Sunday, July 29, 2012


I will one day find a riding discipline that does not involve ridiculously early mornings.  There has to be one out there somewhere.  4:30am is not a sane time to do anything, and even the princess agreed with me this morning.

 The princess being woken up from her beauty sleep by my arrival.  I felt bad.

 However, I brought breakfast so she forgave me for my ridiculously early morning.  It was just her and Dorkzilla hopping on the trailer so it was quick business to get them loaded up and on the road.

Mother Nature ignored my pleas.  That wench.  Not only did it rain on us yesterday when we were doing all of our show prep stuff, it rained most of today.  But we are tough eventer types and we marched boldly into the rain to try to get that elusive 60% at First level.

Well, she marched boldly.  I kind of squished in the saddle.  45 minute warm up in the rain will do that.  Note to self:  Do NOT warm up for dressage in the rain in a white show shirt with no coat.  I was ready for the wet tee-shirt contest by the time my coat was handed to me.  At least the breeches were champagne colored so no one could see my leopard print underwear.

Other note to self:  Get normal colored seamless underwear to wear under light colored breeches in case of rain and/or unfortunate encounters with water jumps.

Bad news first.  I had my very first ever error of course.  I was on my last two canter movements when I started to do Training 3 instead of First 1.  I was a bit flustered after that and with Fiona trying to get her face out of the rain, I left the ring thinking I'd gotten a 55%.  I was very bummed, hanging out by the trailer and feeding my girl carrots.  It wasn't her fault I ditzed out or that it started really raining during our test.  She was a good girl, going in the grass ring in the steady rain and doing what I asked.  It still sucked to have yet another rough outing.  Many, many doubts were running about while I waited to do my second test.

I went into Training 3 with the fatalistic feeling of someone that's coming to terms with their insanity.  I keep going in and expecting something different . . .

But let's be fair, it was different.  I've started smiling during my tests because it helps.  We're both calmer, softer, more relaxed.  And it actually worked out for us despite my gloomy thoughts.  I really am my harshest critique.

She is the most impossible horse to get in a picture.  All she wanted was her lunch, so I got some help and bribery.

Yup, that's a third place ribbon from her First level test.  60.3%.  That's our first qualifying score on our way to that Bronze medal.  I squealed like a little girl and jumped up and down when I saw that.  It's not as good as the reaction I had to my Training 3 test.  64.4%, best dressage score we've ever gotten.  We didn't hang around for the end of my division since it was going to be forever (19 riders), but I checked my scores tonight.  She was 8th overall, and assuming they divide the division like they usually do . . .

First place adult amateur.  Fiona got a blue ribbon at a sanctioned dressage show.

I darn near choked on my nutrition bar I was eating when I saw that score at the show.  Have to say, the pure dressage riders couldn't figure out why I was jumping around and clapping and laughing like a fool on crack over a 64%, but they don't own chestnut Thoroughbred (?) mares that they've brought up from barely being able to trot a twenty meter circle.

Videos of my rides will go up tomorrow, my computer is dragging through the conversion.  Tonight, I celebrate!  Mostly by passing out now that my homework is complete.  4:30am mornings are for the birds.