Sunday, November 14, 2010

Eventing derby part 1 Dressage

So it was an unrecognized event but in the few short months that I have been riding again and Steady has been off the track I'd say this is huge!  So I entered the eventing derby which consisted of a dressage test and a stadium/xc course combined.  Really if you could see how I have tried to pull this together and "look" like I wasn't a complete idiot you would laugh.  I have asked about a million question spent hours watching video after video to try to figure out what it was I was supposed to be doing.  What I found out was I to do the 2007 USDF dressage test B.  So I set out to try to first figure out what a dressage arena was and then to memorize the test.  Ha and then to actually make it happen on my horse.  Thankfully it is a W/T test so all pressure to perform at a canter was off.  We are just not there yet.  Trot to canter transitions are well a mess.  I think I may have actually done the entire test correctly once before I went in.

First I must mention that a Mom and daughter pair that I had met once before so generously offered to come out (1 1/2 hour drive) to be our (mine and my friend Susans) groom/trainer/right arm.  They were such a blessing.  I have been trying to figure out a way to properly repay them.  I cannot imagine pulling it off without them.  So Daughter Jessica took me in to warm up and helped me work on my center line.  Something no one had ever told me the correct way to do this so I was so grateful.  So about 5 min. till go time we went out and worked a bit outside the show ring.  So the judges yells "next rider"  I hesitated.  I don't know if it was nerves or what but I didn't go.  I wasn't positive it was me.  Jessica says you can go in do a lap around the ring once she rings the bell you have 30 seconds to start.  Still I was not moving.  Then the judge frantically rings the bell and yells "you missed your chance to ride around the arena you need to start". 

Oh no!!!  Not a good start to my first dressage test ever.  Two months ago I couldn't have told you the first thing about dressage and now I am trying to do it on a race horse!  So I am frazzled and I enter.  All that work on the center line, out the window.  Nerves had taken over.  We went up all cadywompussed his head looking in another direction at our halt.  During my salute I had a moment of clarity and thought, Amy this is it put your head the game.  So then it became me and my wonderful OTTB doing our thing.  We nailed the pattern which I am impressed with by itself.  The trot felt good though he was super relaxed and enjoying himself a little too much because he was making me work to get him moving and that is not like him.  Then at the walk it all kinda fell apart.  Then trot to the right and back to center line, which went much better this time. 

Judges comments:  "Beautiful trotwork" oh that felt good.  "the walk left much to be desired"  Now that bugs me.  She was right it didn't go well but his walk is naturally beautiful, long and covers great ground.  I just felt like he was distracted.  "though you will still get good scores because of the level".  "Is he green".  Hahaha um yeah and so am I.  About as green as they come.  She was impressed with him and his progess since being off the track only 7 months.  Oh that feels so good because I know that we did that together.  We had lessons here and there but WE did all the work.  She also said sometimes he tucks his nose instead of move into the bit and we will definitely be working on that. 

Drum roll please.........our score for the first half of the derby is.......... 34.0!!!  I will have to admit, and this will prove how little I know about all of this, I was disappointed.  What a low number.  I have read dressage scores and people are happy when they get a 67 and I only got a 34 :(.  Then my friend explained that 34 is equivelent to 66.  That again is another reason why I think dressage is harder than learning a new language.  Why so confusing :).  Apparently in a dressage test it would be a 66%  In eventing it is reversed to a 34%.  Who knows all I know is that everyone was impressed with that

I was the only one in the eventing derby so I was in first place but there were others doing a combined test for the green as grass level and I believe I would have gotten first or second out of 6.    I have no pictures of my dressage test.  My Dad (a professional photographer) showed up right after I finished untacking.  So I do have some great pictures of my cross country round so come back and see how it ended.


  1. Good for you for having the courage to go for that! The thing I love about dressage is you receive an evaluation of your ride as opposed to wondering what you did wrong in a class like hunter under saddle, but on the other hand, sometimes I don't want to read a critique of what I did wrong!And onlt 7 months off the track, wow!

  2. um super impressive!!! I'm clueless when it comes to Dressage so kudos for doing what you could with a fresh OTTB! That is great :)

  3. Awesome! You've done amazing especially doing it on your own. I'm impressed. I'm glad you were able to beat back the nerves. Don't be disappointed or upset by remarks on your dressage tests. They are meant as a way to let you know what you need to work on. It isn't meant to put down or anything (unless you have a horrible judge). Good job! Can't wait to read your other posts.


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