Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Top Take-Aways from the Region 9 USDF Championships

This last weekend was the Region 9 USDF championships. I'm working on getting the media together for more posts, but in the meantime, here are a few of my take-aways from this show:

Seeing a rainbow on your drive must mean good things will happen. Right? Right.

Also I did not crash after taking this picture

Don't bring your goat to the championships. Or your tiny, incessantly whiny dogs. Seriously on the goat, wtf? I kept wondering if someone was planning barbacoa for dinner one night because why else would you bring a goat to a horse show? And no, it wasn't in a stall keeping a horse company. I checked. Oh and while I adore dogs at shows (I tried to steal three corgis and a pyr, but no luck), your whiny dog needs to stay home. Especially if you're going to leave it crated in your tack stall overnight because you can't bring it to the hotel.

It's great reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. And I love how supportive everyone is. Any time I saw someone I knew, we'd stop to chat for a moment, commiserate on the bad rides, and celebrate the good ones. I know that dressage riders are viewed as DQs, and that can certainly be an accurate stereotype. But even with their fancy horses and pricey clothes, they are often also really good, kind people who are supportive of each other, and that's pretty awesome.

For those of us with less-than-fancy horses, doing well at championships is all about riding the perfect test. Most of my classes had one or two riders around 70, then maybe a 68 and 67, but the majority of the scores fell in the 64-65% range. Even one point on a test (not one percentage point, one single point) could affect your standing dramatically. I missed the 6th place ribbon in one test because of a point. I've never wished that I had made a rounder 20 meter circle in my life. So you need absolute accuracy and a mistake-free test to do well - but you CAN do well, even without the fancy warmblood. Oh and speaking of scores, expect to score 2-5% worse in a championship class than you normally do. Ouch.

Hint: I'm the 65.909. That might even be a half-point difference. 

It really is all about the satin. Coming into this show, I secretly wanted to bring home a ribbon. I didn't even care what place, I just wanted one. And... mission accomplished. I even got to ride in the awards ceremony, where I managed not to cry (and I'm so not a crier)... but for an AA who has struggled most of her life at schooling shows, it was an experience I won't soon forget. There is something really gratifying about all your hard work when you get that stupid, cheap, big-ass fake satin ribbon. Judge me all you want, I'll happily take that ribbon and cherish it for a long, long time.

And this handsome fellow made it all possible. :)

29 comments:

  1. Aw congrats on the satin! And congrats on seeing the payoff for all your hard work in Taran!! Sounds like a great show - I can't wait to read the details!

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    1. It went well and was a good learning experience!

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  2. YAY A RIBBON!!

    Someday. Someday I will do this. :-) So thrilled for you right now.

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  3. I'm so glad I got to you see, however briefly! Way to go on your big ass pink ribbon!!

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    1. It was so great seeing you too, and thanks for the awesome new hair accessory! Hopefully next time we can do dinner too.

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  4. Congrats! You've put so much work in towards this and you deserve it so much! Yay for fancy ribbon!

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    1. I'm so about the fancy ribbon, it's kind of embarrassing.

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  5. I think at the end of the day, we all just want big satin.

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    1. I loved all of it except the whining dog. Even the goat was cute, if a bit wtf.

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  7. Quite frankly, I'm going to aim for a pink ribbon every single time out. They're the prettiest!

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    1. I hate pink, but it looks great on T so who cares. IT'S A RIBBON.

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  8. Congratulations!!! :)
    Also why on earth would you want to have to worry about a goat at a horse show lol. Madness.

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  9. Congrats! I have to tell you that once I took a baby lamb to a show with me because I was bottle feeding it. It I hadn't it would have sat at home and died while I showed. I had no other option.

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    1. That's totally understandable, but this goat was full-grown, completely healthy, and had its own stall. It was just... weird, you know?

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  10. Yessssssssssss so awesome!! I hope to be there next year!

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  11. What a gorgeous ribbon. Congrats on that. I look forward to hearing more about the show. The goat thing is super weird.

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  12. YAY!!!!!!!!!

    I totally understand the ribbon thing and the ceremony. I still have my ribbons from when I was showing Pleasure in Tennessee and Florida (Florida being even more scary because I knew nobody. Nobody was friendly. And the judges *wanted* Kacey to fail because we were an unknown pair. But we showed them! At least a couple times...) I just can't make myself get rid of them.

    ****hugs*** I'm so happy to hear you had a great weekend!

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    1. I still have satin from 1989 so... I totally get it. :D

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  13. I was just thinking about showing at championships this next year but choked on my drink thinking about trying to score in the high 60s in 1-3

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