Okay, I must be the worlds most indecisive rider... I have been waffling between western and english for years now, unsure of which one I like more. I haven't been training for anything, no plans to show, I was just riding to ride.
I had a very productive dressage lesson yesterday that left me feeling very confident and motivated. I found my seat, my legs were solid, my hands were quiet, I had great contact, and my horse was forward and round... This has never happened to us before. I mean, I've had good lessons in the past, but never with such beautiful results. My trainer was so amazed and ecstatic, she couldn't contain herself. She is a tough cookie and doesn't dish out compliments lightly, but I heard her using words like "lovely", "amazing", and "that horse is a sexy beast".
Light bulbs came on, the gears started turning, and things just fell into place. I actually had FUN! It all started making sense to me and seeing results in both me and my horse was exciting.
If I start concentrating on dressage, I will most likely want to/be asked by my trainer to participate in the shows at my barn. I know that I have a lot of work to do before I think about showing, but I could easily do the Intro A or B test. The first show is on June 8th, which gives me a little under 9 weeks (18 lessons including yesterday's) to prepare. I think that is plenty of time to get a good trot established, work on my posture, and iron out all the little details (such as curing my horse's fear of the judges table/umbrella).
My main concern is the training, of course. Pushing myself and my horse, making enough progress as so on... But my next, slightly smaller but still important concern is my tack. I ride in a dark brown AP saddle and a dark brown raised snaffle bridle. I don't even own breeches, let alone a show coat, and I don't have any other footwear besides my brown paddock boots and half chaps. I'm not planning on showing anywhere other than at my barn, but they are still judged. Can I get away with brown tack? I know I will need to get some show clothes and different boots, but I can't afford a new saddle and bridle...
I'm just looking for advice. Things to really concentrate on before my first show, what is expected at a local/open show, where to find cheap show clothes... That kind of stuff. Any help would be greatly appreciated!