Show Reports 2015 - Part 1: It's Show Time!

Last weekend of March was our first show weekend for this year. After a nice March, this weekend was again cold and wet. Fortunately, it was not raining anymore on Saturday, we were not riding on Friday. This show was particular – it was the first part of the Alpe Adria Dressage Trophy – an international show series for amateurs like us that want to ride in an international environment without the CDI restrictions. It is possible to even start lower levels and being judged by international judges from Austria, Slovenia and Italy without having an FEI horse. We already wanted to take part in this series last year but only made it in 2015. It would have been safe to enter the first/second level division, but we opted for the LM division (between second and third level). As it was our first show, it was already pretty brave to enter a new class (we only had 4 entries in this level from last year and not all of them were too promising). So I was pretty excited!

For riding the finals in October, you need to have 4x58% minimum in the 6 possible qualifiers. As I will not drive down to Italy, 2x58% minimum were a must for this show. Ok, no more pressure than that?!

I was super nervous on Saturday. What if I did not score the necessary 58%? We only have this chance! And do not forget: 58% achievers make it to Lipica! LIPICA! Home of the Lippizzaners! A foreign country! Like we were real pros traveling the world for horse shows!

Lipica was also on our goal list, remember? So we entered at A and rode like we meant it. Saturday ended with a great 61,53% for the FEI WDC Elementary test. Sunday was a little bit tougher but we still nailed it with a 58,500% for the FEI WDC Medium Test. Serpentines that looked like a snake dying and a canter depart right before the haunches it cost too many points. But hey, who cares? 58,5>58 thus, we’re in! And we are going to LIPICA!!! WHOOO HOOO! A month left to train and get better on our biggest mistakes especially for the medium challenge test. Hafl needs a Coggings test, the car needs the Slovenian vignette and we need a room – we will travel there on Thursday already (Pros, did I mention that?!) and have one test a day from Friday to Sunday. And we will go to Trieste, which is nearby. And have great Pizza, visiting Miramare castle, visiting the Lipica stud and having - no matter what - a great experience! I can hardly describe how much I am looking forward to this adventure.

Let us quickly have a look at what to watch out for at the next chance to score higher than 58% in a quasi CDI:

Saturday - FEI World Dressage Challenge Elementary

Judges: E: SLO, C: ITA, M: AUT

Let's talk about the 7s: judges unisono like the canter depart left and the following working canter (ECM: 7/7/7). The following medium canter was pretty good too (6.5/7/7). The enter at A got at least one 7 (6/7/6.5) as well as the working trot (6/7/6), The double coefficient movements got lots of 6.5s (give and take the reins for a few steps on a circle in trot, stretching on a circle in trot, medium walk, half circle in counter canter). We lost points in the other counter canter (5.5/6/5) as well as in the collective marks (submission 5/6/6). Further, the Austrian judge at M did not like the medium walk at all (4) which was the only 4 in the test.

Sunday - FEI World Dressage Challenge Medium

Judges: E: AUT, C: ITA, M: SLO

That day was a bit more difficult. We had some major issues and some less 7s. Again, the canter depart was good (7/6/6.5) as well as half circle in canter with give and retake of reins (7/6/6). The latter also being a double coefficient movement. Unfortunately, we really sucked at the half circles EX-XB which led into a haunches in to the right - Hafl thought it was time to canter, thus resulting in 4/4/5. The working pirouette was also only a 6/5/6 and please, let's not talk about the serpentines in canter (5.5/6.5/6). But definitely the worst were the simply changes on the diagonal (5/5/5.5 and 5/5/5). So we definitely rode the upper level movements in a 6-6.5 range but lost easy points in some other movements. 

Main take away: We need to increase Hafl's suppleness and this is the main goal for the upcoming weeks. We changed our training a bit and so far it seems to work out.

I really enjoyed the rides though and I must admit, we were the prettiest couple in the arena (oh yes, I am sure). I wore my brand new show coat and he his brand new saddle pad - a detailed product review to follow!

As soon as possible I will edit the videos with the rides of this show!

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