A Day in the Life – Dressage Shows (Day 1)

I got the idea for this post from this fun blog.  I like her Day in the life too.  She got her inspiration from another blog and so on, so this really isn’t an original idea, but it was fun to write.

 

4:30 am: Yes you read that right.  Wake up in the middle of the night to very sleepy and cuddly kitties.

4:31 am: Too excited to snooze so instead take a hot bath and cruise facebook during my allocated “there’s no way I’ll be able to wake up at 5 am without snoozing so I better set my alarm for a half hour earlier” time.

5:00 am: Carefully apply eyeliner and mascara.  No blush because my face turns beat red whilst exercising.  Especially while covered head to toe in show clothing.  In August.

5:05 am: Slick hair back into bun. Adorn cute hairnet (well…as cute as a hairnet can be) with rhinestones.

5:10 am: Debate about which earrings to wear with self.  The dangly ones, the plain studs or the gold pearls.  Go with sparkly studs.

5:15 am: Organize show clothes…pet kitties.

5:30 am: Leave.

5:58 am: Stop at UDF for coffee and breakfast. Other people are at UDF.  Notice they are not wearing show clothes…why else  in the world would they up this early??

6:05 am: Arrive at show grounds to find trainer has already fed horses (score!)

6:10 am: Chat excitedly with still half asleep trainer.

6:15 am: Start braiding hair

6:30 am: Braiding

7:00 am: Braiding

7:15 am: Still braiding

7:30 am: Finish braiding

7:31 am: Proudly show trainer braids

7:32 am: Savy shakes her head and 3 braids fall out

7:40 am: Finish re-braiding fallen braids

8:01 am:  Watch trainers awesome ride

8:15 am: Hurriedly saddle and bridle Savy

9:08 am: Horse bolts in warm up ring (not my horse) and dumps rider (not my trainer).  I am reminded of my own bolting experiences and freak out.

9:09 am: Trainer rides Savy in her first ever First level test.  I nervously watch from the sidelines.  Am too shaky from the bolting horse to take good pictures.

9:30 am: Ok…I’m ready for lunch.  How is it only 9:30!

10:00 am: Wait for class

10:30 am: Wait for class and start to get nervous

11:00 am: Wait for class and start sweating

11:30 am: Eat pizza for lunch.  Start peeing every 15 minutes (nervous bladder).

11:45 am: Pee.

12:00 pm: Pee.

12:15 pm: Pee.  Realize mascara has run and wash off all make-up.

12:30 pm: Saddle up for class.

12:45 pm: Run to restroom for one last pee.

12:50 pm: Mount up.

1:00 pm: Rock my warm up and ride the best I’ve ever ridden in my life.

1:32 pm: Enter ring for test.

1:33 pm: Feel like puking.

1:34 pm: Head down centerline.  Blackout.

1:38 pm: Exit arena dripping with sweat.

1:50 pm: Nervously wait for test scores.

2:00 pm: Check for test scores.

2:10 pm: Check for test scores.

2:20 pm: Check for test scores.

2:30 pm: Get second place!!!

6:30 pm: Finally leave the show for home.

 

Pictures from the horse show will be coming soon!!

 

 

 

 

Dressage Show Prep

I intended to begin my show prep the Saturday before the show.  The husband was out of town and I was stuck home taking care of a sick kitty.  What better time to clean tack and finally use those clippers I bought.  One thing led to another and before I knew it was drunk off wine with the ladies from the back barn by 3pm.  Nothing cleaned, nothing clipped.  The next morning I drug my hungover bum to the barn to at least clip Savy and attempt to do some chores.  One thing got done.  One. I shouldn’t have worried though, my work week was so stressful that even cleaning tack seemed like a luxury.  Despite my deadline packed work week I managed to get in a little show prep from my office chair.  These are some of my favorites.

This article, The Unwritten Rules of Dressage Test Riding, is less about the technical aspects of riding and more about ring craft.  Something I know nothing about in Dressage.  For my non-horsey friends ring craft is the art of riding a winning test.  Not just riding the movements, but making the test as a whole a step better than the competition.  In dressage the best horse doesn’t always win.  This sounds crazy but there are so many ways the rider can mess things up, through not fault of the horse.  The rider could forget the test and make a wrong turn somewhere (or go the wrong direction and ride half of your test backwards before the judge realizes it…like me).  And it doesn’t even have to be something that big.  Savy has a tendency to swing her butt slightly to the left when she halts.  It’s my job to remember to use the tiniest bit of left leg to keep her straight, but not too much leg because then she’ll swing her butt to the right.  That little detail could cost me an entire point off that movement, if not more.

I also really like this article about riding accurate circles.  I am notoriously bad at riding circles.  And I don’t know how to measure distances in meters.  I know there are 4, 5 meter sections in a circle, but what 5 meters looks like, I don’t know.  At least I think that’s right…either way this article helps me visualize the circles in the arena.

And finally for inspiration I like this video 🙂  Gets me every time!

This one is good too.