Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Seven's First Dressage Show

We arrived in plenty of time and I tried not to be noticed as I slipped him off the trailer. The Preserve Farm in Washington, NC was a very pretty and nicely laid out place! There were already several trailers with nice looking horses tied to them and people out warming up their horses.
I had clipped Seven and vacuumed him till no dust came out of his coat when you patted him. Not something easy to do with a full winter coat! Claudia and her husband Jack arrived as I was tacking Seven up. I put the new Dressage pad under our English saddle so we at least looked the part! I warmed up and got several warm welcomes from other participants. I still was trying to stay away from the other horses! Seven was being a very reserved and well behaved!
Claudia gave me my last minute instructions before it was my turn to go in the ring and try our hand at Dressage Test Introduction B. So much to think about! I was just hoping to stay in the ring and remember the pattern! Seven rode very well! He stayed between my legs and my hands for most of the ride! I was very pleased and even had a little cheering section when I got done! I was relieved! I learned later we had received a 68 score, which I am told is very good and impressive for our first test.
We then competed in the Sport Horse Versatility Class which is working over obstacles and then another class in hand with a halter. They take your riding score in this class and match it with your dressage test to place the class. I ended up with a 2nd in the in-hand class and a 3rd in the obstacles/dressage test class.
I let Seven rest at the trailer for a while and watched Claudia and Jack take their horses through the Tests and the Sport Versatility Classes too. Soon it was time for me to saddle up again.
This test was more complicated and I hoped to stay on course. Seven was not as light and forward as I would have wanted but we still stayed on course and got the job done. We scored a 60.7 on the Training Level 2 test and placed 4th.
I was very please with how everyone responded so well to Seven. You never know how things will go when you show up with a mule.
In an email Claudia told me that “I think you and Seven really made a good impression on the Dressage riders. I heard so many good comments about him and I think everyone really enjoyed seeing a well behaved and athletic Dressage Mule.”

Thank you Claudia for the complements and all the help and good advice!!
We have another Dressage Show on the 20th in Raleigh! Got some practicing to do between now and then!

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