The “I like Geldings” Horse Show – Part 3

I tried to use my time before my test wisely. I kept trying different things to see if I could get her to pay attention. None of them were working. When the judge blew her whistle I had no choice but to keep trying things…it was just going to have to be at the trot. I had no control over the tempo of the trot. As you can see from the video it looks like I am posting like a madwoman making her go faster. I am only doing that because when I would try to slow the tempo down she would throw her face in the air and crab. I felt like I had no choice but to follow her tempo. Not saying that it is the right thing to do, it is just what I chose to do. So since I have no seat aids and no leg aids I am using my hands. Excessively. Looking at the video makes me want to chop my hands off. And NEVER wear white gloves again.

A horse at Intro should look like they are straight with big gaits reaching forwards and downwards. Lucky looks and felt completely crooked and hollow. She was much more of a U shape then an n shape. There was literally a moment during the first test where I looked down because she hollowed out so much under me I didn’t know what was happening! I have never felt a horse drop their back so far. I knew my hands were not great, but I had NO IDEA that I was literally YANKING Lucky’s face off. The judge stopped me after the test and pointed it out to me. I wanted to cry as I left the show ring. Watching the video still makes me want to cry. I am using this as a learning experience though. I will not let this horrible test be in vain. I will learn and improve from it.

Since I had almost an hour until my second test I decided to go and get my whip. One of the reasons Lucky was being so resistant was because she was not forward. I had hopes that if I got forward she would relax and things would fall in to place. I got off to get the whip, offered her a drink and tried to just get her to relax and stand still. After a few minutes it became clear that she was not going to stand still or relax so I decided to get back on. I walked her over to the mounting block at the show grounds and she tried to walk away. I did it again, this time she went sideways. I just looked at her as she danced away. I have NEVER had an issue mounting her. I have gotten on her from mounting blocks, water troughs, tables, tree trunks, etc and she is always an angel. I tried it two more times before I asked for help from one of tryingtoride’s friends that I know. The woman kindly agreed to help out and as soon as Lucky knew she didn’t have a choice in things she let me get on. She knew I had the whip and so she would turn and look at the whip and go faster. I could never use it to ask for more forward because she was so worried about it.

The warm up for the second test was yucky. Very yucky. I was all super strong hands woman again and Lucky was like a pretzel below me. The naughty girl even tried to take off again! I wasn’t letting that happen, but that meant I was riding progressively stronger. I tossed the whip and tried to just get her to settle. When it again became clear that I was wasting my time I went up to the top warm up ring and just tried to at least get her listen to my leg. The person before me was literally going up the centerline when Lucky sighed and let go of just a little bit of her tension. I was ready to pull my hair out by then and my only thought as I walked towards the show ring was that my test could not get any worse.

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5 thoughts on “The “I like Geldings” Horse Show – Part 3

  1. Re the white gloves: I’ve scribed a lot and more than one judge has said as an aside to me that riders who wear dark gloves are mistaken if they think they are “hiding” their bad hands from the judge.

    When I competed, I wore white gloves so I could learn, too. Of course I had so many other issues going on, the judge usually did not have time to mention my hands ;o)

    Dressage is a learning experience–it’s all about the “journey.” And one day you’ll be able to look back on this and laugh. And then go out to reward the mare one more time for her patience.

  2. you can see how tense she is, but I think you did a nice job handling it. Sometimes you have no choice, but to go with what the horse throws at you. I think you did a good job of doing that.

  3. It didn’t look that bad! You did great given the horse you had at that moment. That’s all anyone can do. Look at all of the positives – did it all yourself! No one got hurt. You made it a positive experience for Lucky – you can’t ask for more than that because that’s what she needs. Good job!

  4. Give yourself credit! You got out there and learned from the experience! You must have gotten through to Lucky in that she relaxed a bit just before your 2nd test.
    ……”when Lucky sighed and let go of just a little bit of her tension”……to quote your line there, that was your “team” success for the day–the Dom & Lucky team.

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