We had passed the jog and next came 2 days of dressage.
At a regular horse trial you just don’t have that much time on your hands, so this was a new experience.
With 2 days of dressage there was plenty of time
to go completely insane to plan.
Dressage being the subjective part of the game…….
you want quiet but expressive, relaxed but responsive, obedient but brilliant. You know, ALL the things!
And then you are trying to balance all these “wants” on top of the fittest horse you’ve ever ridden.
It turned out I had the next to last ride of the day. I checked out the arena the day before & saw that I would be staring directly into the sunset as I entered the ring.
It occurred to me that at least I wouldn’t be jumping anything into the sun. And then I thought, “I sure HOPE we aren’t jumping anything into the sun!” Hopping out of the arena would be one quick ending to our first CCI1*.
So BadEventer, in true BadEventer fashion, started listing priorities:
1. Keep the horse between me & the ground.
2. Keep the furry side up & the metal side down.
3. Stay in the arena.
4. Remember my test.
I decided anything after those 4 was icing.
I found out the fearless leader is not one of “those” people who believe you shouldn’t wear a shadbelly at the 1* level. See Hidden Rules for more on that subject.
So with the OK to break out the tails – I decided I better test it out for the pre-ride.
The Zebrasaurus is a precious flower & has strong opinions at times!
But the pre-ride went well! The Z-man gave tails the approval & I even got out the blingy belt!
Yep this one!
During the warm up Z was a bit wild & he decided the whole “counter canter” thing was definitely optional.
The fearless leader was in the ring just ahead of me so I had my first dressage warm up with his better half.
She immediately identified my counter canter difficulty as a stiff elbow issue & started yelling “Be like Kyle!!! Move those elbows! BE LIKE KYLE!!”
We had the best test ever!
Thank-you Mrs. Fearless Leader
Of course….. thank-you Kyle!