Thursday, July 13, 2017

Led astray

I had the same dream over and over last night.  That very rarely happens to me.  I had this file that I needed to put away, but it didn't fit anywhere.  This is the downside to being an analyst.  Even my subconscious seems to insist on everything being neatly categorized.  But the file didn't go anywhere.  No matter how any times I tried to put it away, it popped back out because it didn't fit.

I watched my test again in the harsh light of day and yeah, something's broken.  Our scores have been dropping all season.  I know it's not all about the scores, but when all of the judges think we've gone backwards, something is up.  But that's not why I couldn't put the file away.  I couldn't put it away because I was also being told it was the nicest test I've done.  I came out of the ring and thought that was really good.  I was told it was really good.  Not just 'good job doing what we wanted to do' but good as in getting a really good score.  But it's my lowest scoring.

But he sure is pretty

You can see why the file just doesn't want to fit.  I left Theo's head there.  I'm watching my test wondering why I left him like that, especially at a show.  I could have easily tucked him in a couple more degrees so that he was just a bit ahead of the vertical without messing everything up.  But I did it because I was told to in warm up.   I've been very specifically told to leave his head alone, which with Theo, means he's going to go around with his nose out.  Because that is how the Theo do and it's been weeks of me letting him do whatever with his head while we straighten him out.

Yesterday, I was that fool that goes in, isn't prepared, and then blames the judge for my poor score. 

So here I am, having a terrible revelation.  Trainer A either doesn't know we're not ready for the test or she's lying to me to make me feel better.  Either way, not cool.  If I'd gone in with the mission to go straight, no curl, and accept my rough score because that's where we're at?  I could have gone home smiling because mission accomplished.  If I'd been told to drop down to First 1 because we've had to back up to fix some things, so be it.  But I wasn't.  I was sent in thinking I was competitive.

Going First level last season

I guess I bought my trailer and scheduled my lesson just in time.  I don't want to go backwards.  I started my season all shining hope and readiness.  Now we've slid back to the point we look like we should be doing Training level.  And worse, I felt like it was a solid test.  I felt like I'd presented my horse well and correctly for the level.  Hell, two weeks ago I'd been led to believe he could move up to Second in a couple months.  Apparently, I don't know where we're at anymore.

I'm responsible for my own riding.  I know.  At the end of the day, I rode him wrong and got smacked. I'm not looking for someone to blame.  But I can't be told that it's really good by one person and that we're not ready by everyone else.


  1. I had a trainer who constantly told me that everything I was doing was great and that we were more than ready for where we were. Then I realized she didn't have a clue what she was talking about. I moved on to a Trainer who is now 100% straight forward with me and let's me know when I'm ready and what level I am ready for. It's been a godsend, because, like you, I didn't understand what was going on and why my scores were so absolutely horrendous. Now, after hanging around a lot of people who ride at higher levels than me, and watching higher level classes, I'm able to better gauge where I think I am on the competitive scale. I always err on the side of caution (lower level), tbh, because I've also been to shows and seen judges be WAY too nice to people, which in turn lets them think they are ready to move up a level. In the end, it's ultimately what you think you and your horse are ready for, but I think in this case it might be best to sit down and have a serious conversation with your Trainer. Couldn't hurt!

  2. There are trainers for each stage of the journey. Your current trainer has done good things for you, but there's no harm in being ready for the next thing. The next trainer. Glad you're already set to pursue that option. :-)

  3. Best of luck, I'm sure you'll find the right coach for you! Your test looked so nice and soft and relaxed, I'd be excited about that part!

  4. Oh yeah. Sounds like new trainer time. My trainer is quite harsh, but I actually like that and sought that out. I want someone to make me fix things, not praise me as I ride around them for an hour. I've had trainers like that and it's not worth the $.

  5. I don't want to say anything bad about your trainer because I don't know her. But, in my experience, my dressage teainer was aleays spot on. If she told me it was my best to date, my score always reflected it. If she said we did xyz wrong, that's exactly what my test comments said. I would have been just as heartbroken as you to feel so blindsided by the judge. I honestly feel that you are making the right choice the continue your journey with a new perspective from someone else. Good luck, and keep fighting! -Kelly @ Hunky Hanoverian

  6. I sometimes run into the problem with my trainer where, while she has tons of hunter experience and is excellent with making sure you're doing the basics correctly, she really doesn't have any dressage test riding experience. That can get a little frustrating sometimes. There's a trainer out there for you somewhere though! Hopefully your new one will be the right one.