There was a bit of an intermission break in between Equitation and my test rides. Not a big deal. Ransom and I rode through a much more chaotic warm-up ring, with about four or five other riders. Not such a problem. At least two of the riders refused to make eye contact, and one almost ran into us. Look where you're going! This goes to show, even in dressage, the warm-up ring is more dangerous than the show arena. Stupid stupid stupid!!!
We were last of three riders for the test, and I entered the show pen. I'm going to briefly describe each piece of the test, my thoughts while I was riding it, the score and judge's notes. I hope you can follow along.
1. Enter working trot, halt at X, salute, proceed working trot
Okay, Ransom. Here goes nothing. Wiggle opposite the shoulders into a walk, step, step, halt, salute. Cool. Glad that's over. It wasn't too bad, but ain't pretty perfect either.
8 = square halt
2. Track left, circle 20m
Hey! Where are you going! Get that noodled head down! And cut out those little ittie bittie trot strides. You were pretty in the warmup! Where'd you go?!
6 = above bit in corner. stretch into bridle more
3. Working canter left lead between K & A
Look into my corner, look ahead into the next, lean back, squeeze. He's not cantering, he tossed his head UP, into a stupid ugly horrendous trot, try again. Lean back, squeeze, with punch! There! Crap! Wrong lead, Yeah I see it. Crap!
4 = hollow in trans. wrong lead
4. B Circle Left 20m
Yeah, no kidding! Lead's wrong, yeah, this circle feels like crap. I know I can't get a change, I don't know how to ask for it, and I have no clue what would happen if I asked for trot and the correct lead again. Let's just ride this circle and get it over with. yuck!!
4 = wrong lead not correct
5. Between centerline and B working trot
Okay, heavy sigh, back to trot. Good. At least he got that right. Concentrate on the posting diaganol. peek.. okay, got that right.
7 = giving nicely through top line
(In between here, I asked for a nice long good energetic trot, and he broke to a canter. I quickly pulled him back down to a trot, but already knew she saw it.)
6. C medium walk
Whoops. Is it at "C" we walk? Or between "C" and the corner? Crap, I cant' remember, and I can't hear Jen calling it.. Let's ease into it. This test is already crappy, what else could go wrong.
5 = broke to canter before "C", transition late & hollow
7. Long free walk down the diagonal
Okay, spread hands out, wiggle wiggle wiggle. Hey, not so bad. It isn't phenominal, but it's a chance to regroup. Take a deep breath, wiggle wiggle, he's stretching down some, but not as good as he could. Breathe.. it's a chance mid way to start over.
6 = some stretching
8. "A" working trot
Wiggle, half-halt, squeeze. Good! He got a decent transition. A good start to the second half of the test. Maybe we can recover this disaster yet.
7 = beautifully
9. Circle Right 20m
Look, think, add leg. He's riding really irregular. I wonder what happened from the warmup pen to here. What got in his head? Something hurting? Am I nervous? No, no tummy jitters. Glance over at R in the corner, well, maybe he'll get a few shots I can learn from. Geez this test is horrid, and I don't know why!
6 = loss of rhythm
10. Working canter right lead in the corner
Look into the corner, wiggle, wiggle, lean back, squeeze, and REFUSE to allow that stupid ugly transition like earlier again. There. Got it, and the lead is right, glance down, make sure, yeah, it's right.
6 = counter flexed, falling in
11. "B" circle right 20mLook up, wiggle whole arms, see the whole circle. Okay, not so bad. Better than the other one, for sure. Lean back! Relax your rear end, you're bouncing. Look for the transition.
8 = balanced through + conn
12. Between centerline and "B" working trot
See the spot, settle in the saddle, squeeze knees, heavy sigh, Okay. whew. Got it, and he wasn't super ugly. Head came up a little, but I didn't have to tug his nose off.
7 = no comments
13. Down "A" centerline, halt, salute.
Oh good grief! This nightmare is almost over. Just get him stopped, salute, and get the heck out of here. Go take a deep breath, walk around, and ask Jen, "What the hell just happened?!"
6 = halt not immobile.
Gaits = 5 "looks a little ouchy in trot
(Yeah, no kidding. Short strided, and his head was completely somewhere else)
Impulsion = 6 no comments
Submission = 6 no comments
Rider = 7 no comments
I couldn't tell you what exactly happened. I felt completely disoriented, and Ransom either felt it, or caused it. This test was a complete disaster in my mind. It was the easier of the two, and I seriously wanted to dismount and go home. But, we were immediately next for Test 2, and I didn't want to scratch. I didn't get scared, I just got mad, and no sense going home mad. Ransom had to work more after that bad performance, and if I didn't ride the test, I wanted to find an open arena to school the hair off of him. No reason to waste the calories and entry fees, so I took a deep deep breath, and told him, "Listen dude. That sucked, but you're not getting off so easy. Let's go back in there and try again, shall we? Please ride a little better this time."
Final Score - 141, 61.304% Third place of three. Yeah, no kidding, it was that terrible.