Monday, August 26, 2013

Dressage Debut for Team Pippi!

A few months ago, when Krystal first said she was going to have a Dressage show, I was thrilled. We don't have a local show, so without a truck getting to a show was going to be an ordeal. I was scheduled to go to a ODSs' (Ohio Dressage Society) show in August, but when a local show became a reality I decided to forgo the cost and trouble of a "big" show. It is after all our first outing, and why spend more when you can spend less? The local show was going to have a great and experienced judge, and isn't that really all that matters?

So we trained, and planned for our show debut.
On Thursday last week, Pippi was trailered to the show grounds, and after helping set up the dressage arena, we were the first ones to try it out. Pippi was a hot trotting speed demon, and I thought we would have the best time for Intro Test A and B ever. Too bad that is not done.

On Friday afternoon/evening we tried it again, and I felt we were doing great. Speed was right on, and Pippi worked through a lot of noises, new horses and excitement. Gone was the Spookin' fool.

Saturday dawned and I felt ready and calm. No nerves to speak of. That might have a lot to do with the type of week I had, holy smokes, but lets not rehash that and elevate my heart rate again.
I fed Pippi at seven a.m., and helped set up canopies and ready some things for the show. At 8:15 or so, I started to lunge Pippi. Only I didn't have Pippi, some other horse had taken residence in her body. NO energy at all. I swear she would have leaned against the wall if I let her. Ridiculous. I was chasing her around the arena, begging for a Canter, and using the whip like a mad woman. I checked her over, looking for pain, etc, nothing seemed amiss, just lazy horse. Although the tortoise wins the race, I needed my hare back and quick!!

We rode at 9:12, and I warmed up in the outdoor. There was a lot of commotion, but Pippi was unfazed. Wrong word, Pippi was comatose!
We finally entered the arena, and when the bell rang we entered the Dressage arena. My goal was to ride an accurate test. All I cared about was doing the test right, at my best of course, but accuracy was the main goal. Prove that we could do it. And we did, but S     L      O     W    L    Y   . OH SO VERY SLOWLY.
I was pumping my legs, squeezing her, holding, kicking, urging, and we still went slow. Pippi may have fallen asleep at one point. I think I heard snoring from the sidelines.
After salute, some beaming on my part, some brief suggestions from judge (schooling show; ride test, brief suggestions, ride again, and best score stands), and we did it again. Guess what judge said? "More energy!" Oh really? I hadn't noticed. She also said a bunch of nice things like: "lot of good going on here," "beautiful trot," and "already see some uphill movement and she is accepting contact very well."
Ride two was better, but still lethargic. But I was beaming, just thrilled!! I knew we had done our best, minus the energy issue, and I was just so happy.
 At 10:12 we rode Intro Test B.
Pippi had woken up, and we were finally moving with some semblance of speed. Test B flew by quite quickly. I was able to relax my legs, and concentrate more on circle sizes and bend, now that Pippi was more forward on her own. Thank goodness. We did that one twice as well. The judge gave us good tips, and made a comment about "when you move up the levels." I could have whooped with joy. Judge believed in us, and that was awesome!

After our tests I refused to check my scores, although they were available. I wanted to bask in the joy of being so very happy without knowing the particulars. Pippi and I had done it, and that was just so overwhelming I wanted to sit with that joy for a while.

Donna and I had decided that a score over 40 would make us happy, and a score over 45 would make us ecstatic. (we didn't know, as this was our first show) At noon they announced placings, and we were stunned to get a third place (out of four) for Test A, and a second place (out of five) for Test B. Woohoo!!
Still didn't know my score though.....

After lunch I took over scoring duties, and started to put all the scores on a master sheet. I flipped my first test over, and gasped. A 60.00! Flipped over second try; a 61.25!

Oh MY!! I then quickly looked at my other tests, where I received a 62.5 and a 64.375.

I handed them to Donna who was elated at the 60.00, and congratulated me enthusiastically. That's when I said "that's not the best one Donna." She flipped over to the next one, gasped, I shook my head, she flipped to the next one, bigger gasp, I shook my head again. At the last one she was just quiet for a moment. Her expression akin to that of a Lottery winner, and then she just quietly high fived me, and then laughed all the way from her toes. "And we thought 40 would be good!!"

Joy shared is doubled!

Pippi was sleeping when I went to hug her, and I let her sleep. I have never seen her sleep before, and it was so touching. She was tired. A new barn had worn her plum out, but she still gave me the ride of my life!

When she arrived "home" last night my Trainer had put a sign on her stall that read "Congratulations!" It was Good to be home!