|Tillie had her game face on from the minute we loaded on the trailer|
It was exactly what I needed for my own nerves. I knew many of the people there which put me at ease and made it feel just like a ride at home almost. Sure nerves crept in a little...but for the most part it felt relaxed. I think it also helped I had a dressage lesson with C the night before that was one of our best to date complete with really big extensions that C said made her get chills (eek! my OTTB can dressage!!).
Anyway...I opted to ride in my jump tack, because lately the one I have been borrowing has been really making me crooked and twist. C agreed that my jump tack was the best shes seen me look compared to the others and Tillie goes well in it so to use it. I am in the process of getting my hands on a custom saddlery VLX for quite the steal :) but I didnt get it in time for this.
|Probably the best feeling part of the test|
The warm up was in grass, but shockingly the footing wasnt too terrible. It was a bit sticky but at least it wasnt muddy or sloppy. I was relieved at this point because I knew I needed to use studs, but could wait until after dressage to think about them. (Side note: This was the first event Tillie and I used studs...I have applied them many times on my trainers horses when grooming for him, but this was a first for my own personal horse).
|Hello uphill downward canter to trot transition!|
Let me tell you, my new Smartpak purchase (at Rolex) of the Bradley Performance show shirt really came in handy because of the nice cool mesh under arms. I also rode in their new white piper full seats which I think looked pretty sharp!
Anyway...we were about ready to go. Once we were on deck, we headed up to the ring which I wasnt of fan of this small part because it meant we had to stand still and wait while the rider before us did their test. Tillie was quiet and fine standing, but I prefer to allow her to keep moving as much as possible before going into the ring.
Sure enough, as soon as we stepped foot in the arena to get going again while the judge finished commenting the previous test, Tillie coiled up and was too interested in looking around.
|At least she was good for her canter!|
She started sucking back a bit and not really being soft in my hand so that she was super reactive to my leg...right after the judge rang the bell and I prepared to enter the ring, Tillie broke into the smallest canter. I circled regrouped, took a sigh out and told her to chill and we entered.
When she gets like this, straight lines are a bit questionable...so I knew right away we were slightly off our centerline and I knew I couldnt do a whole lot to "fix" it since she was pretty wound up.
I just focused on the rhythm and being VERY quiet with my hands to set a "this is where we need to be" tone before expecting anything else.
|Canter left lead also went well|
It was a lovely transition both times though! And we didnt let it set us back, in fact it really helped her in her trot circle to relax a little more.
|She's so soft here! Excuse whatever the F I am doing with my upper body though|
By the time I got back the trailer next to us in good spirits and in a friendly competition way said "You beat me in dressage and are currently first!!! better not have any rails!"
I was delighted, but more eager to see my actual score rather than placing.
So long story long, I know we need to work on more relaxation in our dressage and try to get the same great feeling we get at home and in lessons in the ring.
But here is the video of our test!: