When I got on for my second test I was HOT and so was Phoenix. We both looked like we were melting in the sun. It is not very fun to wear a full dressage habit in 90 degree heat with 100% humidity. Our warm up for the second test was mostly walk with lot of trot and canter transitions. Before I knew it I headed into the ring for our second test. One thing I did differently was to carry a whip. Phoenix had felt a little lethargic in our first test and he was not listening to my leg the whole time. Just carrying a whip was enough for him to perk up. As the judge blew the whistle for us to start our second test I was already feeling more confident.
I planned my entrance better this time and shot straight up the centerline with a nice big floaty trot. I knew that I needed tons of hind end engagement if I wanted a square halt. As Phoenix squared up with his little noggin down a big smile spread across my face. This test was already better. I really pushed the trot, even though I have trouble riding his big trot, because I wanted to show that my fat spotted pony and I really did belong in the show ring. I was feeling great when I asked for the left lead canter.
And Phoenix had to take me down a notch by not giving me the correct lead. At least this time I could feel it so I tried to correct it right away. After several tries he finally picked up the left lead just in time for our canter circle. Unlike the last test I let the naughtiness go instead of carrying it around with me from one movement to the next. By the time the free walk came Phoenix was tired. Poor Phoenix was having a very stressful day. I tried to push the walk, but he was more interested in taking a nap. As we finished up our test I knew that it was better. More connected, more round, and most importantly of all to me, more consistant.
As I walked out of the ring feeling proud of Phoenix and I the Young Rider let out a squeal. I looked up to see what was wrong, and all I saw was her smiling. It took me a moment to put 2 and 2 together and then I realized where she was standing…right near the score board. I yelled out, “did we do it?” and she called back that yes, we did it! Phoenix and I got a 60% on our first test!!!!!!!!!!! It was 60% even, but it was a usable score and one that I was not expecting. This judge is known for being fair so I was shocked that my less than stellar test had earned me a 60%. I was stoked! The second test had felt even better so maybe I got two usable scores!
As I hopped off Phoenix for the second time my baby horse was already ready for his nappy. He started to doze as the Young Rider took off his tack and I got undressed. I could not get my hot jacket off fast enough. My spoiled boy was thirsty, but didn’t want to drink unless it was out of someone’s hands. Since it was so hot well took turns to oblige him, better to be spoiled and hydrated then have a sick pony on our hands. This show grounds nicely has a hose all hooked up so we could give Phoenix a nice shower before we loaded him on the trailer. After his long and stressful morning Phoenix practically ran up the trailer ramp to go home.
They were scoring quickly so as soon as Phoenix was loaded I went to pack the last of my crap while the Young Rider went to get my second test. She came back with my two blue ribbons (I am very shallow and just as happy to take two blues in an empty class as if I had just beat out other people) and a HUGE smile on her face. Why? Because I had just gotten a 63.571% on my second test!!! Phoenix and I got two usable scores at our very first USDF show! I was floating on air as I got in the truck to drive home. As I cranked up the air conditioner and hit the road I was on cloud 9. I had not been expected Phoenix and I to do so well, even at Training 1 and 2 our first time out, especially not with this judge. Talk about a confidence booster! If we can do as well as we did with 3s and 4s (yes, we got 3s and 4s on both of those tests) imagine what we can do without major mistakes! My next USDF show is at the end of this month. I have a schooling show this weekend to work out all the kinks before we try it again. I am so happy, and so proud, that a 6 year that I have trained myself can do so well at a USDF show!