Got home around 7 last night and was beat by the time I unloaded stuff that HAD to be unloaded – meaning sweaty, stinky clothes that probably would mildew if left one minute longer in the trailer! It rained a bit on me in several places on the way home and rained last night after I put the horses in. Great. Just what we need – more mosquitoes.
Faxx had a good ride in his first test on Sunday – the Adult Amateur to Ride Championship. I remembered how he was so bargy hitting the AC the day before and so I cantered one lap around the perimeter before the judge rang the bell, and then did ‘micro serpentines’ to get him listening to my leg and bending on one long side just before heading down center line. It worked. He was much better – and scored a 68.8 – not our best test – but far better than the day before. We were sitting in first place until the very last rider – who had been added into the schedule and actually rode 30 minutes after everyone else in the class. I watched the ride and it was a pleasant ride, but the horse was not really on the bit once during the ride, and also appeared slightly off in the front during several movements.So I was a bit surprised when they scored a 70. But, that’s horse showing. There were 12 in that class.
He warmed up well for our last ride, the Half Arabian Open Training Championship 1.5 hours later and again, upon hitting the AC in the show ring, I cantered and did serpentines like before. He was working well as we trotted down centerline to X. However, a runner picking up tests was standing right in front of the judge’s stand as we had to trot from X to C and Faxx just completely fell apart. He came off contact, was bouncing up and down and just never recovered for that whole first trot ‘tour.’ It was a disaster and we scored a 60. A new low. I was furious. Runners are not supposed to be IN the arena during a test in progress. Nothing to do but complain to the show office. It was not the first time they had this problem during the show. Amazingly enough, we still were 5th out of 11, just barely making the Top 5!
So, the final recap was 3 championships, 1 reserve championship and 3 Top 5s. He finished in the money in every class, for a total of $505 in prize money. That covered half of my entry fees! It would have covered a larger percentage of the entry fees except for the fact I got him a double stall. But that was money well spent – he was much happier this year.
I am going to have to rethink what I want to do for next year. This is the second year he competed in dressage at the Arab Regionals and also the second year he performed way below what he does at open, recognized shows. I think the largest problem is going from the heat of the warm up to the cool competition ring. Another factor may be that the dressage is at the end of the four-day show.I am very tempted to only enter the sport horse division next year. Fortunately, due to the way scores are calculated, our two lowest scores will not count toward our USDF median score, which, before Regionals was 69.6 for the Arabian All Breed Awards and 69% for the open all-breed division. You can only use 2 scores from any one judge, so that would knock out our 60%. Then, if you have more than the 8 minimum scores, they will drop one low score, which takes care of the 62. But the 68.8 we got was still lower than our median, so will drop our score a bit. The issue with him ‘bracing’ when he hits the cold(er) air of the competition arena does not hurt him in the sporthorse classes – because it is a rail class, he does not have to bend, and if he is a bit ‘up’ it does not hurt him at all – and, in fact, probably helps.
I am not sure who was happier to be home – me or the horses. Faeryn, bless her heart, has spent 4 days being chewed on by mosquitoes. She is probably actually the happiest of all that we are home, since now she comes into the barn at night. She is also the only one who still has scratches, since they were not treated while we were gone. So that is Job 1 this week with her. Faxx gets a few days off, Fling needs a new shoe and Faeryn will get ridden every day this week, weather (and mosquitoes!) permitting. They are so bad, our county is doing aerial spraying. I kept wondering why these planes were BUZZING our house before I left for Regionals – and then I realized!