Winter show - disappointed... :(
So it's gonna be rant this time...
I went to the show on Sat for the 1st time in winter, and I think it'll be my last time. We were supposed to have 10 mins of warm-up time before the class in indoor (per email). And we didn't. The outside arena was almost impossible to trot (let alone canter). It was nothing but ice and big hard rocks. My (non-shod) horse barely could move there. Coupled with freezing temps and wind her muscles were all stiff (in fact she felt like a board through her back) when we entered the test, so I didn't even demand her to jump over the head (I think she already tried quite hard given the conditions).
The judge (very nice lady) talked to me after the test (and I highly appreciated her taking time to go through the test with me) and pointed out the flaws (I agree on completely, because I could feel what was wrong already while riding). What really frustrates me is that we didn't have all those flaws for the last weeks we've been working on test (at my lessons as well!), BUT I always ride the test in very end of the ride, when horse is all warmed-up and supple. :-(
Is it something normal for the winter shows? I mean the warm-up area in very bad condition? BTW, I've seen people after me (I was 2nd in my class that had surprisingly lots of entries) pushing their horses into riding on ice/frozen dust rocks, but call me stupid I didn't feel comfortable to do that when horse walks on like it's lame.
BTW... The judge said very nice words about the horse, and the scores were in 60th, and we were placed out of 12 or something riders, so it's not like I got a last place and blaming everyone and everything. :D But I feel we could just ride so much better if she'd be warmed-up properly.
Anyway, here is the video of the test. Feel free to critique/comment although after re-watching it and judge's comments I know most of things that went wrong... :-)
P.S> I can't imagine how the poor judges can sit in those freezing temperatures all day long! God bless their hearts!
I think you looked nice, both of you. I wouldn't even be able to remember the pattern & good for you for putting your horse first.
Val don't be disheartened! New environment, bad surface, cold weather... all these things effect people, and you're braver than me venturing out to not only a show ground, but a frozen one!
I can't see the video unfortunately, but don't let it put you off. You got some crit from the judge, and you can work on that with your trainer.. maybe do some rides at schools that aren't yours to practise being in a different environment.
And don't get me wrong, but 10 minutes isn't enough for me to warm up o.0 indoor or not.. and like you said, you don't want to risk your horse's legs.. hoping that if the horse was lame the judges would have stopped the test..
BUT ou placed, so big congrats to you ;)
Hopefully 'video error' will stop popping up and I'll be able to watch it!
BTW, I always try to warm up for 30 mins before entering the test (as it takes time for her to start using the back, especially in cold). Same on Sat: I entered the (frozen) arena 30 mins before the riding time, but didn't work this time. 10 mins is very little, but still would be better than nothing at all. :D Anyway, it was a try. Haha!
You never know unless you try.. I have to say the one and only out of house comp I did was in Oct 08... the warm up arena was flooded, three girls from the same stables blocked me in to try and stop me warming my old horse up properly. Some people!
Spring is much better.. but, if you can crack winter there are few people who will venture out so less people to beat xD
Val, I can see that your horse is stiff. Her trot seems very stiff and short, but of course I dont' know what she is like normally.
I thought you rode her very well. Your posting is so solid that is looks like you are sitting the trot.
One thing I noticed was that you seem to be advancing your inside shoulder a bit more than seems correct. Or maybe collapsing it a little. Particularly when going right. It's really hard to see if that is just an illusion of the heavy clothing you are wearing or not.
Your hands were very nice and steady and the horse did really well in her transitions.
unfortunatly frozen warm ups happen. normaly the show centre cancels the event.
I've perfected the art of warming up my horse in the lorry park. You can do an awful lot of walk and trot work, and lots and lots of bending and latteral work (at walk) in the lorry park. It is not ideal but it is doable!
I would have been a nervous wreck with only a ten minute warm up, especially in such cold weather. I noticed how lovely your posting was right off...going to watch it again so I can emulate it!
I think it's a perfectly respectable test. No major disobediences, correct transitons, etc. I suspect you're frustrated because you know you're capable of better with a proper warmup.
Particularly when you're riding a "non-dressage" type, you really want them as soft, supple and willing as possible, and this probably just wasn't it for her.
I don't know if I'd give up showing in the winter, but I surely wouldn't show at this facility again unless I knew the warm up areas were better.
I don't think I every rode a horse that I didn't think needed at least a 30 minute warm up to go their best in a dressage test.
I think your girl was a sweetheart to do as well as she did considering the circumstances/
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