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FleckenAwesome

Dressage Show today

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so... i was at the same show as appaloosa1224 today. she did great by the way! us....not so much.

here's the breakdown if anyone is bored and wants to humor me!

so we did 1st 1 and 1st 2. we've done 1st 1 a few times and this was our first time doing 1st 2. so....1-1 went pretty bad. i had him going nice in warm up just forgot to ride in the ring. i was way too relaxed about it i think. which is wierd cause usually i'm wayyyy nervous. and so i just farted around and poor fleck farted around looking at all the fun stuff to look at. it didn't quite feel that bad, but the pics were horrid! so.... not good. we got a 56.3 which put us 5th out of 5. i haven't had that many 5's in awhile. the judge was hard but the first place girl got a 67!!!! so... yeah, felt pretty bad. her horse was super fancy and nice and she rode it great, but...yeah, made me feel like poo. oh well. so then i warmed up again and thought... i need to ride! so we had a much better work ethic on both our parts and got some nice stuff. so 1st 2 went much better. atleast i though. apparently judge didn't think so. it felt much better and the pics were better. he was much more workmanlike and more through his back it seemed. of course with him working he wasn't looking at the chickens and such. but then at the end two little girls walked out of the woods and spooked fleck. argh...... i was sooooo mad. i know he shouldn't have spooked, but it was still very frustrating. so our 15 m canter circle became a 20ish m circle and it wasn't a very good set up for the canter lengthening either. argh... oh well. but i thought overall it was a pretty good ride. we only got a 56.9 though. MAN! not much improvement. enough to bump us to 4th out of 5, but... oh well. so i was pretty bummed. i'm getting used to getting 6's, 7's, and even a 8 or two, and these two tests were almost all 5 adn 6's and a few 7's. very bumming. but oh well. he was a good boy and worked well for me. and i was proud of my seat too. i was sitting up and tall and not leaning forward like i used to do, but of course now i've gotten a chair seat. argh... oh well. always more to work on.

so anyways, here's the pics. i'm only posting one from the first test and it's a nice one but it's the last down the centerline when i realized....heck! i'm not riding!

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so here's the ones from 1st 2

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this was our canter after his spooking at the kids!

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this wasn't the best timing on the photographers part but i did like his frame

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more coming

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argh.... i swear he FELT SOOOO fancy. oh well. maybe we should drop back a bit.... it's just that now those tests are a bit boring.... (no offense) it's just that both of us need the extra stuff to keep us occupied. oh well. maybe we'll have a better show next time. i keep telling myself that the important thing is that i felt like it was a good ride the second time and we had some really good warm up riding too.

thanks for listening to the saga! that deserves a blue ribbon!

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its too bad about your placing, but i think fleck is SO cute. but hey, everyone has off-days i KNOW me and ace do and we havent been together for that long

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Maybe the results weren't has high as you hoped. But I would LOVE to have an off ride because the horse and I were too relaxed! Chalk it up to a learning experience, and see if you can find the happy medium next time. The most important part is that the second test felt better to you! Congrats on realizing that you needed to really ride and improving that for your second ride. [smile]

Tracy

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Not to change the subject, but Fleck has the cutest Butt I have ever seen!!!! [Wink] Don't get down on yourself about the scores. Study the video footage and the judge's comments, work on what needs to be worked on and next time out you will be that much better. You guys are a fantastic team!

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You guys did not look bad! Not to start something else, but I have obeserved two things when doing dressage on a stock horse:

1. If they have bias about it you have two start out 10 times better then everyone else...AND

2. If you have a bad first test, they never give you a chance to fix it in the second, as if they made up their mind about you all ready!

SOOOO, do not be down on yourself! You guys did great...at least the judge in your case was still in the judges box when you halted to salute at the end:-) [big Grin][big Grin][big Grin]

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thanks guys! i feel better already! i sorta tend to agree with those statements, but we've done well before with her. Shes' the judge that actually pinned us first of 3 the first time we rode 1st 1. so i'm pretty sure it was my riding. BUt.... that just gives me more to work on [smile]

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Aaawww, you guys still look really cute together...if it's any consolation, the first test I ever did with Vegas (intro B) I scored a 43%!!! AND before I ever entered the ring, I heard the judge comment "stupid horse!" as we were walking behind the judge's box because Vegas was scared of it and didn't want to go behind it [Roll Eyes] We all have tests like that, and I agree with whoever it was who posted about stock horses...there is still a huge bias against them, especially the colored ones! Lest us all aspire for a moment to be like my instructor who rides an appy at Prix St Gorges... [Not Worthy]

Edited because I cannot spell.

[ 03-25-2007, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: Vegas Sky ]

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Do not get to hung up on the stock horse thing. I for one refuse to buy into that biased thing and also refuse to allow any negative thoughts to cloud my thinking. If you think negative, you will ride negatively. You have to always think positive and tell yourself that you and your horse can do it and you and your horse are awesome. I believe that judges really try their best to score you appropriately. You yourself said you weren't riding. And I have to agree with you. Fleck does not look like he is coming through from behind and connecting and he looks like he is on the forehand a bit too much. He is also above the bit in some of your pics. However, on a good note, your seat looks excellent, you are always smiling and you have learned enough to realize your mistakes. You two look very sharp and nicely turned out. We all have shows that aren't as good as others. I don't think you should drop back at all. I think you should take the good from this one and learn from the bad and keep on trying. It will get better. It always does.

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Holly- It's alright girl! Seriously we all have those type of rides! Good job for just going out and doing it. your seat does look good! You'll get 'em next time!

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thanks again guys.

boocoo: you're right. she pinned us well last time i rode under her and i knew we weren't doing our best. Our second test really did feel much better (til the kids spooked him) but.... it was a rough day and i knew our lengthens weren't quite there. so...i just need to keep working on it.

i think i need to try to ride him a little deeper. that makes him use his butt more and really soften his back instead of just flexing at his neck. but... it's a fine line with him. i just wasn't "on" with him yesterday.

so....now i just have to get pics of a lesson when i do feel "on" and make sure!

thanks everyone for helping me feel better about it.

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Aww! I don't have the energy to read the post, because I'm a terrible person, but I looked at the pics! Overall he doesn't look TOO bad, but like I said, everyone has their bad days. I have something that should make you feel better... If I can find it... Hmm... Ah, yes, here we are, This should make you feel better about that halt picture: Halt. [smile] You'll do better next time, when Jenny isn't sick!

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hee hee. bad inky! you look so nice though! hee hee.

yeah. i think we will do better. i'm just frustrated cause i really thought he was going nice the second time, but the pics don't really prove it. i need to get a video and pics of a lesson when i feel like he's really on and see how he looks. that way i won't be fooling myself and can really get an idea of what i need to do to make it better.

someone stopped feeding us both the magic liguid awesomeness! [Wink]

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I promised you a long detailed analysis, right, well that’s what you are going to get, so I hope you are ready for this!!!

Okay, so you went to your show, and you warmed up for your tests, right?? Feeling pretty confident about 1-1 because you have done it before and scored well. Really only worried about 1-2 because THAT was your step up, right?? So you sloughed into the ring and poked around and made it through the majority of the test before you woke up and realized that you forgot to actually RIDE the test. Welcome to the difference between 1st Level and Training Level!!!! You can fart around a Training Level test and still win. Not so much at 1st Level, and guess what, you realized that this weekend. So lesson one has been learned the hard way. No big deal. THAT’S what schooling shows are for.

So you woke up towards the end of 1-1 and started to actually ride the test and finished up nicely, but it was really too late. The damage was done. Chalk up 1-1 to a major learning experience. 1st Level must be ridden, every stride, every test, even when you think “I’ve got this one, no problem.” Uh huh, you NEVER have it from here on out. Welcome to moving up the levels. Yes, you are ready for the move up, training wise, you just have to figure out the new rules you are playing by and what you can and can’t get away with. What you could get away with in the Training Level ring, won’t fly so well in the 1st Level ring.

Now onto 1-2. A little bit of panic/anger set in. Mad at yourself for botching your first ride, you decided to REALLY RIDE your second ride. That was your second mistake of the day. You got tight, and overrode the second ride. Yes, you certainly rode that bugger. You rode the snot out of him. You rode him too much, too tight, from front to back, and never let him flow out free. Your BEST picture of the set . . . the very first one you posted from the end of 1-1 when you decided to start riding, but hadn’t yet panicked and decided to REALLY RIDE the bugger into the ground. You were riding so beautifully in that shot. Yes, you let your shoulders get a tad behind you, but that is a stage, trust me, you spend ages learning to SIT UP, and the next thing you know, you have gone a little too far, and now you are leaning back, and into a slight chair seat. Not to worry, you’ll get it. At any rate, your arms are soft and connected, and Fleck is stepping up into the bridle sooooo nicely. That is just a lovely shot. A beautiful connection. Really nice.

On to 1-2 photos – let’s take a look at the photos in order:

Photo 1 – Your hands have a death grip on the reins, your arms look like they are locked as tight as steel, and it looks like you are pulling his nose back to the vertical rather than riding his butt up under him. He has totally fallen onto his forehand in his picture.

Photo 2 – Okay, I’ll give you some leeway on this one because of kids spooking him, but again, look at how tight your hands and arms are. Even when Fleck gets away from you spooking like that, and this is FREAKIN’ HARD TO DO, you can not lock your arms. If you lock up and pull like that, all you are doing is giving him something to pull against and run away with. You totally lose control over him. Sit on your seat and give. You know you have that horse trained from your seat, you need to rely on your seat to control the spook and give with your hands so that he has nothing to fight against. So very, very hard to do, but it works.

Photo 3 – I agree, poorly timed photo, but look at your chin and head, look how sucked in and back they are. Tells me how tight you still are. And your shoulders, look at the tension in your shoulders, rounded and hunched. Now compare the difference in how high his butt is to his withers, and go back and look at the picture from 1-1. Do you see the difference?? In the 1-1 photo, the withers and butt are fairly level, but here the withers are dropped down below the butt. You are pulling him backwards, rather than riding his butt up under him.

Photo 4 – You flattened your arms and wrists and had no way to do anything. You lost your connection to him entirely there.

Photo 5 – Ahhhhh, nice!!! You relaxed and started riding from your seat. You softened your arm and allowed him to come forward into the bridle. The withers have lifted back up to be level with the rump. The stride has opened up. YOU SMILED!!!! Your chin popped back out. Happiness!!! This is where you need to ride him from.

Photo 6 – You started to flatten your arms and lose your nice connection from Photo 5, but at least you aren’t tense and tight, so you didn’t get the head up in your face. You have a sweet boy that is very willing and tries hard to please you.

Photo 7 – Agggghhhh, don’t throw him away in the halt!!!! Look at your hands halfway up his neck. If you want him to stay round in the halt, keep your elbows at your sides, hold that connection and ride that horse up into the halt. Practice this zillions of times at home, because the first few times you start working on this, he is going to want to back up out of the halt because he isn’t used to you holding the connection. Keep your seat and legs on, and hold him round in the connection until you decide it is time to move off again.

Photo 8 – I really like this photo. I know he isn’t as round as you would like, but you don’t have the tension as you had in your other pictures. Pick your hands up a touch, a little more bend and elastic connection in your elbow, a tactful half halt, and you would have him round. He is almost there.

I know you said that 1-2 felt better than 1-1 so you were surprised it didn’t score better. It felt better because you felt like you had a connection. The problem is that you created that connection with your hand by riding back to front so it was a false frame putting Fleck on his forehand. So while it felt better in your hand, it actually wasn’t correct which is why it didn’t score better. The pictures might initially have looked okay because Fleck had his nose on the vertical, but if you really look at them, you will see that the frame is false.

Holly, I know this was a frustrating show for you, and I hope that you will take my comments in a constructive fashion. The things I pointed out in your show photos are NOT things I have seen in your schooling photos, so they are things you reverted to in a time of panic. Chill, and go back to what you know is correct, and you will be just fine. Stop doubting whether you ever get a real connection or not. Your trainer would NEVER let you go around pulling him in like you did at this show. You overreacted to a bad first ride, end of story. I really do think you are more than ready for the bump up to 1st. So please don’t doubt yourself on that. I think you had an educational experience at this schooling show, and we all have those. What is important is whether you can learn and grow from this or whether you let it beat you down and chip away at your confidence. I think you went into this show and took that first test for granted since you had ridden it before and done so well. You didn’t give it the respect that it needed. When you got your scores back your freaked out a little and went into RIDER MODE. You tried to FORCE a great ride out of Fleck. You tried to do everything yourself – your part and HIS. You can’t do that. All you can do is ask, and he has to answer. You are a really talented rider on a talented horse. You have to believe in that, and allow it to work for you at the shows. You can’t under ride any more than you can over ride. You have to find that happy medium that makes the partnership. When you do get to a show, and you have a bad ride, it is SUPER difficult to not overreact and then somehow screw up the next ride. It happens to all of us. That is one of the pitfalls of riding two tests in one show. It has happened to me SEVERAL TIMES. Even knowing I have a tendency to do this, I still can’t help myself. I had such a bad double ride experience at one show grounds, that I still get VERY upset watching the video, and I have yet to return to those show grounds. Silly, I know, but it was a rough show for me. You just have to keep working at it. 1st Level is not a joke. It is a good step up from Training. You are ready for it training wise, now you just have to figure out how to show it. That is a whole new ballgame, but you will get it sorted out. You hit both ends of the spectrum this weekend, and next time, shoot for right in between!!! Hey, I’m used to scoring in the 60’s as well, my jump up to 2nd was oh so very humbling!!! I got a 56% on my 2-1 test, so I know how it feels to be put in my place. It doesn’t mean either of us wasn’t ready for the jump up. Just means we have to figure some stuff out, that’s all. Keep on working on it.

Now put this show behind you as a learning experience and MOVE ON!!! Got it!!! You are a better rider than what happened this weekend. It was just a bad day for you, nothing more than that. There will be other days, other shows, and besides, how can you recognize the really GREAT rides if you don’t have some bad rides for comparison purposes!!!

~Shelly~

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shelly

[Not Worthy][Not Worthy][Huggy]

thanks! i totally needed that. you are sooooo right! that is exactly what i did. way too cocky for the first test, then grumpy and mad and spittin' mad at the second test. i see what you mean. he doesn't look as nice and i realized that looking at the pics. and you're right. i'm totally tensed and mad. for someone who gets "you're always smiling" in the show pics, i was definately not in those. and i think they were backwards order, so the warmup one outside of the ring was a bit nicer and then it just got worse as the test went on. i got more mad and more tense and pully. and you're right. i forgot about my seat, forgot to let him get deep. arghhhhhh. i wish you could come live in my head while i ride! whip me into shape.

but yeah...... and thanks for telling me i am a better rider than that. i am! and i know it. time to get over the pity fest and go out and ride that fancy horse like he deserves.

i think i've got a lesson tomorrow and i'm going to do my best to get nice happy rides. cause fleck's a happy guy and he deserves happy rides. but hopefully i'll have photos to redeem myself! [smile]

thanks again a billiion. it really really means alot to me to have you help me out like this. you're the best! and hopefully by explaining this stuff to me...you were that much smarter for your clinic [smile]

thanks again!

fleck says thank you too.

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I'm glad I could help because I have been right where you are now. After my really bad show, Julie had to give me the same speech I just gave to you. She sat me down and told me what went wrong and why and how it was just one show and really didn't mean much in the scheme of my riding. Just live and learn and move on. So basically, you are getting a recycled speech!! HA!!! Just know you aren't alone in your mistakes. We all make them, and apparently the same ones. Wish I could have given you the speech ahead of time to prevent the mistakes, but I don't think it works that way unfortunately. You kind of have to screw it up and feel really crappy about it to realize you never want to be in that position again. If it makes you feel better, I have never screwed up that badly since that day!!! I definitely learned my lesson, and though I have made mistakes since, I have done tons better as I am sure you will, too.

~Shelly~

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yep, that definately helps! it's easy to get down about it, but....fleck is awesome and has taught me sooooo much already, i know we'll continue to get better. and you're right....this was a schooling show. best place to learn that lesson! although it would be nice to be able to redeem myself. guess at my lesson tomorrow i'm gonna have to show my trainer what i'm really made of [smile]

and i'm gonna start sending you pics for critiques alot more! hope you don't mind [smile] hee hee. look what you got yourself into!

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Send as many pictures as you like. I'll do my best. If it makes you feel any better, the show I screwed up was a rated show and will forever be on Raz's USEF/USDF record!!! How's that for major screw up??? Have fun in your lesson tomorrow. I'm sure everything will feel back to normal for you.

~Shelly~

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