Armani and I just got back from the schooling show at Morton Farm, the Dartmouth College Riding Center. It's a nice facility; white fences and red barns. The warm-up is conveniently next to the show ring. So I was disappointed to hear that, due to low turn-out, this would be their last dressage show for the year. They will be hosting some hunter/jumper shows however.
This was our first outing of the year. We did Training-1 and 2. Armani was nervous and looky. But he remained under control. We scored 55.6% T-1, 2nd out of 4. Comments on contact and submission.
Between classes we had an hour long break. I was sweltering in my jacket. We retreated to the trailer for a drink and a snack. I was proud to see him starting to doze. How far he has grown from the wild youth I bought at auction.
We revived ourselves for our second test. We scored 56.5% T-2; 4th out of 6. Armani still had enough "spirit" to try to run off with me at the canter. More comments on submission. Perhaps we should take up endurance?
I've discovered how challenging it is for the "adult amateur". I got out of work late but I still had to clean, practice and pack the night before. After a fitful sleep, courtesy of an ear-ache, Tylenol PM and banishing my ever-supportive husband to the couch, I got to the barn at an uncivilized hour. Loaded Armani. Fortunately I wasn't driving and had a friend. But she was just as "on her own" as me. And it was her first dressage show. I found myself in the unfamiliar position of "experienced showman". Plus we traded off babysitting duty on the accompanying 7 year old. Between the lead rope and holding the kid by the collar (can you halter train children?) I didn't even have a hand to take photos. But seeing my friend's delight at winning her first class was worth while.
Oh and I always pack tasty treats, a la sophisticated "picnic" at the horse show. We sure could have used a hand. There was plenty of food. Will grooms work for food?
(Puts on her fireproof suit.) The judge was someone I've taken lessons with regularly. There aren't many schooling shows in a day's drive. My horse and I both need mileage. We were offered a ride. I discussed it with everyone involved. I asked to be entered "hor concours". But the show secretary said that it wouldn't be necessary as it was a small, relaxed schooling show. The judge - trying to make me feel better I think - insisted she'd be "mean" to me. So I put on my bravest face and showed anyway. I planned to be honest if asked; though no one did. But in my own mind, I pictured a total stranger in the booth. However, I still felt a bit awkward. I've always prided myself as a friendly and honest sportsman. Was it immoral of me? Would you have minded if you were there? Or perhaps I'm being too much of worrier?
1 hour ago