Show Reports 2016 - Part 4: Born To Be Wild

What a weekend it was! The first weekend of July, we had our show at home and it was not just about the Regional Haflinger Championship, it was also about our first 3rd level tests, the outcome of our 2016 freestyle drama and so much more!

My mum...being unintentionally funny 

The conditions were perfect, it was warm but not too hot and we seemed to be perfectly prepared for the next step in our "career". Entering an FEI Junior Test felt like being eventually part of the big girls dressage party. I was worried, I feared several movements and hoped for the best.

And it turned out to be better than expected. On Friday, we rode the FEI Junior Preliminary. That one misses the walk pirouttes, one of our highlights so I already knew in advance that it could be difficult to score the necessary 62%. These tests were part of the Haflinger Championships but honestly, I knew I could only finish last as the other three competitors were much more experienced. So I was okay with that fact from the beginning, concentrating only on the 62% mark. Trot work was pretty average, a 7 for a shoulder in, apart from that not too many highlights. Two 7s for the walk and then things got only worse...Somehow Hafl got his tongue over the bit and from that moment on riding felt like being a passenger with no influence whatsoever. Marks went down as low as 3s, the flying changes earned a 7 again but overall, we lost it. Despite me being able only to ride half of the test, we scored 60.686%. I don't know how but was happy - what else?!

On Saturday, the first test was the FEI Junior Team Test which is the most difficult from the three. It went way better than on Friday, no issue with Hafl's tongue and me being able to ride the complete test (apart from the fact that I forgot what to ride and just managed in the last minute to turn Hafl off the track onto the diagonal for the flying changes). We even added another flying change on the center line that nobody needed. There was only one thing that went terribly wrong: those canter half passes. Oh my, they were really really bad. Sure, suppleness (especially in canter) was not good enough and still, we scored 62.532%! Our first score for our next license!

Don't we look good?

The second test was the freestyle. We had chosen the 80s rock theme and with Red Hot Chilli Peppers, the Stones and AC/DC we were at least in favor of the spectators who really loved the music! I loved it, too! Our performance was not too bad, it was a FEI Pony Kur, but overall I had major issues riding the freestyle as the fake leather pants which were part of my custom did NOT STICK at all! Actually, they were slippery as hell meaning that sitting in the saddle was more than difficult! But Hafl did forgive me holding too tight to the reins as he really loved performing in front of the cheering crowd. Indeed, during the prize giving he felt like a wild stallion:

Hafl, what is that?!

On Sunday, there was another chance to score another 62% or even more. It went pretty much like the day before, trot good, walk good, canter ok (7s for the flying changes!) but then there were these canter half passes that again were a fail. Oh yes, and then there was the moment when Hafl thought that the extended canter MUST be followed by a trot transition which was of course not the case. I was not pushing him enough as I was afraid that he would do another flying change so all in all it was a huge, costly misunderstanding. The flying change that followed the short part of counter canter was then not as good as he could already do them. Anyway, 62.281% and we had a second score!

We even got ribbons this weekend as there were only four entries in the championship and the show secretary did not want me to feel bad. Though that was very nice. We also got a saddle pad for the freestyle which was a huge win!

All in all, it was a great weekend even though we had to work so much and slept so little. It is nice to have a show at your own barn but I am also happy that we only have one per year.

For the coming two weeks, we need to improve the half passes as we still have to consecutive shows on the first and second weekend of August were we could probably get some more scores above 62%. After this show, we still need 4 results and we have 5 chances.

As these are the last two shows before the grande finale in October, where there will be our last show for 2016, it would be really nice to have the necessary scores by then.

Nice! Hafl after a week of holiday back in training!

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