Wednesday, May 18, 2011

SMDA Dressage Show - May 15, 2011

Dreamy and I had our first show of the year this past Sunday, May 15, at the Southern Maine Dressage Association (SMDA) show.  We did three new tests and debuted at First Level!  YAY!  It was pouring rain, so not the best day (or footing) for our debut, but I was still pretty happy with our results overall. 

The first test of the day was Prix Caprilli Training Test 2.  I was pretty nervous to try this test.  I jumped Dreamy for the first time this year the previous Thursday and she was pretty ummm...forward.  And not the kind of forward you want in a dressage test.  LOL!  Just what is Prix Caprilli?  It is a dressage test with jumps!  It is not a hunter or jumper course though.  It is judged just like a dressage test, so fluidity, rhythm, relaxation, connection, gaits and all those things count.  There just happens to be a few jumps in the ring too.  

While I have practiced parts of the test, including riding up center line with jumps directly on the right, it was SO incredibly FUNNY when we entered the ring at the show.  Dreamy halted at X and gave the jumps the hugest hairy eyeball ever!  She peered down in a way that made me giggle.  The test calls for three jumps set at a maximum of 2 feet.  I figured since it was MAY, the management would set one at max height and maybe the other two below, with maybe even a cross rail for jump #1.  


OH NO.  They set ALL THREE of them at max height verticals!  Oh great.  I am not nervous about jumping in general, but I was hoping for a more "gentle" introduction to a Prix Caprilli test.  All I could imagine as I am getting ready to enter is that Dreamy might buck after she landed and we would end up jumping over the little dressage ring fence!  HA HA HA!


They did not set up a jump in the warm up ring, so Dreamy hesitated a bit over the first fence, which is to be expected.  But she went over carefully, if not a little confused (Since when do we do jumps in the dressage show ring, MOM? I swear, I try not to anthropomorphize my animals, but they are so easy to read.)  Overall, I was very pleased.  We had mostly 7s with an 8 on our free walk.  We did get a 5 on our right lead canter (her worst lead) , but a 6 and 7 on the left lead!  WHOO!  In the end, I was surprised and excited to score a 67% on our first Prix Caprilli for first place!  Yay! It was seriously the most fun I have ever had in a dressage ring!  For an event rider who loves dressage like me, it was the perfect marriage of jumping and dressage!  (OK, it did not compare to cross country, but it was still a lot of fun!)


Next we had our Training 3 test.  It is now the top test in Training level (there is no longer a test 4 at any level) and it is brand new this year.  My friend Shelly showed up to call it for me, which was nice.  I was a bit nervous to be riding three brand new to me tests all within two hours.  Even with her as a caller, I screwed up the stretchy trot circle and did it at C instead of at B....whoops.  Leave it to me to go off course with a CALLER!  (I never have had a caller, so this was a new experience...thank you to Shelly for her help!)  We had 5s and 6s on our canters and a bunch of 7s for a 61.600% and a fourth place finish.  I am very happy with that, especially because we had a two point error, which was totally my fault.  Dreamy was very good despite the huge puddles and heavy rain during our test.  We got "Great pair, Would like to see softer topline.  Good luck and have fun!  Thanks for riding in the rain!" as our comments.  LOL!


And then we waited in the rain for our First 1 test.  I almost wanted to scratch because of the weather and footing, but I also REALLY wanted to try First 1!!  It was the perfect place for our debut because I really was not nervous.  Dreamy was being super good and riding at SMDA is very laid back.  We were fairly accurate in our test, with Dreamy only breaking out of the canter at the end after her last canter lengthening.  She was tired and had to work hard in the puddles!  LOL!  For a horse who has to sometimes be convinced to walk through a puddle,  I could not be any more proud of her forging ahead through the sloppy ring and doing exactly what I asked of her.  To me, that was worth more than any score or ribbon!  She is so goodhearted and puts up with so much from me!  We had 5s on our canters this time, but 7s on everything else!  I was very happy with our 62.100% and a third place!  WOW!  :-D  Granted, it is only a schooling show, but to break 60% on all tests was my only goal (besides the long standing goal of "stay on [the horse] and stay in [the ring]."  LOL!) and I definitely exceeded my goal!  Yay Dreamy!  We had the comments, "Very nice job!  Good luck and have fun!" I really like the judge Jerilyn Neider, as I think she is fair and very encouraging.  I highly recommend her as a judge!


What a great day, despite the terrible weather.  The next SMDA show is in June and I think we signed up for Prix Caprilli, First 1 and First 2.  Might as well go all out and really try First level!  LOL!


The professional pics will be posted here.  Sorry, I did not get any of my own pics of videos as it was way too wet to take out my camera.  Plus, Shelly was busy calling my tests for me anyway!  LOL!

2 comments:

Daffodil said...

Excellent (if rainy) days result, Elizabeth! You and Dreamy are certainly out there promoting the Standardbred as a more than just a harness horse.

I love reading posts about Standys and their owners.

I had better get outside and saddle up my own boy.

Laura said...

Excellent results for your first show of the season with all new tests! Imagine how well you will do by the end of the summer! :-)

Go Dreamy!