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smithereens_86

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Razzle and I FINALLY made our debut at 2nd Level. Just a small schooling show. We did 2-1. I was really happy with how well it went. We had three mistakes in the test. Really due to a lack of focus. Razzle got distracted, and then just got leg tangled and couldn’t keep going with only half his attention on the test. Too complex of a test to run on half brain power!! We missed one simple change as he still just doesn’t have the strength he needs in the left hind to really sit and walk from the canter. In the other direction, we had a very nice simple change. I was shooting for a score in the mid-50’s going in, and it was a tough judge who was giving out low scores that day – but even with three mistakes, I still scored a 56.05% so I was thrilled. I was the only person in my class, so the 1st place finish didn’t have much meaning!! At any rate, here are the pictures – since you haven’t had show pictures in a very long time from us!!!

Warming up:

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Warming up:

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Medium Trot:

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Collected Trot:

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Collected Trot:

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Medium Trot:

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Shoulder In:

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Reinback:

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Continued . . .

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Collected Canter:

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Collected Canter:

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Gabrielle showed in Training 4 and scored 57.69% which was an improvement over the last time. Her test was much better and flowed much better so we were all very happy with that. She won her class as well. Here is a link to her pictures:

Gabrielle:

http://pets.webshots.com/album/554904165HIartP

Also, the professional pictures are finally posted, and they are decent - especially the ones of Gabrielle and Raz. Here is the website, and the password is FARM. Gabrielle's pictures are posted under her show number #33, and my pictures are posted under my number #48. A little further down, there are pictures on there from my previous show at THE Farm back in May under my show number #30. If you look at those pictures, you will see why I was unhappy with the photographer. They were funky pictures taken mostly at the walk, all at odd angles. Just not very good. I never even bothered ordering any even though she offered me a free 5x7. At any rate, here is the website:

https://georgetownphotoevents.lifepics.com/

Enjoy!!

~Shelly~

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Shelly, you and Raz both look great. And a huge congratulations on your Second Level debut!! You and I both know it's a *huge* step up from First Level.

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WOW!!!!!!!!!!! Your horse is AWESOME! i Love him [smile] and you guys look great together! I just had a lesson today working on my position, so i'm very envious of yours [smile]

what a great show! we're just starting 1st level and it's freakin' hard, so congrats on such a great score on 2nd level [smile]

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Luv - Thanks, yes, we both know what a huge leap it is from 1st to 2nd. Feels good to finally have made it though. Now I know we are confirmed in 2nd, and we're okay there. We have some things to work on, but we're solid. It's a nice feeling. Now I know what our homework is for the winter.

Flecken - Thanks, my trainer is a position nazi. I can't tell you how HARD I have worked and still work on my position. Every lesson, it is our main focus. She just drills it into me. Position, position, position. I still get tense and curl up at shows, but it is getting better. Yes, moving up the levels is hard, but the challenge is what makes it so worthwhile and fun.

Hedgehog - You can critique all you want, but I pretty well know my flaws!! As I said, my trainer drills me on my position, so I tend to be my own worst critic when the pictures/video come back. I do fairly well at home - great when my trainer is guarding over my like a watchdog!!! At shows though, the tension gets to me, and I scrunch up into a little ball of tension. I pull my legs up, and I curl my shoulders forward, and I let my outside hand travel to places it should never go!!! Unfortunately for me, Raz is the type of horse, though honest and not the bucking, bolting, bad boy sort, he is the sort that you have to "ride every stride" if you want a good ride in the dressage ring. When I lose my seat and leg and arms to tension, I lose him. He falls on his face, leans on me, overbends, and pulls. If I'm not perfect in my position, I can't keep him where he needs to be, ESPECIALLY at 2nd Level. That is going to be one of our hardest battles in this move up. I need to learn to let go of the tension, sit deep, open my chest, and RIDE him the way I do at home. Easier said than done, but I'm getting better and better. We just need more show miles. I almost had it in that last canter shot, had I kept my outside fingers closed and held my outside half halt a stride or two longer, I would have had him rounder on the outside rein, and more collected for that left 10m canter circle. We still got a 7 on that circle though. I had a nice canter, just not quite as round as he could have been and a touch overbent in the neck the way he likes to get to the left - but that was towards the end of the test, and I was finally chilling out and sitting into him the way I needed to be.

~Shelly~

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Shelly, I seem to do the exact same at shows; tensing and curling. I have had both types of rides, the ones where I am stiff as a board and the ones where I am soft and relaxed, and difference in scores (overall and the individual rider score) is quite large.

And yes, it definitely feels good to be solid 2nd. It has taken me awhile, and there is still some fine tuning to take place, but we are solid, *finally*!! I would say the biggest struggle for Teddy and I is the canter-walk transitions. But like you said, we have our homework for the winter!

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Shelly, I seem to do the exact same at shows; tensing and curling. I have had both types of rides, the ones where I am stiff as a board and the ones where I am soft and relaxed, and difference in scores (overall and the individual rider score) is quite large.

And yes, it definitely feels good to be solid 2nd. It has taken me awhile, and there is still some fine tuning to take place, but we are solid, *finally*!! I would say the biggest struggle for Teddy and I is the canter-walk transitions. But like you said, we have our homework for the winter!

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Great job. You two look awesome! Have you shown much this past season at all? I think we all tend to get nervous and more tense at shows. I know I could do a lot better at shows if I rode like I do at home! Anyway, congrats on your 2nd level debut!!

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No, Boocoo, we really took this season off to try to school and make the leap up from 1st to 2nd. We really finished with 1st, but we had some holes (canter/walk transitions) that we weren't quite ready for 2nd. There is a MASSIVE gap between 1st and 2nd that is really hard to leap over. You'll see soon enough!!!!

Yes, Luvhorses - that's the one. Those blasted simple changes. We are good R to L, but the L to R are still a little weak. We still need to build a little more muscle to be totally 100% consistent L to R. And our lateral work which is great at our working gaits, lacks the same consistency at the collected gaits, so we are working at that as well.

~Shelly~

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Congrats! Wasn't it an awesome feeling finishing your first 2nd level test? Raz looks awesome!

As I'm sure you already know that the more and more you do 2nd level you'll see improvement ever time you ride the test.

My biggest problem at 2nd level is the canter-walk transistions as well. Though before I lost Jade, we had them down pat. But it took me the entire summer to achieve that goal. It takes at least a year for the horse to have the proper muscling for the collected gaits.

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Shelly, the Left to Right simple changes are also a bit harder for Teddy. His "easier" way is going to the left. They have gotten much better, but we don't have them completely solid 100% of the time yet...we still have a couple here and there that are kind of 'icky'.

I definitely agree, it takes awhile to get the proper muscling to be able to correctly perform a lot of the 2nd level movements.

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Trust me Miss May, he already HAS a complex. He is the biggest goofball going and poses whenever he sees a camera. He actually checks himself out in the arena mirrors everytime we pass by. This is a picture I took of Gabrielle and Raz at this last show:

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Trust me, he doesn't need any help boosting his self image!! HA!!

~Shelly~

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That's why his name is Razzle!!! LOL! He looks almost black in that picture. He sure is shiny! Great job on his shiny coat.

I am sure it is a big jump from 1st to 2nd. It's a big enough one for me from Training to 1st! LOL!

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He is black, but I turn him out all day every day year round, so his coat gets sun bleached and looks brown. I would rather have him looking brownish than locked in a stall. I started feeding him Paprika for his coat a month or two ago, and it has helped his black bounce back from the summer damage. He was on Black as Knight, but the straight Paprika is cheaper and doing a much better job. The shine comes from a lot of elbow grease and a nice rubber curry, which Razzle ADORES. I never skip his curry session - once over the whole body, face and legs included. It's one of Raz's favorite things, and just makes his coat gleam.

From the looks of the last pictures I saw of you and Beau and your last few show scores I saw posted, I would say you are ready for the jump up to 1st. You've done your groundwork well, and the move up to 1st should go very smoothly for you two. People who try to rush to move up and cut corners and leave holes in their training, are the ones who have problems later on down the road. You'll be just fine. Your training is good and solid which will make the jump to 2nd easier as well - though that is still a very large chasm to cross.

~Shelly~

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HAHA!!! well at least he doesn't brag about his beauty! [Razz] oh LORD do i want one like that! with a dark bay and a roan i feel like i'm missing something! lol oh i'm kidding but truly i've never seen one as gorgeous as him. how old? his breed? training?i'm new here so i'm jsut getting to know the people and their hroses! [bat Eyelashes]

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Well I had no idea Razz was a black? Wow! I thought he was a liver chesnut!! I may just have to get Beau some Paprika. Sure keeps the coat nice and dark. Beau is dark bay but turns that copper bay color when he gets too much sun. Mostly in the summer. He gets a dark winter coat in winter. I don't blanket. Too much hassle and he sheds out quick in spring so he is always ready for show time! [big Grin]

After my lesson last night, I sure feel a lot more ready to move on to first level!

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quote:

Originally posted by miss may:

how old? his breed? training?

Razzle is an 8yo registered Black and White Overo American Paint (APHA). When I bought him 2 and a 1/2 years ago, he was a Western Pleasure/Trail horse that had never had an English saddle on his back. With the help of weekly lessons from my trainer, I've retrained him for dressage. We are now showing 2nd level and schooling 3rd level.

~Shelly~

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quote:

Originally posted by Boocoo:

I may just have to get Beau some Paprika. Sure keeps the coat nice and dark. Beau is dark bay but turns that copper bay color when he gets too much sun.

The Paprika works wonders. I get it very cheap at Costco. $2.79 a bottle which is a month's supply!! Start him on it slowly because some horses don't like it. Build him up slowly to 1 tablespoon a day in his breakfast. It takes about a year to fully see the results, but it will make Beau much darker and keep him that way. The only real issue with the Paprika is that there is something in it that mimicks one fo the banned substances at rated shows, so it *might* test positive on a drug test. To be safe, you should pull him off of it a week to 10 days before a rated show.

Personally, I'm never going to stop turning Razzle out just to keep him black, so the Paprika is a nice alternative. Keeps his coat nice and dark, and he keeps his turnout.

quote:

Originally posted by Boocoo:

After my lesson last night, I sure feel a lot more ready to move on to first level!

That is fantastic, Boocoo!! Just master that sitting trot, and you and Beau are going to be more than ready for 1st level!!!

~Shelly~

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Gorgeous photos! What a ham afront of the camera! [Razz] Were those professional or a friend's photos? Whatever they were, they are wonderful! You can taste the connection between you two from the pictures. Congrats for doing so well! Its great to hear people's hard work paying off! I can't believe he was a trail horse before this...whew.

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Oh I like that last one! He's just handsome!

Paprika! Well whadda ya know!?! I have a dark bay...then he looks liver chestnut.....hummmm Paprika eh? Well! [Duh]

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quote:

Originally posted by ilovedobby:

Were those professional or a friend's photos? Whatever they were, they are wonderful!

My boyfriend's 14yo son took them for me. He is getting quite good. In fact, his pictures were better than the professional pictures I got back from this show!!

~Shelly~

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[Eek!] That boy has a real eye for timing, angle and movement. The camera also seems to have great resolution and to captured your movements perfectly. I just got a little digital, which unfortunately, I just learned has no shutter. Uh-oh. This is bad for incapable me [Razz] We shall see. Nice pictures! Pass the message along. I am sure that it is nice to hear that your art is so well apperciated.

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Good to know about the Paprika. I bet Beau won't bleach out as much here in Texas though, like he did in the brutal sun in So. AZ and the high desert of California, but if he does, I know what to do!! [big Grin]

I had an I1 rider ride Beau the other day. She loved him. She did say his trot is hard to master sitting, because it is so huge. She showed me some things I can do to find that sweet spot to make sitting it much easier.

Wow, that boy is taking some nice pictures. Maybe he will be a pro photographer, eh?

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quote:

Originally posted by Boocoo:

I had an I1 rider ride Beau the other day. She loved him. She did say his trot is hard to master sitting, because it is so huge. She showed me some things I can do to find that sweet spot to make sitting it much easier.

EXCELLENT, Boocoo!!! This is what I found really made the difference for me with riding the mediums on Raz. I just couldn't figure out how to sit him, but when I had Fe ride him, she figured out what she needed to do to sit to HIS particular trot, and then described it to me. When I got back on, she coached me through it, and now, with some practice, I can do what she did, and I can sit to his medium trot. I just could not find that spot on my own, and no matter how many times someone explained to me what I needed to do, it wasn't working. Each horse is just slightly different, and finding that perfect spot changes just slightly on each horse. So having someone who can sit, ride the horse, and tell you what they did to find that spot really, really helps. I hope this works as well for you as it did for me.

Yes, Ara really likes to take photos at the shows. He takes great pride in his pictures. Though he has now asked us for a "more professional" camera. The one we have is older, but very, very expensive. Hmm . . . guess it isn't good enough for a 14yo professional!! HA!! HA!! HA!!!

~Shelly~

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