Words do not describe how proud I am after last weekend’s dressage show at Rancho Murieta Equestrian Center!
For this competition I took Soulman (a Right Brain Extrovert horse who was given to me last July due to his “lack of trainability” and issues with the contact) and Wajiro (a Left Brain Introvert and direct son of the famous Hanoverian stallion, Weltmeyer) who came into my training program to be started under saddle last September.
Both of these talented boys have caused me to question the “process” and doubt my abilities at times. Through all of the sticky moments we have found harmony and success at home so it was time to test the relationship I have been building with both of them by going to a show.
During the warm up on Friday both boys were very candid in showing that THEY HAD BEEN TRIGGERED by the show environment.
Soulman rushed into the warm up arena chomping at the bit (literally) and was very anxious as I am sure flashbacks flooded his memory. We took the time it took (over two hours!) for him to find relaxation in the warm up arena before tucking him in for the night.
I can only imagine what the other rider’s were thinking as we walked on a loose rein and halted in the corners for long periods of time until Soulman’s mouth became quite.
In this way, it was a great test and reminder for me that “what other people think of me is none of my business.” I am here for the horses, their well being, confidence and to be an example of good horsemanship. Nothing else matters, not even getting into the show ring.
Wajiro, the war horse was not worried or afraid, but rather distracted and concerned beyond measure with how to to dominate all the new horses that had joined his bubble.
Based on his theatrics in the warm up arena, I was not sure we would even make it into the show ring that weekend…
However, with each new day comes a new beginning and on Saturday morning, although not entirely back to their best selfs, both horses were notably better!
Regardless, I ended up scratching my first class with Wajiro and took the time to continue reinforcing the respect and partnership through groundwork and riding in the warm up arena.
Soulman became quite in his mind and his mouth that morning. However, the second we entered the show ring he reverted back to his anxious chomping and tension throughout. We made it through the test and went back to walking on a loose rein in the warm up and halting in the corners until he found his center again.
Sunday morning, after a full two days of testing and reinforcing the relationship, I had two tall dark and handsome partners with me and ready to rock it!
Wajiro and I placed FIRST out of eight competitors in the open division with a score of 67% at Training Level test 3. At his FIRST EVER show and after just four month under saddle! 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼
Soulman earned two scores of 67% over the weekend, two first place ribbons, & two qualifying scores at First Level Test 3; Securing our spot in the Regional Championships this year!
They always say the most challenging horses are the most rewarding and I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn from and alongside such special horses!
Thank you Bobbie McGee for believing in me and trusting
me to do right by your baby boy, Wajiro!
Thank you to Ana Gilmour for coaching me and helping me become a tactful rider!
Thank you to my Dad and my assistant Marie, for helping me throughout the weekend and giving me the opportunity to focus on the horses and bringing out the best in them!
This is just the beginning and I can’t wait to continue on with this special journey!