Yes, it is true. Show season in Virginia gets rolling the first weekend in April. Yikes! It seemed like I had a lot more time to prepare for the season to come. I am still trying to work my way through my list of pre-season show preparations (the trailer is inspected and partially cleaned), but ready or not, it is time to dust off the USEF and USDF cards, dig out the Coggins, and write the checks.
Reality is setting in that I have committed myself to the licensed shows to try to qualify for the USDF/GAIGs Regional Championships. Uh, was that the right thing to do? My last foray into the licensed show world was a debacle of epic proportions. I wasn’t even trying to qualify for regionals; I just wanted to get enough scores for All Breeds. Cigar had other plans. We made it to enough shows to get the necessary number of scores, but when you have to excuse yourself from the ring for your horse’s misconduct at least once at every show, then getting the needed scores is darn near impossible. Thank you Cigar. You might as well have just eaten the money that I spent on that class…I shouldn’t say that – he probably would have eaten the money (Note to new readers: He did eat a $50 bill before one of my lessons and never gave change. Stinker).
So, although our first planned shows aren’t until the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May, entries open next week. That means that I need to decide what tests to ride. One thing I have decided is that even though the shows are both two-day shows, Ike and I will only do one day each weekend. He is just turning 5 on April 30th and I think it would be unfair to expect him to do two full weekends back-to-back. He might be big, but he is still a baby in so many ways.
Now back to the decision of which tests to ride – Training Test 1, Test 2, or Test 3? We need two qualifying scores (63% or greater) from Test 3 in order to qualify. Test 3 does have the most canter work with the dreaded canter turn onto the long diagonal with a down transition at X. While we ended last season with scores for Test 3 in the high-60’s, I fully expect our scores to be lower at the licensed shows. I think the game plan right now is to do Test 1 and Test 2 at the first show, and then Test 2 and Test 3 the following weekend. Once we see where we stand after those tests, I can decide how to proceed at the next show in June or go back to schooling shows if Ike decides to follow in his big brother’s footsteps.
Keeping fingers crossed that Ike can bring some glory back to the family.