The Carolina Horse Park tops my list of favorite places to show, but previously I had competed in the driving event held there every April. This April, Zoey and I trekked up to Southern Pines to compete at the Prime Time dressage show. This would be our first time competing in the Grade 3 FEI Team Test. Definitely a step up from Intro Test B!
Since this was our first attempt at the para tests, I decided to just enter one test each day instead of two. In the end I was glad I made this decision as it was super hot both days and I don’t always do too well in the heat.
Previously at riding shows, Zoey had a tendency to be a little spooky, particularly at the judges’ booth. So, we went Friday and schooled at the show. Zoey was not terribly impressed. I have been working a lot on consistency and keeping Zoey soft, and she was really good on our Friday ride.
Saturday our ride was right at noon and it was HOT. Zoey warmed up really well and we spent part of our warm up hiding in the shade!
There happened to be a pony club dressage rally at the horse park the same weekend…I could have sworn I heard the bell ring for my test…must have been the pony clubber’s bell because I entered, halted and saluted before the judge was ready. Oops. Luckily, they didn’t hold it against me. So off we went down centerline for the second time!
Our test was not awful but definitely plenty to work on! Zoey was super relaxed/hot/maybe a litttttle lazy so there was not much pizazz. Our turns on the haunches and leg yields are still a bit iffy, so was happy we did those passably well. I may have gotten a little crazy on the downward transition from medium trot to working trot and had a few steps on accidental walk! Oops. Overall, I was super happy though. And our score was not bad either – 65%
Sunday our ride time was scheduled for 10AM, so it was not nearly as warm. I was so proud of Zoey! Just as we passed the judge’s booth, the breeze gusted and lifted the tent up! In the past, this might have made Zoey super nervous, but she kept her cool. Our test was going really well, when just as we intended to pick up the trot again, a bee flew in her ear! Much head shaking ensued! Finally it flew away without stinging her!
Unfortunately, we sacrificed a few movements to the head shaking, including the serpentine, which is weighted double! But we were able to pull ourselves together and finish with a 62%! Not so bad…in many places we scored better than the previous day.
Zoey got lots of cookies and pats. This was the most relaxed and consistent I have had her at a show. We are also one step closer to our goal of competing at the USEF Para Dressage National Championships this September in Tryon, NC, earning a qualifying score.
Yay! Now for a billion photos: