Three Cheers for Ike

Another blue ribbon day for Mr. Ike.  I could not be prouder of my 4 year-old and how he handled himself today.  I am exhausted, but a power nap this afternoon has kept me going long enough to get this blog post done.

The day started early, but what a gorgeous day for a dressage show.  I finished Ike’s braids while he was still in his paddock – such a good boy to be so cooperative rather than playing catch me if you can.  He walked on the trailer like a champ and we were on our way.  We arrived at the show grounds about 90 minutes before my first ride.  Ike was much calmer this time out.  Could it be that he is gaining confidence?  No whinnying at every other horse.  No rearing in our stall.  Ms. C arrived soon after we did; we are very lucky to have her support for our centerline adventures.  I know we’d be lost without her guidance.  Hopped onboard with 45 minutes to warm up.  The scary tractor was nowhere to be seen, so warm up went smoothly.  The judge’s booth was scary today…you just never know.  I was the only one in the Intro B class, so this blue ribbon gets an asterisk like Ike’s first show ribbons.  Even with his nervousness near the judge, Ike got a 69.375%.

Had a 90 minute break before the next test.  Ah, now Ike had to learn the restart.  I did leave his saddle on so he understood that work was not over.  Ike had no problems with the second warmup.  Got my first test back just before my second ride.  You would think that you had to use differential equations to score with how long the scoring takes at shows.  The judge wanted Ike to be more forward, so we rode the edge for Intro C.  Overall, that strategy worked, but we did break into canter on our circle to the left…so we went a bit too far over the edge on that one.  Such is life.  67.75% for this test with both canter leads correct and a 9.5 for our final centerline!!!  How cool is that?

Had a two-hour wait for our Training Level debut, so Ike was untacked and had some down time.  I was feeling confident about the restart, but that balloon was deflated when we arrived at warmup.  The water truck and the big tractor were out working on Ring 3.  Pretty sure that Ike believed the boogie man was hiding in one of them.  Warmup was challenging with a couple of explosive airs-above-the-ground canter transitions that I didn’t ask Ike to do.  I was hopeful that the chaos would be over before my ride, but I WAS WRONG.  It got worse.  The tractor was parked right outside our arena as we entered, but then it started up and headed to Ring 2 just as we entered at A.  The water truck then went into the warmup arena…boogie men everywhere.  Ike was a bundle of nerves under me.  I could feel his heart pounding through the saddle.  Needless to say our individual movement scores took a hit as well as the collectives.  58.6% for our Training Level debut, but we still won the class.

So Ike now has three shows behind him and he keeps getting better with each one.  I think he is going to be a super dressage mount as he gets older and gains more confidence.  We now have 5 weeks before our next outing – a schooling show hosted by my local chapter.  Lots of time to decide what tests to ride.  Stay tuned!

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