I decided to enter this show with the goal of hammering out a few more medal scores and hopefully a Q for GAIG/SWDC. I did none of that.
After the labor day show I felt optimistic about where we were and moving forward. The frugal one in my wanted to hold off and just do ALL the things at Regionals but then I realized that was ONE show not two or three and so that wouldn't count for when I needed TWO shows for some awards. Besides, I figured we'd be competitive at Second Level for Championships so why not?
Well, Saturday was a mess. I woke up stupid early basically shaking in anxiety (not normal at all for me) and I wanted to just curl up and die. Instead I got up and went to a horse show. Makes sense :P I was all alone for this venture (no husband, trainer, etc) but it was going to be fine. When our time came up, we warmed up and focused on being nice and loose. But the thunderstorms in the area had Vana hyped up (he's normally hyped for his first test anyhow) so we did our best before heading to the arena.
And being stopped by the ring steward.
With the thunderstorms in the area, they were having competitors walk around across the concrete this really awkward way. Vana was having none of it so I asked about just risking it and they said I'd be DQed. Grrr... Someone offered to hand walk him over so we skittered over there and Vana's warmup was toast at that point. We were also entered down this long HORSE EATING DARK HAUNTED HOUSE chute to the main arenas so he was trying to talk himself into not going or just bolting down it while we waited to go in. It was super smex. Finally they let us in (after turning off the Big Ass fans because balloons had gotten caught in them either the test before ours or the one before that). It was not looking super awesome but we preservered.
Lengthenings were NOT an issue, but basically anything that used a right bend was. *sigh We were sub 60% on that test but I guess it made sense. Everyone's scores were bunched around there with only one person I think over 60.
Next day I had husband to video and #tiredVana to show. The test felt more consistent and upon trainer's urging to really work that right side we had some better bend. I felt the test was SO MUCH better, but this judge was tougher and we scored better, but not good enough to break the 60% mark. Again, the class seemed to go that way with only one person over 60% I think.
Everyone was complimentary of what we'd done and freakishly supportive (seriously, these dressage people guys!), but I wasn't sure what to think. Sure it was a new level for us, but unno. I thought we'd be over 60s until say 3rd level. I felt like I'd just set $500 on fire but was trying to convince myself it was "all in the name of learning" and that entering the Autumn Classic (not Regionals) was going to be worth it.
So it was our first womp, womp weekend, but Vana showed me he's a much better one test a day sort of horse and that we still have a LONG road to go on this journey. Excuse me while I go do more sitting trot and fitness.