Monday, March 7, 2016

Emerald Classic I - Sometimes all the hard work pays off

Showing last year was very much a struggle for me. Paddy's adorable and all, but he has some very fundamental issues with tempo and balance that make him a very physical, tricky ride. I put in an enormous amount of time and effort and training and the best we were able to do was a 66%, under a super nice judge.

On Saturday, Taran and I scored a 70.962, on our first test.  And a 67.727 on our second one. I can't even tell you how excited I am and how much it feels like I'm finally "getting it" - even if it's not on my own horse.

Training level test 2 - 70.962.

Score sheet for T-2

Training level test 3 - 67.727

Score sheet for T-3

You'll notice the canter break in T-3. He was tired, and I lost his hind end. I should have ridden him through it a bit more, but hind sight is ever 20/20. Interestingly, we got a 5.5 on that instead of the 4 that I thought we were supposed to get for the break. Still, I'll take it.

Taran was SO AMAZING in warmup. So forward, so fluid. We even had really good canter transitions! Of course, he didn't feel as good in the sandbox, because I get rather stiff in my arms in when I'm nervous. I also have a tendency to revert to my pulling habit, instead of pushing him forward into the bridle, if things start to go south - and we all know how that helps absolutely no-one. If I think about maintaining the tempo and carrying my hands up and forward, it works so much better.

We totally won the warmup.

He doesn't even look like the same horse from a few months ago.

We ended up getting first in T-2 and second for T-3 - and if I hadn't blown the canter we would have likely been first. Even better, the T-3 score was good enough to qualify for both the SWDC championships and the GAIC championships. What a fantastic day - I couldn't have asked for any more!

43 comments:

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    1. Thanks! They felt pretty good, especially the first one.

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  2. Damn! His neck looks SO FANCY all braided up like that. It really shows off the topline you're building with him. I think that's part of the reason your scores were so high. That neck shows what a consistent connection you're building. And your canter departs might be a bit leapy, but they're super forward and honest and you don't lose the connection. 100% lovely! Fantastic job!! :)

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    1. It was super interesting to see other riders' "connections" - most of them were more of a headset than a true connection. I feel like we've got the correct pieces, thanks to a very correct trainer.

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  3. Looked like a nice, steady test, well done! Are those the new boots?

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    1. Those are definitely NOT the new boots. I'm screwing up my courage to wear the new boots, because pain. So much pain.

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  4. Yay! Good job on putting a lot of work into both your horse and yourself, and getting good results.

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    1. It's really nice to have good results sometimes!

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  5. Woot! Awesome scores; good job!

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  6. Taran sure cleans up well. What an awesome show pony! Congrats on your hard work and those great scores!

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    1. Haha, fortunately you couldn't see all the yellowish hairs of his old winter coat in the vids. He's actually pretty dirty, despite multiple baths with whitening shampoos!

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  7. WAY TO GO! Those are awesome scores and well deserved!

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  8. Ya'll look amazing! Congrats on a great show.

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  9. wow look at him go!!! congrats!!! it's really cool to see him taking to the work so well

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    1. It's kind of amazing how far he's come in such a short time.

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  10. Wow! Heck of an achievement! Nice job.

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  11. So awesome!! I love how steady he is.

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    1. Thanks, I need to channel that steadiness more and be there more for him, but he's a good guy to work with for sure!

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  12. The pics look so nice! Congrats on the awesome scores!

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    1. Thank you! And that pic may be carefully selected. ;)

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  13. Congratulations! That's fabulous.

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  14. Congratulations! You two look absolutely lovely in those photos

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    1. It's always good when you can cherry-pick the nice moments... it lulls people into thinking you're better than you actually are, lol!

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  15. He really doesn't look like the same horse at all! And I was super distracted watching those tests from being blown away by how white and shiny his tail is. Ooooooh, pretty!

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    1. Haha, his tail is sooo yellow at the end. Fuzzypony tried desperately to get it clean but it's going to take about 1000 more washings with whitening shampoo.

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  16. Ya'll look FANTASTIC! I'm so happy for you <3

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  17. Wow. So I'm definitely way behind in catching up with you (because life), but I'm SO excited to read these. As others have said, this doesn't look like the same horse.
    Do you need another one? Kacey could use a little help while I'm otherwise indisposed. ;-)

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    1. Oh no, I'm having enough trouble keeping up with a Haffie and a Taran. No more!

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    2. *sigh* Ah well... Kacey will just have to wait a little longer until I'm done with school

      It never hurts to ask!!! ;-) heehee

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