Chatt Hills Recap: Dressage

Hey there, long time no post. For me anyway. As you may have noticed, I left for Chatt last week, and I didn’t have the time or the energy or the WiFi for the blog, so I took a hiatus. But now I’m back home, fully WiFi’d, and with tons of updates and pictures and videos that will take us a few days to get through. Yay? In all seriousness, Presto was just THE BEST kiddo and I’m so freakin proud of him.

using Hillary’s BEMER really just made me even more obsessed with it – Presto loved it

Anyway – as you may remember we were originally supposed to do both weeks of Chatt. Unfortunately something came up at Megan’s barn that she had to stay and take care of, so she had to scratch week 1. With everything happening with Quinn that kind of ended up working out better for me anyway honestly. I ended up flying in on Tuesday morning, Hillary picked me up at the airport since she was already there, and then Megan got there on Tuesday night with all her horses. On Wednesday they offered some jumper rounds, so Presto got to go in and jump around a 2’11” (he was clear and a very good nug) although the course was short and simple and didn’t use all the “spooky” standards… it was still good to get him in the big ring with all the flags and stuff. He didn’t bat an eye, naturally.

On Friday he did the YEH class, which we’ll circle back around and talk about later, because I have a lot of thoughts and need to organize them before it just becomes word vomit. On Saturday the regular horse trial started, and he had dressage and stadium.

Presto was the last of Megan’s four horses to do dressage, and she had to come right off of Prelim XC and onto Presto in the dressage warmup. It was hot AF that day, like melt the skin off your face kind of weather, and poor Megan was just dripping sweat like a faucet. Presto decided that would be a great time to be a very disagreeable little shit in warmup, of course. It got a little better towards the end but it wasn’t great, so she headed down to the ring and I was like “well, this is just gonna be what it’s gonna be, that’s green horses for you”. Really Friday had been a very long day for him and I think he was just kind of Over It by that point.

But wouldn’t you know it, the second he trotted into the show ring he was 100% all business and never put a foot wrong. Guess he decided he just doesn’t want to warm up? Whatever, he went in there and threw down his best test yet, being such a good boy and super rideable, with very few bobbles, even in a ring with a lot of possible distractions happening in the background. He just looked very steady in general, without any of the temporary losses of focus that he’s had at his first two shows. I really wish the photographer had gotten any dressage pics so I had something besides these crappy screenshots. Low quality screenshots, high quality horse.

After Megan halted and started walking out the judge asked what breed Presto was, which I hoped was a good sign. She seemed to really like him and said he was lovely, and he was as good a boy as a 4yo can possibly be, so I was hoping the third time was a charm and he’d break into the 20’s (his test at Texas Rose was 31, MeadowCreek was 32). I took him back to the barn, hosed him, and Megan was off to hop on Tenny for cross country. By the time I got down to XC warmup we checked the scores and holy shit did he ever break into the 20’s.


Fuck yeah, Noodle! He was out in front by a 3 point margin in a class that ranged from his 23 all the way up to a 45. The judge loved him for sure, and we will 100% take that and run with it. There was still room for improvement, so it’s kind of fun to see glimpses of some real potential. Imagine how good he could be when he’s stronger and really coming through his body more! It’s pretty exciting. But also kind of intimidating for me, because I’ve never had a horse that was even capable of a score like that, and now I have to learn how to ride this creature at some point LOL. Luckily Megan said that despite all his monkeying around in the warmup he’s actually super easy to ride in the ring, so hopefully he stays that way.

I think my favorite part of the entire test is the collective comments – “lovely prospect” and “well started”. It feels so freaking good to see that. For me, because I believe in the horse’s potential so much, and for Megan, because she’s done such a stellar job with him already. If you’d told me 5 months ago when I dropped off that half-feral creature at her farm that he’d soon be at one of the biggest shows in Area 3 scoring a 23 in the Novice in excellent company, I’d have said you were high AF. I’m getting a ton of joy out of watching him blossom under Megan’s guidance, and I’m so freakin proud of both of them. She’s put a lot of hard work into him and it shows. It was really fun to be rewarded with a great score like that at a place like Chatt, not gonna lie.

There wasn’t a ton of time to celebrate though, because showjumping was next!

17 thoughts on “Chatt Hills Recap: Dressage

  1. I love everything about this! Not just the score but seeing what you and Michelle have been working toward really come to fruition, and seeing a purpose bred horse do purpose bred things – it’s just awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you get a little bit of credit for the “Well started” comment too! I am following your basic schedule for my own two-year old, who is mostly just hanging out being a horse right now, not doing much with her but interacting with and handling her daily. I have no plans to start riding her until she’s well into her third year, at the minimum. She just has so much growing up to do first, but also want to follow your example of taking her places now to expose her to different sights and sounds. And boy-howdy, do I need a patience tree!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So exciting!!!! I’m curious, are people starting to ask you if he’s for sale? As talented as he is and with SUCH a great brain, I’d assume ppl would be falling all over themselves to try to get him in their barn!

    Congratulations! You absolutely get credit for the well started comments, too. Megan couldn’t have so much success if she had started at zero. 🙂


    1. Someone did ask, although he’s not as flashy as some so probably not as eye-catching. At this point it would take considerably more than he’s worth (like… CONSIDERABLY more) for me to part with him. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course! I didn’t think you’d actually have any interest in selling. The horse market is SO hot right now I think ppl are desperate. With him being so nice and young, I just wouldn’t be surprised if ppl try!


  4. If I hadn’t been following you since he was born there is no way I’d know he was four. He looks amazing! And I agree with the comment about selling…if you were ever going to consider a time to do it, now it that time. Horses are selling for stupid prices! Ones that never would have commanded the prices they are, with less than stellar vettings. It is mind boggling.


  5. What an absolutely lovely horse! You did a great job of bringing him along! Megan is doing a great job of putting some polish on him. I cannot wait for you to take the ride back over and to see the heights you and Presto will soar to ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations! You AND Megan have done a great job with him. Don’t forget to give yourself some of that credit!
    As for the warm up shenanigans… Presto probably figures dressage is just the warm up for jumping, so why pre-get ready for that?


    1. It’s almost as if he thinks that only baby horses need to warm up and he really wants us to know that he is NOT a baby, nor does he want the other horses to think he is! Little turd.


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