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existentialpony 07-09-2013 06:05 PM

First dressage tests this weekend!
Well, I'll be honest in saying that I am throwing myself headlong into the dressage world. :wink: On Saturday & Sunday, AHA is holding an A-rated sporthorse show that I will be attending with my arab gelding. It's our first A-rated show together and our first tests.

Let me say that I would love to do a few schooling shows first, but sadly there are none in Tucson until the fall. Let me also say that I have no shame (ha!). I could be wrong, but I don't see any harm in getting the experience and going for it as I have no lofty (national or professional) aspirations for my riding career. I mostly want to see how far we've come!

On each day we're doing an Intro A test as a warm-up/to get familiar with a pattern, followed by a Training 1 test later in the day. I'm a little nervous, but mostly excited at this opportunity! I never thought I would be able to own my own horse before 30 let alone school dressage and test with him!

Anyway, I am looking for tips and advice. :D I am trying to cover our "easy point" bases (square halts, doing well on our stretchy trot and free walk-- which should be easy, since he loooves to stretch) and am practicing prompt transitions up and down so that we are never early or late.

Thanks in advance!

Skyseternalangel 07-09-2013 06:15 PM

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Have fun is all I will say!!

tlkng1 07-10-2013 08:19 AM

Agree with Sky...have fun and enjoy the experience. You are hitting some of the high your test if you don't have a reader. You should essentially be able to draw it in your head without the aid of the arena and letters.

Also, and this is a big one for me and always has been...BREATHE! :)

As a quick story I will pass on my first show with my last horse. He was an OTTB and still a little silly around things. The very first time I got him into a fully set up dressage arena, he did a great sidepass all the way down the F side..facing all the letters and snorting at them. In the week prior to the show I exposed him to everything I could think of..loud kids on the swings, loud music (houses border our ring), plastic flowers in the letter boxes (he had a definite aversion to any pink or purple..yellow and orange flowers didn't seem to bother him). So, show day comes around and we are good..he's calm, steady. Intro A went beautifully. Right before we go in for Intro B, people at the house closest to us decide to start throwing buckets of water off their balcony, and, another one started up a chainsaw. Well, we went down the centerline doing an impromptu freestyle...wiggle, wiggle, dance, passage (remember this is an Intro level horse at the moment)..snort, dance sideways..oh...X..OK. Stop, quick salute, sidepass to H (there is no sidepass in Intro :) ) Given that it was a schooling show I finally managed to get him somewhat close to the left side of the arena and completed the test just for the exposure, laughing all the way through the test at his antics. He was tense, up and just acting like a thoroughbred. Comments from the was tense and tight...gee..ya think? :)

existentialpony 07-10-2013 12:08 PM

Haha, oh no! Freakin' judge with that comment... :-P That's too funny!

Luckily we were just competing in the same arena for shows the weekend before last! I'm hoping Jax will remember the space and be nice and calm... although that is up to the way I keep my own emotions in check, huh? :lol: My big fears are our leads for the training level test! I'm thinking the Intro A class will help acclimate me so I don't overthink my cues in the second test.

I really do have to think about breathing... right now I have the perfect "this is a learning experience!" attitude, but once I'm in the ring I have a tendency to get a little competitive and anxious. I WILL breathe! :-P Thanks!

existentialpony 07-14-2013 07:51 PM

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Thought this thread deserved an update-- I will have to make a separate picture thread, but... what a fantastic experience and show!!! As a person who doesn't have a regular trainer or an associated show barn (and started with a front-to-back WP horse...), it meant so much to see this milestone with my horse!

We managed high point adult amateur for the whole show (ahhh!!!!), and out of the tests we did (Intro A, Training 1, Training 2) we had scores all above 60, with my personal highlight being the 65 we earned on Training 2! I couldn't be happier, Jax worked his heart out.

We did a few sporthorse classes which went well, but the highlight there was having the judge come up to me and compliment my "riding and my trainer" ... who is me and me!

Okay, I'm going to parachute down from cloud 9. :) Thanks for the advice in this thread and on this forum in general!

Skyseternalangel 07-14-2013 08:15 PM

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Well done!!!

I look forward to that picture thread!!

cakemom 07-14-2013 08:34 PM

Awesome!! I know you must be incredibly proud.
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tlkng1 07-17-2013 09:11 AM

Isn't it great to see the hard work pay off? The two of you look great :). I made an idiot out of myself at the end of the very first test I rode on my last horse...burst into tears after the last salute :) because he did so well. OK, I admit, I am a sentimental type. Tears are dripping even now for your success. :)

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