Dressage at Bruce’s Field

Zoey and I actually went to a show.

The show was held at the Aiken Horse Park, commonly known as Bruce’s Field. It is in downtown Aiken’s horse district in the middle of the steeplechase track. The grounds are pristine and very well thought out. You can visit the website here: website

Since Zoey and I returned from our clinic in Florida, we have been looking forward to showing here. We live so close by, we shipped in each day, which is a bit of a novelty since almost all our recognized driving shows are at least four hours away. This meant Zoey did not have as much time to settle in, but she also got to be turned out since she was at home. We did have the opportunity to school at the venue on Friday. The main advantage of this was that they allowed us to school in and around the actual show ring. This is not something that ever happens in driving, at many of the shows there is not even space to circle the ring before your test.

Pretending we know what we are doing.

Zoey likes to say that judges booths are scary so we went and rode by a number of times. They must look different with no blinkers. It was also a good chance for me to get my bearings in the ring as I do not have my own complete arena to practice in at home.

Amy did ride Zoey first to get her initial excitement of being at a new place out. When I got on, she did look at the judges box and flowers a little bit but by the end of the ride she was super consistent and nicely forward without racing. So I was excited for our tests the following day.

Our tests were not until late Saturday, so I braided Zoey and washed her socks and tail again that morning. We were also lucky to have nice weather most of the day although it did start raining in the afternoon for a little bit. I haven’t braided my own pony in a long time so it took forever! I also put in blue yarn only to realize that “dressage people” don’t really use colored yarn. Whatever. (Sunday I did silver yarn, that you can kind of see in the picture on the left.)

Zoey and I are still (not) working on cantering so we did Intro Test A and B. Our first test was Intro test A. It went pretty well considering it has a lot of walking.


We didn’t have quite enough stretching out for our free walk and Zoey was a butt about the judges stand, but we scored a 67%. So not bad.

My other pony, Tess, was also entered in the show with Amy’s daughter, Anecia riding. Tess has had two foals for me and is only just back riding again. In between tests, Tess arrived at the show, as her test was very last of the day.

Oh, and Zoey and Tess live together. Well, Tess turned up and happened to whinny just as Zoey and I were getting ready to go warm up for our second test. Zoey heard her and got very upset. She wanted to go find her friend. We did struggle through the warm up but ultimately I did not feel confident enough to ride our test. The second we stopped to walk across to the ring, Zoey completely lost concentration again. So I was really disappointed. But we still had Sunday!



So Zoey and I rode the same tests on Sunday. Zoey did try to look for her friend during our test but nothing like the previous day. It probably helped that Tess wasn’t there answering her. This day we rode the tests in the opposite order, with Test B first. I totally lost her attention at the halt but she was better about the judge’s booth. I also had a break during our walk.

Zoey redeemed herself

Our second test was a little better, although we were both TIRED. Zoey was falling on her forehand a little bit and I was too tired to get her back going again. We also got totally distracted as we were doing our circle, the ONLY person in the field next to the ring was leaning over falling or tying their shoe? It caught both Zoey and my eye at the same time! I accidentally hit Zoey in the mouth and she walked. Oops. Still the judge was super kind and we got 65 and 66 on our tests.

Tess had her test much later so we went home to pick her up and avoid any drama with Miss Zoey. I bought photos so there are a lot. 🙂

About Meghan

I am a photographer/graphic designer in Aiken, SC. I am owned by a herd of ponies. My dogs/best friends are Poppy and Amigo.