Monday, June 23, 2008

Show Report: GMHA June Dressage

Piaffe meets the Slip-and-Slide

The GMHA June Dressage Show ran from June Fri 20 - Sun 22 at the historic GMHA grounds in Woodstock, VT. Armani and I didn't sign up because I haven't registered him with the USDF yet. So we'll stick to schooling shows this season. However, I went to watch my instructor and help out on Sunday. The weather had been gorgeous all weekend. Until Sunday morning as I was on my way I drove through sheets of solid rain and lightening streaking over my car. I could barely see, and really tested my new car's handling (new-used... I own horses, I can't afford new). "Oh no!", I thought, "I'm bringing the bad weather with me!" By the time I got to Woodstock (We were half a million strong?) everyone was hiding in their trailers and vehicles. Fortunately, my instructor's horse, nearly 18-hand Big-Bay, has a butt that is pretty hard to miss. It's like a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet sticking out of a two car garage. So I had no trouble finding the trailer in the downpour.

The rain became off-and-on and classes resumed, with some rings running around a half-hour behind schedule. Overall though, I thought it was a testament to how well organized everything was. I was surprised things weren't more behind. And with the number of scratches the rain brought on, they were able to catch up by the end of the day. The only trouble I saw was that the warm-up ring was very, very slick with mud. And although the performance rings were better, I saw more than one horse challenged by the footing. Good reason to spend more time trail riding with my horses I think.

Lil-Pretty-Face did very well in her classes and even my less-than-expert eye thought her last test was a winning test as I watched (and it was). I horsey-sat Big-Bay for the better part of the afternoon, while my instructor rode Pretty-Face. Big-Bay was actually fairly respectful of me, and missed stepping on my feet as I grazed him and tried to curry the mud off of his belly. Being stepped on by my 15-hand Armani is bad enough that my toes are all various shades of blue. So I couldn't imagine if nearly 18-hand Big-Bay had trodden on me.

I was wearing my casual-Sunday-at-the-show clothes while grooming an 18-hand braided bruiser wearing a "Saratoga Dressage Champion" cooler, so I'm pretty sure I was mistaken for a groom more than once. But I actually didn't really mind at all. In fact I felt really happy to be useful. Although I'm confident if anyone closely inspected my "grooming" results, they'd know instantly that I don't have enough talent to be actually paid. That's another reason why I'm happy with the schooling show circuit so far, two words, braiding optional!

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