Monday, June 27, 2011

PVDA Ride for Life - Dressage at its finest!!

First and foremost - THANK YOU to everyone who supported the 2011 PVDA Ride for Life. I set my pledge goal this year at $1,000 and thanks to your generosity, I met and exceeded that goal! $1,870 was donated in my name to the Johns Hopkins Avon Breast Cancer Center. WOW! That was the 11th highest amount raised and 3rd in the "open" division. And I was also so excited to have so many friends turn up to watch Katchi and I perform and to attend the Dancing Horse Challenge on Saturday night. Things like this are so much more fun with friends!!

As you can see from the picture below, Katchi and I had a very successful weekend! Katchi earned a ribbon in all 4 of his classes which was the icing on the cake to the really exciting part of the weekend - Katchi performed his first two Second Level dressage tests and we didn't embarrass ourselves!! My two primary goals were 1) not to finish the test and have the judge ask me why I entered this poor horse in Second Level, and 2) to score a minimum of 50 (or mid-50's to be optimistic!). Not only did we meet these goals, Katchi scored a 59.143 the first day and a 60.286 the second day! I could not have been more thrilled! And I had so much fun riding that 2nd level test - it was hard, I was trying for my life not to bounce out of the saddle during the sitting medium trot, and I was about ready to pass out by the end - but it was FUN! There was so much to do, it was like my own mini-Grand Prix! I looked through the show schedule this morning to see if I can get to another dressage show this fall, but I'm not sure I can make it work with my horse trial schedule. Too bad, because I am on a dressage high!

Don't you just love my new gray Charles Owen helmet?!?!

Leading up to R4L, Katchi and I didn't have the greatest week. After Phillip's Camp, he took a couple days off and worked lightly Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, we went to Waredaca's evening jumper show. So many people turned up that they were running quite late. And then all of a sudden there were only 4 of us for the 3'3 class so it was my turn before I knew it. But, Katchi was not warming up well at all. I couldn't recreate that canter we had at Phillip's - I was more than frustrated, as you can imagine. His jumping was okay - based on the standards of performance from 2 weeks ago. But our standards are higher now, and we weren't cutting it. I opted not to jump the courses, and I went home with my head hung low and totally beating myself up. When we got back to the barn and were hosing Katchi off, I got the sense his back was bothering him. So I checked him out closer and discovered his entire back was in spasms. I'm certain that didn't happen because of our less than stellar warm-up - it must have been the cause. And didn't I feel like a jerk for getting after Katchi for not coming together properly when he must have been screaming in pain! Katchi's favorite person in the whole world, Courtney of Hands on Horses came out for a visit the next day - she confirmed his back was in spasms from withers to tail. Ouch! She worked her magic, and I followed-up with my kindergarten-massage work on Friday morning and evening and every chance I could get on Saturday and Sunday. He hung in there for me this weekend and his back is definitely better, but I'm going to have to be very careful with it leading up to Loch Moy.

Katchi's ribbon quarter mark

Also a huge congratulations to several of my students - Kerry and Atticus have confirmed themselves as solid Training Level competitors, finishing in the ribbons both days in Training Level Tests 2 & 3 in very large classes! Each time Kerry heads into the competition ring, she's a notch better than last time - just the way it's supposed to be! Kerry was so funny warming up for her final test - she finally got to ride over in the "big boy" area and happened to be warming up with about 5 Grand Prix horses. When I arrived to help her, I asked how Atticus was doing and she said, "He's great, but I so do not belong in here!" - I told her to watch out for those canter pirouettes because they'll throw off the 'pass left-to-left' rule every time! I don't think she thought I was very funny!

Ribbons, Ribbons, Ribbons!

I also had great fun helping a friend from the hunter world who wanted to take a voyage into dressage land - on her 21 year old thoroughbred! "The Full Monty" was a total gentleman in his Intro tests B and C - earning a 2nd place in each. Rumor has it that he got a doughnut for his efforts too!

It was also excellent to see two of my jumping students, Debi and Ilkim, out perfecting their dressage work. And I ran into other eventing friends everywhere I turned - with lots of ribbons in hand! Those DQs must have thought EN had invaded from all fronts!

Two very tired event horses at the end of two days of dressage.

Check back tomorrow as I should have videos posted from the weekend - including some highlights of the amazing Dancing Horse Challenge!!

PS. Dover's pink horse pictured at the top of this post made it's way to PG Equestrian
Center in my friend Beth's horse trailer! I think she got some pretty funny looks!

1 comment:

  1. Poor Katchi! I hope his back is feeling better. The ribbons are beautiful, congrats on a great weekend :)