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. :)
I think your goals are super solid and very attainable for you and Carmen! Best of luck!!ReplyDelete
There is that other piece of advice you learned about your emotional bubble. I can’t remember exactly how you put it. 😀 I remember thinking it was very wise. I think it was a couple months ago, but I’ve lost track of time.ReplyDelete
Right. That occurred to me during my ride today. Definitely going to work on thatDelete
For whatever its worth, I just finished a clinic with my 5 year old greenie. I got a nice complement from the clinician. He said he normally doesn't like having horses that green in his riding sessions, especially on the last day, because people try to do too much with their youngsters. He was pleased with me because I didn't to most of the exercises and spent the last 45 minutes on the ground next to my horse just watching the other horses work. My point being that the clinic was a learning experience and I treated it as such. I was in a clinic that was way over my horse's head, but I just took the opportunity to get him out and do what he can do. Don't worry about the test you've chosen to ride. Just ride the thing and do what your horse can do. If the Judge complements you on your Mad Skilz, then that's awesome. If the Judge gives you a big list of stuff to work on, that's awesome too. Ride your ride, enjoy the day out with your girl, and don't sweat the small stuff. I know that's easier said than done, but maybe make that goal #7? You'll do fine and, regardless of how things turn out, someone in the audience will be watching you thinking "OH MAN! I wish I had THAT horse and could ride like her!" Enjoy the moment. :)ReplyDelete
Goal #7 it is!Delete
Good luck. I get really nervous, too. Some advice I've been given is to let go of the things you can't control (placings/how others will ride, whether the judge 'likes' you) and set goals like you have based around having a fun, positive experience for where you're at.ReplyDelete
Great advice. Not that I have control issues or anything…..☺️Delete
It’s natural to be a little nervous but don’t let it ruin your time at the clinic. Try to remember it’s just a clinic and you’re there to get feedback on your progress to date not to be judged on your clothes or saddle or riding etc. try to just relax and have fun while learning what you need to work on at home. Good luck and have fun.ReplyDelete
Excellent advice! I will try to keep it in perspectiveDelete
I feel your comment on keeping your horse busy--except mine isn't quite strong enough for all the 1-3 or 2nd level work. Oy.ReplyDelete
But I wonder if the Spanish saddle will help you too..gives a little bit better feel you seem to prefer.
You got this :)
Sounds like a great learning opportunity-have fun!ReplyDelete
Good luck on these! Looking forward to hearing how they go.ReplyDelete
I think everything you wrote is feasible and attainableReplyDelete