins - something
I forget.

She really loved hunting the fences down <3

Wishing my hands were lower, but I really like this photo. 

All in all - I am super proud of the progress we've made thus far. It can be hard to see how far you've come, but the proof is in the pictures and videos, and those don't lie. Yah, we have a ton of stuff to work on, but we'll get there.

Right now, Annie is enjoying some much-deserved time off while I am slaving away at work and prepping Spud for the BVX. Regular scheduled riding will commence shortly, and I can't wait to get back at it.


  1. The '3's' confuse me too- unless it was an error/disobedience it should have gotten a 5. But good comments and you did well.

    1. I was confused by them too and wish I had been able to ask the judge about them! Although, I don't know if that is even allowed haha.

  2. She looks so keen and happy in those pictures!

  3. What an excellent judge, love the comments, the "good rider" one most of all! Those are are some really nice photos. What a good mare, and well done, you!

  4. Clever pony landing on her right lead after the red oxer!!

  5. She does look pretty happy/excited to be out there jumping!

  6. I LOVE media-heavy posts :) Great work out there.

    1. I don't get many photos of me riding, so it was nice for a change! Thank you