The “I don’t want to canter” horse show – The End

I am many things, but a quitter is not one of them. Even though I wanted to give up, I knew I couldn’t. Not only is it rude to the judge, especially since it was not a safety issue, but it is unprofessional. I needed to finish what I started, no matter how ugly it looked. One of the judges comments in my first test was that I didn’t let go during the free walk, so I just let it all go in the second test. I was playing a mental game with myself that when I picked up the reins again we would be starting over. A whole new test. I was determined to let go of the bad stuff in the hopes of finishing strong.

So those of you who know training 1 (or who watched the video yesterday and are very observant) know that I made a mistake on my test. A big one. The judge was so dazzled by my free moving horse at the free walk that she didn’t catch it right away either. So what did I do? I did both of my canter series to the left! Instead of going across the diagonal I did two short diagonals. Opps! The good news is that I got an instant do over on my left canter, and that I am not using the test for anything so I could care less if the test counts or not.

Minus a head toss in the upward, my out of control right arm, and having to go sideways to the downward again the second canter was much better, and I felt much more in control. I smiled my first real smile of the day to my last center line. Was the test beautiful? Not even close. Was it embarrassing? A little. Was it the best test I have done yet with Lucky at training level? YES! I was glad that Boomerang and My Trainer had not let me quit. Lucky and I still have a long, long way to go, but for the first time all year it actually felt possible that we could actually do this someday.

Considering we were blocking everyone in I untacked Lucky in record time and loaded her back up. With only being 15 minutes from home I knew I could give her a real shower and let her relax at home instead of hanging around the show. They did score my Intro C test already so I knew before I left that I had gotten a 59.25%. Since I was the only person in the class I ended up in 1st place 😛

I learned a lot from this show though. I learned I need to shorten my reins, when they are long I bump her in the mouth. I need to get better brakes on my horse at home because having minimal breaks at a show just isn’t any fun. I also learned I need to get a new show coat. I can’t find mine and a tucked in polo is just not flattering on my plus size self! Lucky and I have a long way to go before we are ready for training level at a show again. This show gave me a tiny bit of hope though.

When I went back to pick up my second test I was thrilled to finally break 60%. Sure, the judge was kind, but I need kind right now!! Lucky and I ended up with a 61.46% for 4th out of 6 in our training level 1 test. I also learned that, for now at least, I need friend support at a dressage show. I needed both My Trainer and Boomerang there to push me when I needed to be pushed. Plus having Boomerang there means I got a video of my issues with Lucky, which is something I needed. Even though it feels worse than terrible, it doesn’t look anywhere near as bad as I thought it did.

I went home feeling satisfied and content in my decision to take a little break from showing dressage. We might have a lot to fix, but at least now I feel like we CAN fix everything. We might not have dazzled, but we didn’t humiliate either, and for now that is plenty good enough.

3 thoughts on “The “I don’t want to canter” horse show – The End

  1. I am SO glad you stuck with it!!! I have had a couple horrible tests in my quest to show my Standardbred at USDF shows, but I too am glad I never gave up. Be proud of yourself!! Who cares what level you show at or how long it takes you to get where you want to be? Enjoy it and let go of negative thinking! You CAN do it!!!

    (PS – I wondered what the heck happened with the canter circles….LOL!!) 😉

  2. Well done in turning the negatives into a positive and also on writing such a fascinating series of blog posts – each time I couldn’t wait for the next instalment.

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