Sunday, August 11, 2013

Showing Sidesaddle - We finally tried it!

As you probably know if you are a regular reader, I have been playing around with sidesaddle for a while.  I have no real idea what I am doing (haha), but I have a friend in NJ named Tracy who has been a huge help and mentor.  I had big plans to show sidesaddle at the end of July at a little local D rated show close to my house.  Unfortunately, my son got sick that Sunday and I ended up bringing him to the doctor that morning instead.  :-(  Thankfully he is fine!  I was admittedly a little bummed, but obviously it is more important that my son is ok.  

So, instead of a pleasure show as our first outing, I decided to try a dressage test at the same venue but put on by the local dressage club instead.  The show was on August 4.  I choose to just do Training 3, even though we have shown First level.  For one, I did not think we could pull off the extended trot and canter required in First 1 while attempting to go sidesaddle.  ;-P  Plus, I just wanted a good experience, so why overface myself?  I only did Training 3, as I did not want to drop down to Training 2 as well, so opted to just do the one test.

While I have the correct tack, I do not have a proper sidesaddle habit yet.  Nothing that I have seen is in my size, and if it might fit, it is totally out of my budget.  Technically, everything is out of my budget right now, so I figured I would save up this winter and find something for next year.  I was overwhelmed when Tracy offered to let me borrow her brown tweed habit!!  It is a little too big, as she is taller than me, but it is fine for now.  It actually looks good with Dreamy too.  I would eventually like to have a navy habit, do to both dressage and pleasure shows.

So, off we went.  I bathed and braided that morning, since my time was 2:07.  I had run through all the movements of the test and I thought we were a-ok.  I forgot Training level tests are in the small ring (ouch), so in hindsight I wish I had cornered off the correct area of the 100x200 ring that I ride in, but oh well.  Those letters came up fast!!!  LOL!  And for someone still learning what the hell I am doing sitting sideways, I made some mistakes that I do not normally make when riding astride.  Ah well.  My only goals for the show were to stay on, stay in the ring, and break 60%.

Somehow, we met all of my goals!  LOL!  ;-)

It was hot enough that I was not looking forward to putting on a wool jacket AND apron.  Blah.  Dreamy warmed up just fine.  Thankfully she has been very accommodating to her strange rider.  All mistakes were my own.  We did get some funny looks from, well, everyone.  LOL!  A few of my riding friends were there and thought the entire thing was very cool, so that was fun.  My friend Tania stayed after her Intro C and Training 1 tests were over (which she won!  WHOOO!)  in order to give me a hand (who knew arranging an apron was so hard??) and to take a few pics on my iPhone.  

The scribe is a young lady from the area, and I saw her just a few days after our show.   She admitted that the judge was very concerned that riding sidesaddle was illegal and spent time flipping through her rulebook before she rang the bell for me to begin my test.  (This ranks up there with being told I am "not allowed" to do hunt seat classes - only the open pleasure classes - because it is illegal.  Ummm....NO, IT IS NOT!!!  Urggggg!!!)  Now that I know that, I understand why it took SO LONG for her to ring the bell!  Ha ha ha!  I trotted around and around and around and had to take a walk break because of the heat and the fact that I am still not completely "fit" when sitting the trot in a sidesaddle for extended amounts of time!  Oh judge.  I can understand though, since sidesaddle is pretty much unheard of here in Maine, and I am told I am the only person in the club's 25 year history who has shown sidesaddle.  Well, ok then.

I watch the video and cringe.  It is not our best test by far.  But in the spirit of full disclosure, here it is.  I am still proud of our effort and hope to see improvement as we go along on this journey.  I really wish there was an instructor close by!!

Dressage Sidesaddle Showing Debut from Elizabeth Tewksbury on Vimeo.

We ended up placing fourth with a 61.2%.  I think I received my most favorite comment of all time: Beautiful horse and brave (underlined) rider!  LOL!!!!

Several people stood at the rail to watch our test, and most of the folks at their trailers were watching.  I was not really nervous about getting a score for a year end award or anything like that.  I just did not want to make a fool of myself.  Haha!  I want people to see it and think, hey, that's cool.  She did a good job.  At the end of our test, so many people clapped!  LOL!  I felt good about the experience and just sent my entry today for the September show!  :-)

Before our test!





That's my dad watching on the rail.  :-)








  

8 comments:

L.Williams said...

Great job! I am so jealous of the sidesaddleness!!

Stephanie Hammer said...

I actually thought that looked pretty darn good for a first time showing side saddle :) not sure any of my horses would pull a 61% astride at any level yet, lol - good job!!!!

Val said...

IMPRESSIVE! You ARE brave and Dreamy looks great! I love the habit.

Megs said...

You and Dreamy have this amazing ability to boldly and gracefully tackle any equine sport! You guys are so well rounded.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

You and Dreamy look sharp!
Well done. :D

Jessica Fisch Jensen said...

If only I had the guts! I can't even sit my stb's trot sitting in my regular saddle! I'd pop right off! Great job, and it looks so fun!

Dom said...

You guys look so classy and awesome! This is on my bucket list.

Laura said...

Amazing! I love the pics and that you actually showed sidesaddle. You rock!

Funny that the judge didn't want to allow it or was nervous about it...

I can barely ride in an English saddle, let alone sidesaddle!! :-D