Way back in May I signed up for dressage test riding clinic. It was to replace the dressage show that would normally happen on that weekend. Then it was cancelled because of the third wave of COVID (I am so tired of the pandemic).
You know how I've been spending my summer- working away but increments and mostly just having fun. Then the clinic was rescheduled for the September long weekend (again in place of a show). And I signed up for it- requesting to do Second Level Test 1.
|I thought we were done with showing....|
The format of the clinic is nice: Saturday you have 30 minutes with your coach in the dressage show ring. Sunday you ride your test with a judge. She will give feedback and you ride it again. Both rides are scored with the idea that you will show improvement.
Now the weekend is looming and I'm becoming mildly panicked. Don't get me wrong- the format is ideal for Carmen and I. It gives us a chance to work in the ring in a low pressure situation. As long as I don't put too much pressure on both of us.
I plan to ride in my Spanish saddle, since it's not a formal show. I even gave the organizing group a heads up so that there wasn't any last minute issues.
What is my problem you ask?
Well, I'm unsure if I should actually do 2nd level or First Level Test 3. I don't know if we're ready for either but I am not doing training level. Carmen does better if I keep her brain busy, otherwise she finds things to keep her busy.
|Carmen looking for things to worry about|
My other worries are more related to performance anxiety and how that will impact on Carmen. It's been a couple years since we've done anything resembling a show. You may recall that Carmen and I have mixed results in that ring.
Don't worry I am going. I just need to be clear in my goals for the clinic. The best way for me to do that and maintain accountability is to put them in print on my blog:
1. keep myself and Carmen soft and connected
2. don't worry about the perfect movement but pay attention to setting her up for success.
3. circle if I need to
4. don't forget everything I've learned about riding: sit up, half-halt, be soft in the aids. Dont' try to look pretty but just ride.
5. have someone read my test
6. dress for a clinic not a show. I know that this might rub some the wrong way but my plan is to braid Carmen but for me to wear neat and tidy clothes that are comfortable: i.e. a polo shirt and my favourite dark breeches.
Wish us luck and feel free to share any advice. :)