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Monday, September 22, 2008

Irk, eek, WOW....Mr. toad's wild ride

Susan, MP, Christiane Noelting and "the saddle."

I had a fascinating show weekend a week ago. I've been contemplating my post and digesting the happenings of the weekend, which is why I'm so late in writing.

About two weeks ago I found out that, according to my scores, I was ranked number 1 in the US for third level adult amateur. This was huge and I couldn't believe it. But when I went to check my ranking, officially, I wasn't ranked. It turns out that 6 of my best scores didn't count because of my memberships, so I needed three scores (all over 66%) to be officially ranked by USDF. In order to do this, I had to show in two shows in one weekend. Exhausting!!

The weekend started out with a thump on Friday where I earned a 64% at 3-3. Enough to give us first place in the glass as well as 10 points towards CNDC Dressage Derby. If you qualify for the derby, names are drawn out of hats and you win prizes. So it was a bitter sweet victory. I got the point for the derby, and first place in the class, but I didn't get a 66%.

The next day was the actual derby and you have to be present in show attire to claim your prize. So I decided to also ride my freestyle for practice. This turned out to be the worst idea I've has so far, because the sound system went our and made this terrible screeching noise, which scared MP half-to-death and resulted in the worst ride we've had this year. She was tight, scared, and I should have just scratched. I was also livid about the sound system because I had asked for a sound check at 9:00, 2 hours before my ride, and they decided to do it just before I rode. Bad show protocol. I won't be riding my freestyle there ever again.

Victory lap - MP was hot trot!

Even though I was upset, the derby followed my freestyle so I had to stay on MP and I had to just get over it. Which was good because my name was the first drawn out of the hat and I won a $3600 saddle!!! Thank you Schleese! I also won a Skagen watch which is my favorite watch company. So, although riding my freestyle was a mistake and ruined my freestyle ranking, I still came out on top!

On Sunday, we headed to our final show of the weekend. The judge was a toughy, and I was really worried about my scores. My first test was pretty good, but MP was scared of the judges stand - a little PTSD from the day before. My first score was a 66% and landed me in 2nd place. A very good score considering the PTSD and tough judging. But I needed a 68% to claim USDF #1 AA at third level. No pressure.

I gave MP a good break before my next warm up and I really just tried to focus on relaxing. She was great in the warm up, but felt a little tired. When I got in the show ring she felt great. My ride was going superb until we got to the right half-pass to the flying change - both co-efficients (20 points rather than 10). The half-pass was OK, but just before I asked for the change, she spooked at the judges stand and the change was late. 8 points out of 20. BUMMER! That also gave us lower mark for submission. So I got a 64%. I thought it should have been a little higher, but the spooking is what it is.

I'm not sure where that landed me in the rankings, but it doesn't matter anymore. The fact is, when I didn't know about the rankings I was much more relaxed and my scores reflected that. When I got uptight about getting a specific score, I lost focus on why I'm doing this. Because I love it!


Eva said...

Congrats on your saddle! I love that picture of you, MP, the saddle and Christianne. It's so cute!!!!

Sarah said...

Susan, Congrats! You still rock :)
I love reading about your rides and looking at your beautiful photos!!