Hippoi Athanatoi

Weekend Trials

I posted this on Facebook already, but this blog needs some love too, so I thought I might as well include both the post and the video of the event in question.

Lately, our focus has been mainly on training Breeze, since I’ve actually signed him up for a couple of working dog and obedience trials. This past weekend, however, started out in the stables. It was time for the second round of Bohuscupen, a dressage series at entry level difficulty for riding clubs. Some teams consist entirely of riding clubs with privately owned horses, others mix in riding school horses. Our team consisted of three riders on their own horses plus two horses from the riding school, Barka and Nelson, with Barka being “my” horse for the competition.

This round took place at our stables, so I had high hopes that Barka would behave better than she did the last time around, when she was being spooked by _everything_ and then some. In the warm-up for the first class (a warm-up class which doesn’t cound towards the team result), she felt a little slow in the paddock but once we came into the arena she was a different horse. She behaved, but she had a lot of energy, and since she has learned the test my biggest problem was keeping her from cantering too soon. It worked out, and we scored 66,852% which is my personal best for this test (LC: 1). Not enough to place, top 10 were all scoring 70% or more, but I was very pleased.

The warm-up for the second class (the important one) went about the same, with her feeling a little low on energy. Then we got into the arena, and this time she was not only very energetic, she was also being a little silly about things. But she started off very well (we got an 8 on the opening line) and I was feeling confident. Then we neared the point where there’s a free walk on the diagonal line and in the preceeding corner she spooked (she heard someone outside the gate and spooked in exactly the same spot as a few weeks ago). I got her down on all four hooves, but guess who didn’t feel like letting the reins out after that? Somehow, I made myself do it, and she actually scored better on the walk than the first round (when it was too slow). ;P Unfortunately, we weren’t done spooking. The first canter was coming up after that, and once I took the reins she wanted to start right off instead of a the correct spot. We got through it, albeit a bit messily, and managed a decent transition to trot afterwards and a half-decent halt. But after the halt, it was time for the canter in the other direction, and that one opened up with one heck of a buck (well, at least it felt like it!). I stayed on, got through the rest of the program, and then quickly got off the horse (oops, noob me didn’t remember that you have to stay mounted until out of the arena, but fortunately the judge was lenient).

My legs were somewhat shaky afterwards, but I got through it, and somehow we managed 62,407%. Of course, I can’t help but to imagine how good that score could have been without Barka being a silly mare.

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