We are home from the Texas Rose Dressage Classic, and utterly exhausted. I've never shown three days in a row before. My first schooling ride, Thursday evening, was challenging. Clair was pawing and cow-kicking all through tacking-up, and then some more as I mounted, and then she was a live wire for the first ten minutes. I don't know why my brain shuts down at shows, but it does. I realize now I should have just pushed her forward, and then more forward. But instead I tried to contain her, and I'm sure I just irritated the crap out of her. In any case, we settled into a decent ride after a bit, and I was pleased.
My two rides on Friday were pleasant and obedient, but not nearly forward enough. I deserved the 57% and 58% I got. Trainer Suzanne hadn't arrived yet -- she would have gotten me forward right off the bat. She arrived Friday afternoon and helped me school that evening. Forwardness achieved!
My second-one test Saturday went really well. I had the same judge as the day before and he rewarded our new energy with a 63.4%. Second-level bronze score number one achieved! My second-two test was going sort of ok, and then I went off course (it was really windy, I couldn't hear my reader, and even though I had the test memorized I forgot where I was), and then things fell apart. 54%.
On Sunday I decided to scratch my second-one test since it was in front of the same judge as the day before. Plus, Clair and I were tired. So we put all our eggs in the second-two basket, in front of the toughest judge at the show. The test went really well, with just a few small mistakes. None of us was at all sure it was going to be good enough. We went to lunch, and I asked a friend who stayed behind to text me with the score, no matter what it was. As we were waiting to be seated at the restaurant, the text came through: 61.5%! Second-level bronze score number two achieved! And there was much rejoicing in the Mexican restaurant. I really have to give so much credit to Suzanne, who coached me Saturday and Sunday and fixed enough of our issues to get us our scores.
Third level, here we come!