Show Reports 2015 - Part 3: Haflingers! Haflingers everywhere!

Riding the day before the tests
Next stop on our road to success was Kottingbrunn, Lower Austria. The show was one of the qualifiers for the European Haflinger Championships and part of the Haflinger Challenge Show Series. It took place on the last weekend of June. 

Nice halt during the test

I was feeling pretty confident going there as Hafl felt great Thursday before our first entry and he even felt great when riding Friday morning. Unfortunately, I could not keep him through in the first test on Saturday. It was a pretty easy test and still, I did not do anything just sat there waiting. I was really angry after that. Trot tour was boring, canter tour was neither collected nor supply enough. We got a 6.0 which is close to being the worst rider in this test who got a 5.8. First place got a 7.5 - so do I have to say more?! 

At least this test WOKE me up and the second test went at least a bit better. It was now a test in the 20x60m arena and we got at least a 62,333%. We finished 20th out of 24 Haflingers, with the first place showing a decent 69,667%. We did an ok job earning 39 marks above 6, some sevens for Enter at A, hauches in, tour 10m, collected canter right, transition to collected trot, paces. A highlight were the 6.5s from all three judges for the rider's seat. A good basis to start with. 4 marks came in lower than 6 for the shoulder in, simple change, walk pirouette, and the trot transition. There were no 4s which is also pretty good I think. Still, the rest of the test was just good - an average 6. Especially the double count marks - I did not ride these movements enough such as shoulder in where we had simply too much neck bend.

There was a pheasant in the fields - can't you see him?!

On Sunday, we only rode one test straight in the morning. I would have wished for another result above 62% (remember that I need another 2 for being finished with the necessary points at that level for the next license) but unfortunately, we came in a bit below. A 61.250% was the result of a test where canter again was a problem and longitudinal flexion was just a phrase. When I look at the marks, i can see that we started off ok, but got worse during the test. 20 marks above 6, 4 below but this time even a 4.

Highlights with 7s were the shoulder in left, half circle 10m half circle 10m, canter depart, serpentines, paces and rider's seat (which earned a 6.5, 7, 6.5). Lowlights were the walk and the walk pirouette (a pity as this is supposingly our 7 movement). Simple change was a 5 as well as letting Hafl stretch in posting trot on a circle. Again, most of the time, the double count movements were just a 6 which is simply not enough to raise the average above 62%. We finished 22nd out of 24 with the winning score of 67,448% which is also lower as the result the day before.

We did not plan to qualify for the European Championships therefore, yes, I was angry, but not as much as I would have been when I had intended to qualify. The results showed that there is tons of work for us ahead in order to keep up with all the top Haflingers in Austria. But it also showed that we are not nowhere, we are at least in progress. As said, the show was also part of the Haflinger Challenge Austria which we also did not take part in as the last qualifier was right the week after this show and with the results above, we would not have had a chance anyway. That is why I did not ride the following show as well. Save some energy for the next upcoming shows.

Jap, a good halt!

Second half of show season 2015 is up and coming and there is more shows than in the first half - let's see if that strategy works out!

We wish all the Austrian participants in the European Haflinger Championships all the best for Milan in September!

Breakfast on Sunday! LOVE IT!

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