June 20, 2012

Busy 7 days

I took Audi up to Grand Haven in Jefferson, OH for the WPDA Dressage Classic on June 8th. It's a well managed show that's always pleasant to go to. Plus I love that I can drive up and back in one day. Our tests were pretty good, though they could have had more spark. The first test was First Level Test 3 which we scored a 70.645% and our second test was Second Level Test 2 which scored 65.789%. We won both classes and also took home the First Level and Second Level High Point awards for the show. Even though I wish that I had ridden a little better I'm thrilled with how well we did. The classes were competitive and given that this was Audi's first time doing Second Level Test 2, I really have nothing to complain about. It's pretty amazing to think how well Audi has done in the show ring despite having minimal mileage. He just takes it all in stride. We are officially qualified for the USDF GAIG Championships at First Level and have also received qualifying scores for the CBLM Championships at both First and Second Level.

The Tuesday following the show I shipped down to Chesapeake City, MD with Audi and my friend Gina to spend three days riding with Scott Hassler at Riveredge. Once again Scott knocked my socks off with three stellar lessons. Scott is sooooo good. We worked on getting Audi sharper off of my leg which is something that was I didn't feel like I had established at the two shows I went to this spring. Scott was great about reinforcing the notion that I shouldn't be afraid to take risks nor should I accept mediocre responses, and I should never avoid anything. We also worked on developing more cadence in the trot work which felt really special. I told Scott that I had never felt that type of energy from Audi. He also pressed me about getting the adjustability within the canter which was something I was a little hesitant to do during the first lesson.

I love how Scott uses the words coach, train and sooth. Those are three words that really resonate with me and ones that I like to think about when I ride. I definitely consider myself to be a visual learner and find it extremely helpful to watch good riding. It was so beneficial for me to watch Scott and Susanne teach dozens of different horse and rider combinations throughout the week. I can honestly say that I was able to take something away from every lesson I watched. When I'm at Riveredge I feel like I'm a part of a community. It's a really important feeling and one that makes me even more passionate about the sport of dressage.

Day Two 
 Day Three

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