Texas Rose Fall HT: Dressage

I decided that I’m going to follow a new format for show recaps, branching off of one of the books I’m reading about show ring mentality. I think it might be a more helpful exercise for me to break it down a little differently rather than just word vomit all the things I remember most (which is usually all of the less-positive things). Feel free to tell me what you think of this format!

Never shy about telling me what he thinks about anything. Or demanding cookies.

So, for dressage…

What went well?

Y’all, it was 35 freaking degrees on Saturday morning and my dressage time was at 8:07am. I thought I might die.

Good news: didn’t die!

Image result for didn't die meme

Did just about freeze solid though. Definitely could not feel my face or fingers or toes.

While Henry was tighter than usual, he actually ended up giving me some really nice work towards the end of our warmup. Which… warmup was a really interesting place to be all day. Nothing like dropping a bunch of fit, athletic eventers into a sudden arctic cold front. Yee-freakin-haw.

Henry was a bit more tense in the ring (he always is, especially at Texas Rose) but he did his job and was relatively obedient. The beginning of the Prelim A test is especially tricky on a tense tight horse, with the 10m circle, halt, 10m circle sequence at the beginning making it hard to really push them forward into a nice rhythm. He tried for me though, and we even earned another 9 (our second this season!) on the final halt. Our first recognized Prelim dressage test was in the books, and with a totally respectable score of 34.8. I really just wanted to be under 40, so I’m 110% hella ok with a 34.8.

Real good at stopping. Sometimes. The other halt score was a 6.

What could have gone better?

Omg, y’all, I HAD AN ERROR. HAHAHAHAHA. My dumb ass turned up centerline for the first leg yield and tried to freaking half pass instead. I just had a total brain fart and started going right instead of left. A few steps in I was like wait… this isn’t leg yield… right as the judge rang the bell. Total derp moment.

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Why I’m trying to make this test even harder than it is, I don’t know, but I sure did. Whoops. If you’re going to mess up, that’s a pretty hilarious way to do it, I suppose.

To be honest I thought the test was going to score really badly. I just felt a little disorganized in general and I knew I was inaccurate in a couple of figures, plus the medium canters felt very lackluster. The judge was definitely nice to me I think, but I will take the charity. I guess it balances out the mean judge from Holly Hill a couple weeks ago.

I have no pictures of Henry from dressage so here’s a picture of Trainer’s OTTB that I’m going to steal once he gets to 1*. Shhh don’t tell anyone. Can you believe he was just restarted in February???

What can we work on to improve things next time?

Um well I could, like… remember the test, that might help. News flash: there’s no half pass at Prelim.

Otherwise I’m not really surprised with how things went, all the lower scores were on movements that I already knew were a bit lacking. We definitely need to keep working on the 10m circle-halt-10m circle at the beginning, and the 10m half circles at canter. I’m struggling a little to keep him from getting stuck in those. A dressage lesson definitely needs to happen. And honestly, it’s probably time to try to mark out a dressage arena at home, because those smaller figures are really hard to ride well at a show when you only ever ride in a field at home. I do way too much guessing.

Image result for i have no idea what i'm doing gif
I feel like this is kind of what my circles looked like

So, ya know, overall there was definitely plenty of room for improvement, but some good moments too. Most importantly, dressage was done, and now I could focus on stadium! That’s the part I was really worried about…

30 thoughts on “Texas Rose Fall HT: Dressage

  1. I really like this way of breaking things down because it is more in depth. I only wish you had more media.
    I would really like to see a video of one of your dressage tests…


  2. I love the format. It’s really easy to follow along. I like how you post the positive, but till acknowledge there are things to fix.

    Sounds like a good test all factors considered and I am certain next time out will be better and hopefully not 35 degrees!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your new format too. Focus on the good! You guys are rock stars!

    Marking out a dressage arena with pylons as another person has suggested is a fantastic idea. It’s easy to store & set up when needed. To help with the 10 meter circles try spiralling in from a 20 meter down to the 10 and back out again. You can do the same while leg yielding too.

    By the way, you don’t need to steal a 1* horse. You have it already. If not Henry, it will be Presto.


  4. Congrats on your 9! And the score too. Also, Im glad Im not the only one whose horse is more tense at some venues then others!


  5. I like the new format! Always a great thing to remember what went right as well as what wasn’t perfect. The temps dropped like a rock here too, 28 degrees when I got on at 8 am for my clinic on Sunday. Ugh.
    I’m sure the ridiculous weather didn’t help with Henry’s tension, but it sounds like other than being a little tight, he kept his head in the game. Can’t wait to read the rest!


  6. What a terrific debut at Prelim dressage! Considering the circumstances, I would be hella proud! I can’t believe it was that cold- definitely makes me happy I was showing in Houston last week where it was respectable 50ish (and even that felt pretty cold!). Trainer’s horse is gorgeous- definitely can’t believe he’s been restarted less then a year. She’s doing an awesome job with him! P.S. Like the new recap format!


  7. Speaking as a dressager (ahem…) the 10-meter circles will gradually become more accurate (and willing) when you get a feel for the bend needed to achieve the arc. That way you will start out with the right arc from the get-go. If you can position the horse’s head (not the neck) so that you can just see the eyelashes a few strides before the circle you should be close to the right place when your leg tells him to turn. Just hold that bend all the way through the circle and you’re golden. Or, you can wait for your dressage instructor to tell you something totally different LOL!!!


      1. you be less negative and self abusive? Never 🙂 HA great job in dressage and dang that was cold. Poor Henny all naked and shit 🙂 HA….

        I like the new way of recapping too. And ugh i could not log into wordpress all day at work. So sorry for late reply 🙂 HA

        Now i want the rest of the story (Even tho I do know you lived obvious!)


  8. 10 meter circle, LOL. I’m lucky to get a nice bend before the arena wall comes back up again and it’s a hella lot wider than 10m! Sounds like a lot went well for your guys – way to keep everyone’s head in the game – and glad this judge was in a better mood.


  9. Oohh I really like the new format. It sounds like you had a pretty good start to the event! Can’t wait to hear the next installment.


  10. No I do not 😉 believe Trainer’s OTTB was just re-started in February – wow !!! I’ve seen him go around Pine Hill, and that unicorn has planted a flag that Eventing Is It. He goes like he was born for this. Some day there may be a scrum fight for him between a lot of Area V eventers, if she ever thinks about selling him – or even if she doesn’t. 🙂


  11. my riding has gone in a completely different perspective lately. I’m not sure I could do a 10m circle at all, I think we’d fall over.

    I like that you’re kinda forcing yourself to consider your performance more fairly and less negatively. I’m pretty sure you did more right than ‘not die’. And maybe you should put something that YOU specifically did right, because you deserve more kudos than you give yourself!!


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