Longer time readers may be sick of me by now saying “I am totally going to show First Level this year! It’s my goal and everything!” It’s been…like three or four years now.
It’s probably pretty obvious from this blog that I am a mediocre-at-best rider with no natural feel, a shit-ton of other things going on in my life, and a horse that I adore with not a speck of natural talent for dressage. Plus, cumulative years’ worth of setbacks and rehab, especially in the last few years.
(In fairness to Tristan, if YOU spent half your life wild/neglected/untouched you’d probably think this whole thing was bullshit, too.)
That’s my long and pessimistic way of saying: hey, we’re entered at First Level in a schooling show on Saturday!
It’s the barn show, part of a statewide schooling series, super low-stakes. We know the ring, we know the judge, we can warm up where we school. Kind of a best-case scenario for making ourselves look like idiots.
We’ll do Training 2 (I wanted the stretchy circle prep) and then First 1. I took some pieces of them out of the box last night during a short schooling ride and he was actually kind of awesome? Some combination of naughty pony weather (we’re getting highs in the 60s, lows in the 40s overnight) and my new level of expectations for him have started to pay off. My fitness outside of the saddle is really starting to pay off, too; I am stronger than I have ever been thanks to 3-4x a week at CrossFit, and I can hold a half-halt in my core in a way that I was never able to do consistently before.
I have zero expectations. Or rather: I have expectations that we will stay in the ring. (I went into my first dressage show with him with those same expectations, and Reader, we did NOT stay in the ring, so…) I’d just like to DO this thing after so long of aiming for it. If we clear 50% I will be surprised but happy.
So, stay tuned, I guess. I may have talked my husband into recording the tests, so I’ll try to work up the courage to share them.