Here there be dragons...

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Sienna the DQ?

(from Graduate Riding School Blog)

So Sienna and I headed into DQ world this weekend. Yes on purpose. Sheesh >;-P

We get there (R came with me to help out -- thanks tons!) Unload Miss Sienna, who, seeing the grass, settles almost instantly to grazing :) Leaving her in good hands, I trek off in search of the secretary, get all checked in and find where I'm supposed to be etc. Go to find tack check since I had a technical question, but discover there is no tack check. *g* Gotta love schooling shows :) All good.

Get tacked up and dressed. I think we have to rethink the whole dressage gear thing. Now that we're not in the calvary anymore >;-P I mean seriously, *white* pants? In my case, thick breeches (warmest non-fleece ones I own). And full-seat at that. Ugh. Not fun. Then lets add to that a long-sleeve black jacket. Yeah there's a good idea in the hot summer sun! And tall black leather boots too. Fashion over comfort in a big way here. Alright moving on. If it weren't for the full-seat thing wouldn't've been so bad. Not as though it's not the same gear for eventing :)

Anyways - I was a little concerned that the ride over to the rings might be exciting, but Si was really kewl with it. Yeah hacking pony! She was really quiet, and warmed up well. I took her for a walk over closer to the ring -- what I found really amusing was that she couldn't care less about the flapping tent with the BBQ under it; no problem there at all. But the *rock* on the other side of the road, now that was to be feared!

Footing in the w/u ring was amazing. Just as a random sidenote :) Was pretty happy about that. And the in-gate steward was amazing. Seriously into her job, but friendly about it *g*

So first test we go in. Investigate the scary barrel that R warned me was causing grief. And the tents. And the ads. And the camera person. Then we were all good :) Went in and she did her best test ever. Now to put this in perspective, it did not even vaguely resemble traditional dressage. hahaha but there were entire sections where she was connected. The inverted giraffe didn't even feel the need to come play! woohoo! AND we even got at least one stride with a left bend. hahaha (the tenser she is the more she tilts and curls right -- it's quite dramatic at times). Alright. Sweet.

I was ready to go home at that point. It's hot. We put in a test better than anything she's ever done. First two goals accomplished. Second two, close enough :) All good. But yeah I knew we had to do more. Kinda the whole point.

hahaha so heading back to the trailer after the first test, I ran into a friend I haven't seen in a while. "What are you doing *here*???" he asked with appropriate disbelief. "Do you realize there are no jumps anywhere?" hahaha classic :)

Take her back where she's drinking as the bucket is filling up. Apparently she felt it was hot too. Happy about that though -- the whole drinking away from home thing is relatively knew still so I'm always happy to see that. Let her graze and chill for a bit while I memorize the next test. Hop back on and go for test two.

Easy w/u. Good test. I was thrilled. Still got a little run away with at the canter, but actually accomplished a left bend. Woohoo!

Last test... hmmm well in w/u she took serious objection to the letter S for some reason. That had me laughing. We'd just been wandering around on a long rein and suddenly we're 10ft away snorting. Classic. I swear she was just checking if I was awake. Test was the best one yet. We had an unfortunate return of the inverted giraffe and as a result had to skip a transition. (ummm cantering right, supposed to trot at C and walk @ M. Inverted giraffe on speed kicked in about H. "We need to go NOW!" just about when we needed to be stopping. So we skipped the trot entirely and came canter to walk rather abruptly (you WILL stop) at M. hahaha as I said, slightly less than traditional :). But the rest of the test was really really good. And the left bend was only slightly more of a fight than the right. Definite progress.

Not competitive yet -- but then, she was never meant to be highly competitive in dressage *g* We were in the ribbons and the top half of the class consistently, but not the top three. Ah Zel spoiled me in some ways. Moved that bar way up there *g* But since our last two or three times out we've been pretty much dead last after dr, this is serious progress!

To review -- goals for the day were:

Mandatory:
1. Keep horse between rider and ground.
2. Don't exit the dressage ring during the test.

Hopefully:
1. Achieve a left bend.
2. Have each round get progressively better.

And you know what? We got em all! So I was thrilled.

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