Schooling Show Report

As many of the Albion girls know, Saturday, November 19th was quite a long day.  It was the home dressage meet at our equestrian center and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life back on campus.  Actually, it was a long weekleading up to everything, but I was really happy I could be there and help the dressage team out.

The warm up arena at the home dressage meet.

Saturday morning, I got to the barn at 7:30 a.m. and watched the parade riding begin.  (At dressage meets, all of the horses who will go into the draw are ridden through a test so that competitors can watch them go before they have to ride them in a test.  It’s also a chance for the horses to get familiar with the arena.)  I was assigned to ride Highland for the fourth group ride and I admit I was quite nervous – especially since I was the first rider in line who would lead the group!  I didn’t want to mess up the pattern in front of everyone, but it turned out to be quite the laid back experience in the end.

It was great to have both of my parents there as well.  They had never seen a college equestrian meet, so this was right up their alley.  (And they got to have a good conversation with George, which is something they always can look forward to when they come down to visit.)  So we stayed for some of the college show and then they took me out to lunch until I had to be back for the schooling show that came after.

I was really nervous because I didn’t really know what to expect and also because I can never be one hundred percent sure of how Dane is going to act that day in the arena on any given day.  So with my mom by my side tacking up Dane, she kept reminding me (an hour before my actual show time) to get on him and get him loosened up.  I just smiled and nodded to her and got on Dane.

When it was my turn to go in, I tried to be confident knowing that he wouldn’t spook, but of course he had to look at the judge’s stand with some trepidation.  Thank goodness Paige read my tests for me because I kept confusing the two tests due to my stupid nerves!  We ended up doing well in both of our tests, coming out with some confidence.  Dane, of course, had his moments in the both of the tests, but I had some of my own as well.  In our second test, I asked for a simple transition to the canter at A and Dane decided to do a little “buck/rear” to show how he really felt.  I just smiled and finished our test and came out with decent scores, two ribbons, and remarks that we know are true and need to work on.

After cleaning up the dressage arena with some of the girls, it was a treat to get to go downtown to Cascarelli’s.  (Couldn’t pass the offer up of real food now, could I?)  Now, aftter Thanksgiving break and putting up the Christmas tree at home, it’s on to final exam week next week – wish me luck!

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