Monday, June 29, 2015

Serenity Valley Show

I'd like to update everyone on how the show went. If you aren't a fan of overly happy braggy posts then this one may not be the one to read.  The weather was absolute crap though I think the poor souls that rode midsouth last week still take the cake on the crappiest show weather.  But yesterday was rainy and cold all day.   And with three of us riding 3 separate divisions pretty much meant we were going to open and close the place down.  Our rides were evenly spread so that was nice.  There needn't be any rushing.  I will break down all of our rides starting from youngest to oldest.  warning,  maybe longest post ever.

First off I must mention that though Monica's day didn't start out at all like she wanted she was still super awesome and came out to help and support me and my girls.  The weather was so shitty but she stayed nearly the entire day.  She is the sweetest girl on the planet and I just love her.   You have her to thank for almost all the videos that were taken.  Also you may be better off keeping the sound down on the videos.  One reason being the wind and second you can sometimes hear their crazy mom in the background.

K and Penny Pincher.  This was  K's first show.  She was entered in the cross rail CT.  First a bit of a background K is 8 years old.  Penny is an amazing and to die for jumper. Like jump offs would be her thing.  She would jump anything you point her at as fast as she can.  Dressage?   Not really her thing.  She is an adorable little mover when she is relaxed but that isn't all that often. I realize this every time I have seen my kids do a test on her.  If they got points for finishing it the fastest they would win for sure.   I was saying "slow down" under my breath the whole time.  But K had it under control (even in a snaffle,  I never let her go in a snaffle. Pony needs brakes, but rules. ) and still so freaking adorable.

They got a 48% dressage score.  Honestly I thought that was pretty harsh but then again I may be biased. But you can judge yourself. If you ask me they should get extra points for cuteness. But K memorized her test perfectly and I was so proud of her.  Penny is not the easiest ride but they have so much fun together.

We walked her course which was quite long, 12 jumps,  and winding. This was the first full course she has ever ridden.  She warmed up in the drizzly cold.  She watched a rider go and she said she was ready.  My bladder nearly failed me as I told her,  "have a great ride".  It's like a family right of passage for my kiddos to be sent off into the jump ring with those words.  They did awesome.  She remembered her course and she came out and proclaimed,  "I went double clear! ".  I didn't think it was worth mentioning it isn't timed on cross rails. It was just adorable.  She rode in a division with mostly adults and ended 5th out of 8. She loved her pink ribbon.  It matches her "colors".

Get ready for some more proud sap. E and Lily were in the Starter division and rode BN test a and jump height of 2'3". These two have come so far this year.  They were solid as rock.  I was very happy how they rode their test.  E said her biggest goal was to not jump out of the arena.  Good goal considering Lily very much has done that to her.   E rode it accuratly and Lily was obedient. They got their leads and E quickly felt and corrected her when she started to pick up the wrong lead going left.  It was a positive experience for both.  Now I feel we can work on some more complex dressage.  Involving things like connection and bend.  They are already working on gait regularity and rhythm and are making great progress. They got a 57%. She was SO happy when she saw four 7's on her test!

Show jump again is the true test of a mother's bladder.  Why when I'm anxious I feel like I am going to pee myself I have no idea but it is a real problem.  I may resort to Depends one day. Warm up was a sloppy mess. Every where was just a sloppy mess actually.  They warmed up well and we went over to get her name in.  Thankfully hubby was there to video because I can't do so.  I have to watch IRL. I just do.  They did amazing.  The footing was questionable by this point.  E rode it like she owned it and Lily was super brave and game.  Decorations and such are not things she has really jumped before.  And the only thing she peeked at was a straw bale and my guess would be she thought it might be food. I'll let the video speak for itself.  If the footing was solid we would have cantered the whole course but there was no reason to push it in those conditions. In a division of all adults but one she ended 6th out of 10.

As for Steady and I the day was pretty much set up for him to fall to pieces.  Top on the list of the things Steady hates cold, windy, wet weather. And close behind is sloppy, slippery footing.  Oh goody. But the day continued like I mentioned in my last post I was just happy with the kids having a great day.  I really was not all that concerned about how we would do.  Just do my best to keep him relaxed as I could get it done and get home.  They had made the decision to not continue jumping classes after starter. Which I am glad they did.  That grass arena was getting messy fast and I really was not all that excited about jumping 3 ft. With tight turns and roll backs in a sloppy grass arena. So we only got to ride our dressage test.  As soon as I got out to the warm up area I immediately made the decision to not warm up.  It was fetlock deep mud everywhere.  I knew Steady would just get more anxious slipping around in that.  I figured we were better off with no warm up.  He just paced  walked in the slop until it was our go.  I did trot a few circles in the end of the arena before the bell rang. So I guess you could call that a warm up?  So we had 2 minute warm up.  Steady felt really good.  I will tell you what I felt simply because what I felt and what that judge thought she saw don't quite match up in my mind.  He was listening and he went to work when we got in there.  I rode mediocre. Not complete crap but could have ridden better.  I was hesitant to use my leg.  I don't know why because he was listening to it.  Old habits die hard.  Leg on a cold windy day in times past meant explosives. But I wasn't getting explosives.  I told E she needs to ride the horse she is on.  I think I need to take my own advice. I was also hesitant to correct him getting behind the vertical.  I do that in the ring.  Concerned to get marked for the correction. Instead I get marks for not.  Meh, it's just what happens in my brain in the show ring.  The only real blub was switching his right canter lead 3 times in one 20 meter circle. Hey that takes talent we should get extra points!  If only it was on cue we could call it tempi changes but nope not on cue and not clean. It's like pick up right lead canter 3 strides. Change behind,  2 strides change front,  3 sides switch back to correct lead.  He wasn't the most obedient in his canter to trot transitions. I don't know exactly what the judge saw but not what I felt.  over all I was very pleased.  He did way more right than wrong and more than anything he was not a hot,  tense ball of nerves.  His free walk was the bomb. His trot work was solid.  All transitions were excellent except canter to trot.  I think it's time to start adding big kid dressage into our life.  Could it be?  Are we becoming the real deal?

What the judge saw I don't know but what ever it was she sure did like it.  I'm going to tell you my score but precede it with that I cannot tell you about dressage judging because I an no expert.  Far from it but it seems like quite a generous score.  Judges typically like Steady but this much?  Yikes.  On Novice test a we brought home a 23.1%!  Ridiculous right!?! We got 14! 8's. 14. It would take less time to tell you what movements we didn't get 8's on than what we did.  A 23% even with that right canter that brought us a 4. I don't care I'm claiming it.  I may never have this moment again so I am going to take it while I can. I don't care if she was actually a bum they picked up that morning to judge I am still owning that 23.1%.  Even though I giggle every time I think of it.  This beat our previous best score of 29% by 6 points.  Sadly because of my offspring I only have half of the test on video.  She can train a a shit pony from scratch but hell if she can figure out how to video something.  Well you at least get to see all our trot work.  We enter A at minute marker 1:55 if you don't want to see our minute and a half warm up.


  1. Congrats!! That sounds like a successful show all around. :-)

  2. wow congrats on an awesome outing!! both of your kids look tough as nails getting out there in iffy conditions and making good work of it! their ponies are to die for! and also congrats on your super lovely test!

  3. I think you mean 23pp, which is more like 77% ;)

  4. Your kids are so cute!! Wow Penny is so fast!!! I don't think I've ever seen a pony trot that fast and make it looks so effortless lol. The double clear statement is so cute! Too bad it wasn't timed because Penny could probably out trot the big horses. Your kids are so awesome for memorizing their tests and courses. I can't remember anything ever lol. E and Lily did so great! Four sevens is so awesome! They are so cute.

    Wow!! I'm so proud of you for your score!!!! From the little bit on video I think you guys look amazing! I can't even tell that you haven't shown in so long or been practicing your dressage. You guys killed it. I wish you could have jumped too, but oh well. You've done such an amazing job with Steady. He has come so far from how anxious he used to get. Proud of you!


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