Aiken May Day Dressage Show Show Recap

At our previous show, Zoey and I succeeded in earning our first score toward competing in the US Para Dressage National Championship. We need two scores of 63% or above from each test at two different shows, plus one score of 63% on a freestyle. What that means, is that I need one more score of 63% or above on the Team Test, and two from the Individual test. So we entered both tests on both days at the Aiken May Day dressage show. This would be my first time riding the Individual test at a show.

I was a little nervous, as the Individual test seems more difficult to me, it has a four loop serpentine and of course more leg yield and turns on the haunches. For some reason, Randy volunteered to come be my personal slave for the weekend. Was extra appreciative when I saw our rides were very first and last each day.


Warming up at 7:30 in the morning is not my most favorite thing ever.

So, we got to attempt the individual test for the first time at 7:50 A.M. On a Saturday morning. I am not much of a morning person, so it was extra nice that someone else braided my pony for me! Also, I think I have blocked out or wasn’t awake enough to remember what I did in this test. I did have another accidental walk, which I think is more me over doing my aids for Zoey. I also overshot center line and quarter line, and still occasionally feel like I could fall off while doing a 10 meter circle.

But Zoey listened well, didn’t look at anything and was pretty consistent throughout. So yay.


Here we are in our test. Yay for more activity in the trot.

Of course, I thought I was going to get like a 60. I had to check multiple times when it was posted online. I thought for sure they made a mistake. 71! Good princess.

Since the show was only 15 minutes from my house, we took Zoey home to chill in between tests. She misinterpreted chill to mean rub some your braids out, cut your nose and wipe the blood in your sock, and get puffy eyes from flies/dirt/junk. So it was a good thing we had lots of time.

It is super embarrassing, but I had another accidental walk when my pony stopped to poo in the middle of my trot circle. Someone is really spoiled and I will have to be better about this! So we scored a 68 on our team test. Good enough for our second qualifying score and three points better than our last show.

Our Saturday scores meant the pressure was off somewhat for Sunday, but I wanted to try to ride Zoey more forward.

Say hi to Willy Wonka!

Sunday we were very first to go again, but I am not going to complain because at least at 8 AM it is still relatively cool on a 90 degree day. My whole goal was to ride Zoey more forward than my previous tests. I think sometimes I stop her from really using herself properly because I feel like she is taking over. She has been super consistent in her pace lately, so I guess I just have to learn to trust her. We did the team test first on this day, for whatever reason, Zoey thought the judges booth was questionable this morning and so I did not have her complete attention like the previous day. But I tried not to interfere too much with her pace and frame. Overall, I was happy. Our medium trot and walk need more impulsion, but we have gotten so much better than when we started this whole escapade!


My super cute pony!

We were able to improve our score from the previous day by 4 points! Yay. 72%

Had contemplated scratching my second test as we were not scheduled to go until 3 PM. In the end, I decided to go for the practice. We took Zoey back over to the show a little bit early to discover there had been a bunch of scratches before us. So we decided to get Zoey ready early so that we could go earlier than our time. Warm up included lots of serpentines and hiding in the shade. It was hot!


Here we are heading into the arena, Zoey as some point decided she was a super fancy show pony.

I was glad I decided to stick it out because this test is the first one I have ridden that didn’t feel like a whole bunch of disjointed movements stuck together. Zoey was nicely forward and we were fairly accurate. Still lots to work on but!! We scored a 72.5%! Our best ever!!

Needless to say, Princess Zoey got lots of treats and carrots at the end of the day. That and a nice roll outside in the dirt. (This princess likes being dirty.)

Now we will need one more score on our individual test of 63% and then a freestyle with a score of 63%. I have never done a freestyle so it is a little bit daunting to say the least. Definitely want fun music though.

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.