SAE CT: Dressage

Sneaky McSneakerson.

Soooo.  There is a facebook group called "Savannah Area Eventers and Friends", the existence of which I didn't know about until the Eventer (henceforth, "TE" - not to be confused with Trainer 3, "T3") mentioned it.  From there, they became a real-life group and decided to start offering some combined tests.  This area needs something and driving to Aiken or Charleston sucks.

Saturday was their first show.  I think they plan on doing more and making it a series.

TE was willing to haul the Archer and me to this show.  My first ride time wasn't until nearly noon, but she was the show organizer and needed to be there at about 8.

And that's where our adventures began!

I will never again testify to the fact that Archie is the bestest loader ever.  Eight years and I finally met a trailer that he didn't like loathed. Though, TE shared that she felt it looked too similar to a starting gate and just freaked out some of the OTTBs.  It took about fifteen minutes and a crop, but he finally got on the trailer and we headed to the barn hosting, approximately 45 minutes away.  For the record, she did offer to just let me drive the truck and trailer closer to my show times, but I'm a wimp.

We were the first people there and unloaded Archie and a barn horse that was going to be ridden by a kid.  TE had to go handle things, so I worked on getting the ponies situated.  And then it was the waiting game!

This is the face of a horse who is about to lose his shit.
At some point, Archie stomped my toe.  He was getting a little up from watching all the other horses.

And then, even though he doesn't even like the other horse we brought, when the kid took that horse away, Archie lost his mind.  I became that person with the screaming, pulling, rearing horse as I scrambled to pull the release on the quick-release knot.
I thought this was fitting.
And this is how hard he pulled.  He dropped his head afterwards to nibble some grass and I heard the bones in his neck pop.  Thanks for the free adjustment, Archie!
He looks like he's nibbling my boob.

He was better once I walked him around.  And then he would go back to eating hay and being reasonable, but I hovered around him just in case.  Also, he got a lot of carrots when he would ignore the passing horses.  I was so thankful when D showed up because I was really hesitant to leave the horses unattended.

There was a warm up ring, but they requested that you not enter it until half an hour before your ride time.  And he was screaming - a lot.  So I opted to walk him around in the grassy area outside of the warm up ring.  Eventually, OR joined me with her pony.

He doesn't look like in these photos, but Archie was tense.

Okay, maybe you can see it.
I just liked this because he's so adorable in it.
I still don't know all the dressage protocol, but you're supposed to loop the ring or something?
The test this time, because I still opted for Amoeba level, was Intro Test A.  In all honesty, I really liked Intro Test B a lot more.  This one didn't feel like it flowed as well and the walking was random.  


If you could see my face, you'd see that I was laughing.  Dude was incredibly responsive and darted from the same leg pressure that he would ignore at home.

Free walk still needs work.

If you could see this from his side, he's totally uneven.
There was a show photographer and I plan on buying a few of her prints.  I also tried to talk her into volunteering at the Humane Society, because that's who I am.

I felt like we put in a horrible test.  The first time I put my leg on him, picking up the first working trot at M after tracking right at C, he shot forward like I'd goosed him.  We'd spent so much time the last two weeks working on bending and getting off my inside leg and I felt like all of that went out the window.  Also, neither of us has ridden in a legit dressage ring, so there was a momentary fear of him jumping out.  

And after the second circle, I was supposed to transition to a medium walk between C and H.  Well.. I didn't remember until I was at H.  So it was a down transition, a few steps of medium, and then immediately into the free walk across the diagonal.  Seriously, I couldn't help but laugh.  Goober was such a good, brain-fried pony.
I got a 40.  I felt like that was an appropriate score for the test I put in.  Next time, dammit!  The comments, in case you can't read them, are:
  • erratic transition to trot (I think this should have been at M?  because I entered at a working trot and didn't transition to trot until M?) (...and that's where I goosed him?)
  • horse tense in back
  • nicely ridden but got tense
  • walk late (I'd say!)
  • Horse needs to stretch to bit and be rounder.  Obedient with nice presence.

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  1. I love it when they decide they REALLY NEEDED THAT OTHER HORSE OMG OMG OMG that they normally hate. So annoying.

    Glad you and Archie had a decent show! (You didn't fall off, Archie didn't jump out of the ring.)

  2. Haha yes - jumping out of the ring is my biggest fear! Fiction tried to do it at our first MT. It was a disaster.

    You survived! I love the pictures haha.

  3. OMG the close-up of his face! I died! I think y'all did well despite the tension.

  4. Sneaky McSneakerson is right, you guys are rocking it since you moved barns! Hopefully this new group can make it a regular thing & you guys'll get plenty mileage, Archie'll be all whatevs before you know it. :D

    PS: I busted something laughing @ A's face in close ups!

  5. I STILL don't understand dressage scoring lol so I was all excited you got an 8 on something (is that good? is 40 good? is this gold where low is betteR? I don't know. whatever I love it).

    Also zoom in on his face, omg, so funny!!!! And you are the absolute best at going to a show and keeping it the secrets.

    1. It's tricky because Dressage scoring and Eventing Dressage scoring are different. In normal dressage the higher the score the better, anything over a 60% is deemed good. In eventing dressage you're hoping for a lower score. Despite that however, the movements are scored in both types as "the higher the number the better". So an 8 is considered quite good in both regular dressage and eventing dressage... Then to calculate your "score" in regular dressage they add up all your points and voila(ish). In eventing dressage they basically add up your "errors" (points you didn't earn) and that is your score(ish).

  6. Yay for your first dressage test! I would have NO IDEA what to do in one of those lol :)

    1. his eye in that picture make me laugh out loud at work :)

  7. I hate your sneaky ways! I feel like I'm getting cheated on my time that I get to be excited for you!

  8. Love the eye!! Haha. Also him eating your boob. Always good.

  9. Dressage scoring lowdown for Eventing: dressage is scored as per the usual, but instead of calculating to a percentage point, you simply subtract the score from 100. So, if you got a total of 60 points, you'd end up with a penalty score of 40. All the rest of your jumping & time faults are added to that penalty score for a final result (the goal is to finish on your dressage score--which you did!!!). The lowest score is the winner. 40 is a pretty decent Eventing score. LOVE the wild-eye closeup...

  10. LOL @ his eyes.

    You all look great, IMHO.

  11. Intro tests never seem to have good flow, glad you had a fun time aside from the tenseness!

  12. I snorted with laughter at the series of photos of Archie's eye! Great job! So happy that you are getting all of these showing opportunities!

    P.S. The Archman is so gorgeous.