Show Report Part 4: All good things come in FOUR

YAYAYAYAYAYYAYAY we got this season’s first ribbon! And we missed two more only by very little! Further, it did not rain and on the way back I had a chance to stop at a tack shop and buy some polo shirts for the show this week. But: one at a time.

We love ribbons :)
It was only 3:20 when we got up to get prepared for the show. A two hour drive later we arrived again in Styria, about 170kms North-East from our barn. Our first start was at 7:50 so it was pretty earlier and Hafl was a bit tense in the warm up (come on, we left when it was still dark). Good thing about early starts is that you can see the sunset <3

The second test was around 10:20 and the last shortly after 12. I took longer time to warm up and for the 3rd test he already felt pretty comfortable – and not tired at all. It was sunny and warm so we were sweating but from an fitness point of view we were both doing fine. So far, so good.

All tests were ok, I cannot complain that there were major mistakes like breaking into trot during canter or trotting on during walk or stiff like that. Of course, there were a lot of smaller mistakes that kept us from higher marks, let’s have a detailed look:

Test 1: Pony test, first level, the one we have ridden before and got a 6.4: the mark was a 6.3 with no major faults. The walk was not as calm as possible in the neck, the final halt and salute was a bit in a hurry. The only if you could say major thing was the missing bending in canter on the circle. Hafl was a bit hot during the warmup already so no wonder that he did not want to cooperate that well in the canter in the ring. The final remark said that we need to prepare the transitions better and need to get the horse more closed. We were placed 4th in our category and overall 7th. Lowest mark 5.5, highest 7.5.

Test 2: First level, dressage rider test: This test was mainly on my seat and aids. Comments on the seat were that my lower thighs are too much outwards, deep seat but hollow back, calm hands but arms need to be more bent. Aids: nice contact. Influence of the rider: Halt not immobile and swinging when starting to trot. Extensions with enough driving aids. Rein back: not regulated. Transitions need more leg, circle not round, off track in canter, transition to trot against hand. Overall remark: mostly nice contact, but hands should be less predominant in the transitions. We got a 6.4, placed 7 (ribbons from 6.6 upwards), there were overall 30 starter, 7.5 highest, 5.6 lowest mark. So we were pretty ok.

Test 3: Secondary level: Here trot extension was not enough and too hurried, half pirouette in walk to the right was too much sideways, walk was way better than in the other tests, and then there was the surprise: canter depart was at the point, and the first counter canter (from left to right) was confident (to me it felt like OMG we are falling!), but then we failed in the canter walk transition at C (double count), after that of course the walk canter was NOTHING and the extended canter was too free in the contact. The second circle and out of the circle in counter canter was not on the line and there was too little contact. The canter walk transition again was not good, following extended canter on the diagonal was also too free. E-X halt and rein back was not really through the neck, but the rein back was good. Last halt and salute was already a sign of being exhausted: we were not straight and lost contact and whatever else we could lose. Final remark: Weak transitions and too little in the extensions make the marks go down. We earned a 5.9, placed 7 out of 16, best mark 7.3, worst 4.5.

I was reading the comments only now thoroughly and realized, that we are on a good track. Just take the second level: one counter canter was already classified as confident! So it was already ok! The only bad thing was that after that we were a bit out of concept – I need to make sure the next time that I have him more with me after (even if there is a bad one) transition canter-walk such that the following movements can go better! Because with a better medium canter and a nice counter canter on the other hand, the mark would have been above 6 easily. The major learning from this test was that we are not as bad as I thought, we certainly have problems and weak points but already slight changes will get us in the 60s! So I feel good and confident for the next show – at least now ;)

Good thing about being at the show venue half a day and having nice weather is that there is at least plenty of time for pictures. And there were really some nice shots this time! On our way back, there was a tack shop nearby and I thought it might be a good opportunity to get some stuff for the stay in Wels this week: we will show Friday and Saturday but will arrive on Thursday, so I will ride on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning such that he does not have to stay in his stall all day long. I am really looking forward to this show as this will be our first real overnight stay <3

Kisses for MEEEE

It was a nice and warm day

One stop shop :)
As a resume, there is way more competition than we were used to last year. This is also due to the fact that there is a so called “Dressurtour” in Styria, meaning that every start is taking into a ranking and the best are paid a certain amount of money after the season. In general, we had between 10 and 20 starters last year per test, this year, more than 30 is very likely in the first level. Thus, I am even more proud of the results because in every single test there were more people behind us than in front of us!

Hafl on the way home - sleeping beauty

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