Area III Champs at Chatt Hills – Dressage

I didn’t have high hopes for coming out of Area Champs with a ribbon. Not when there are 17 riders in your class and they’re all good. Not when you know dressage is a hit or miss. But I did kind of hope. Our ride at Stable View (which I will some day get around to recaping) had been absolutely beautiful. I knew that if we had another test like that, we had a chance.

But I also knew I was going to be battling the heat and humidity with a ride time of 3:22. Lovely.

Still, I was excited and I headed off to warm-up hopeful. And warm-up was perfect. Hot. Dusty. Blessedly short. But perfect. My hope started to rise. We could so do this.

Then we got into the arena and Gus fell apart including mini bucks as I asked him to enter the area where all the dressage tests were. I honestly don’t know what his deal is. He could care less about the horses in warm up. He could care less about the judge’s booth (he has never once even looked sideways at it) but we get in the dressage ring and suddenly he can’t bend right to save his life. Or move off my leg.

The three things I was happy with were: our right lead canter out of the diagonal which was ironically the only time he was willing to bend, the fact that he kept his head down in the free walk instead of giraffing, and our halt was as good as it has ever been. Otherwise, it was bad. Gus just could not even deal with dressage apparently.

I admit that it looks better than it felt as I received all 6’s and 7’s except for a 4.5 on the free walk/medium walk for jigging and a 5.5. on the medium walk prior to that for being behind the vertical.

Annoyingly enough, this only seems to happen at Chatt Hills. Not that we’ve had great luck elsewhere but the complete 180 is a Chatt thing. I am thinking about having my trainer take him to a schooling show here and just ride every test she can (and blow them if she has to). And then I’ll do the same.

Partly because I had to get ready for XC and partially because I really didn’t want to know… I wasn’t too concerned about checking scores. I knew that wasn’t good enough for a top 10 placing. Sure enough, it was a 39 and change. And we were sitting in 15th.

3 thoughts on “Area III Champs at Chatt Hills – Dressage

  1. It is frustrating when you get in the ring and you horse no longer remembers how to to do anything. Good for you for riding through it. He’ll get it one day. I like your idea of taking him there for schooling shows.

  2. Awww, that’s super frustrating. I’m similar, except that it’s my fault. We’ll have a great warmup then I kind of fall apart during the test because I’m trying desperately not to forget it (leftover “PTSD” from previous show). I’ll ride each individual movement great, but our transitions are usually “rushed,” and it’s because of me. But it definitely couldn’t hurt for your trainer to take him in for you a couple times! And your pictures look great, at least!

  3. Dressage is tough. And it really sucks when your horse loses their mind. I think your idea of a schooling show where you and your trainer do all the things is a good one. At least then you will know that the venue isn’t the issue.

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