The show came and went! It was my first (ever) recognized show in any horse sport to be participating in and it was PACKED. Horses were EVERYWHERE and it was wonderful. The Great Southwest Equestrian Center was fabulous (especially being used to the middle of a field for accommodations) and I learned a lot about how to show.
First order of business was to get there and even before I arrived, Lurena was texting me to see about schooling him Wednesday night. I was a bit baffled that I could do this let alone IN the ring I was to show in so naturally I said YES and tossed him out of the trailer and started tacking him up. There is a school right behind the trailering area and kids were practicing football so that had Simon up in arms but we got tacked up and went to school. The schooling was decent and I got my canters so all was right with the world. We headed out to eat dinner (yay being part of a group!) and I came back to braid at about 8pm.
I haven't braided buttons in a while but it was nothing I ever got bent out of shape. I also tried the braiding wires and they were awesome. All in all, I think it took about 30 minutes and they lasted for both show days. Everyone else in our group used the braider so I might try that next time, but with the costs of the show, photographer, videographer, and who knows what else, I figured I'd do this thing on my own.
Thursday was our first show night and I slept like crap in the hotel The AC kept rattling and just sucking all night and it was just fail. We did Training 1 and Training 3 with the hopes of getting some qualifying done for the Training 3 but survival was the main point here. I rode like a sack of potatoes in the ring and it showed in our scores. Simon was just dragging me down, showed me he knew X was "somewhere in the middle" and started sucking back as soon as we were anywhere near it EXCEPT when we headed across anything looking like a diagonal where he wanted to just fall on his forehand and haul ass. Major comments were lack of energy, lack of bend, lack of everything basically.
We ended the day surviving and I was ok with that. The next day I showed up and had a plan: I was going to ride. When Lurena asked me my plan for the day and I said "I'm going to try actually riding today" she seemed to think that was a good idea. I went into my Training 1 test ready to school the snot out of Simon and possibly get kicked out for something (unno how this works) but we were going to fix his issues. I was pretty pushy and demanding and he flip flopped on me between on the bit, on the forehand, flipping his head, etc but by the time it was done he was like ohhhh I have to listen to you. A particularly harsh correction when he dove down after cantering earned me a "rider overreacted" comment so its nice to know they assume I'm incompetent instead of assaulting my horse. We earned a 61+% for that. Go figure!
Next test was Training 3 and we rode the snot out of that. It was much easier than the day before and I worked on as many small details as I could. We ended up with a 64+% and got ourselves qualified for GAIG and SWDF. I learned a lot and was grateful for all the help of Lurena and her peoples. It was also SOOO helpful watching all the other people and seeing their mistakes: Dressage horses aren't always perfect, wut?
There were LOADS of people showing in T3 on Friday and our placements weren't great but we did what we needed to do and basically improved 10+% points from Thursday to Friday so I'm happy with that. Even so, we ended up with 2 white ribbons for our T1 adventures :)
Next show is Halloween and I think we'll be ok.