Will it surprise you to hear that the report I got when I arrived at Caber Farms on Thursday was less than ideal? No? Well, it wasn’t. Apparently Dandy was naughty and I had gotten there just in time to take him for his evening stroll and found out first hand. He was NAUGHTY. I was so annoyed by the time I put him back in his stall that I stocked over to JLE’s trailer and said “Do you think I can sell him for more than pound price?”*
Since JLE had a couple of free hours in her schedule for the morning, and Dandy didn’t ride until 2:20 in the afternoon, we decided that he was going to get two rides on Friday. I truly believe that you need to learn to ride the horse but I was really ready to pull out the Perfect Prep.
So imagine all our surprise when Dandy woke up on Thursday and acted like he did horse shows all the time (which he has this summer!). He was relaxed and quiet. Where did the Dandy Lion go? Wait. Stop asking questions. Just be happy!
And that great attitude held until I brought him back out at 1:45 for his class, Area VII Novice Championships.
(Side Note: Please remember that if you are riding in an eventing championship class you cannot have a whip in the dressage ring! I knew this but one of our young BN riders was the very first person in the Championship ring on Friday morning and no one told her to drop the whip. I would have if I had seen her before she turned down center line but… yeah, that was not a great start to the morning. Everyone felt terrible though she bounced back much faster than I would have.)
The minute Dandy came down the center line, I knew it was going to be an amazing test. He was the most relaxed he had ever been and he was really listening to JLE. You’ll have to forgive the bragging (this is my blog after all) but my boy is a beast at dressage.
His trot was huge and floaty.
His free walk was out and down (though the judge did want more energy through the whole thing).
His canter was uphill and lofty.
Now, to be fair, a motorcycle drove by just as Dandy was picking up his right lead canter but it was just an excuse. All that pent up energy from being good just bottled over. Not only was the canter transition ruined but he also switched leads in the middle of the circle so JLE had to bring him back down and pick up the correct lead again.
It ruined what would have been a sub 30, and absolutely gorgeous test. The only saving grace is that this was the end of the test. All he had to do was transition back to a trot and come down the center line and halt.
I actually thought this was one of his better halts but it was definitely the worst halt score he’s ever received.
Still, when all was said and done, even with the freak out, Dandy and JLE still scored a 32.2. The entire first three quarters of the test were all 7’s and 8’s and Dandy even got an 8 in the collective marks for gaits! But, this was the championship class and he was the first one in the ring, which set the bar pretty high and we went into XC tied for 10th.
*I love Dandy but boy does that horse piss me off sometimes!