Last time I filled you in on the start of our busy year up to May in A Beginning to a Busy Year. Would you believe that’s only the beginning?
We had two hunter shows two weekends in a row April 24th and May 1st. The next weekend we chose to have a fun day and took the gentleman for our first trail ride of the year. The guys were stellar and enjoyed splashing around the lake. We also had a chance for a nice long open canter. The trail ride helped to get the boys out of the ring and prepared mentally for the year, starting with our hunter pace the following weekend!
I’ve never had a chance to do a spring hunter pace, normally my boys are out of shape and unprepared but since we rode all winter they were fit and ready to go. We attended Landsmankill Trail Association’s spring pace. We had a great time and the boys were wonderful. We had excellent weather, too! Later we learned that we won the hunt division!
Of course LKTA and I have our history, and I didn’t escape the spring pace entirely unscathed. My first pace I hit a tree. The second time at the same pace Blade did amazing but the group of thoroughbreds got excited and Blade threw me. The third time I hit another tree. This time we had come over a jump and the trail stopped short (after many years of several people telling them the trail is poorly marked it remains poorly marked) and we came to a screeching halt. Nahe stopped a little too close to Tiger and he wailed me in the knee. It was fine, we finished. A few days later I got it XRayed since the pain wasn’t going away and I wasn’t able to bend it. Luckily nothing was broken and it fully healed a month or so later.
On May 22nd I brought Nahe to our first dressage show. It was a brutally hot day. It was a long day. There were quite a few of us attending and our ride times were pretty scattered. Towards the end of the show-day Nahe and I trotted down centerline. We rode Intro Test B and Intro Test C. In both classes we earned second place. I had a lot of fun at the two hunter shows we went to, but it was as expected. Subjective, and with no feedback. I can’t really say I learned a lot from it. With this dressage show I fell in love right away. The judge scores every movement on the test in a more technical way, and you are given a sheet with commentary on what went well and what needed improvement.
Now THAT is my style! How had I not known this existed all this time? I’d have ridden dressage a whole lot sooner if I had realized how great it could be. I loved that I was given the judge’s undivided attention, and that the judge could provide me with valuable feedback on what I need to work on. The comments were fair and they were something I could work on during my training rides. I knew then I’d never go back to hunters.
May 1st, Hunter Show. May 8th, Trail/Conditioning Ride. May 15th: Hunter Pace. May 22nd: First Dressage show. There’s one more weekend in May, May 29th.
We made that day our first combined test.
For those who are unfamiliar, a combined test is a 2-phase show. The first is a dressage test. The second is a jump round.
We attended the combined schooling show at Larkin Hill that day. The horses were fantastic. I always love going to Larkin Hill, the facility is beautiful and the footing incredible. My test was Intro C again with jumps set at 2′. We won the combined test!
What I’m especially thankful for at the Larkin Hill show was Zac coming to cheer me on. I also was brave and bought white pants. I’ve never been brave enough to wear WHITE pants, but I did!
I think it’s safe to say that May was a very busy month for horse adventures (I haven’t even touched on the woodworking!). For now we’ll wrap it up. June was a busy month as well so I will fill you in soon!