I had no idea what to expect from Daatje as we have not had many opportunities to practice this spring and the combination of lack of strenth / mental freshness was going to be working against both of us. She had been improving a little during each subsequent schooling ride so I suppose dressage is like riding a bike. :) Once you know it, it's not too hard to get back into the game. (mentally, anyway! physically will take some time)
Daatje stepped off the trailer and instantly knew we were at a dressage show (as opposed to a fox hunt). Funny how horses can identify different scenarios and associate them with different jobs.
Cool as a cucumber, she warmed up nicely. I was nervous. I have no idea why! I just was.
We rode Trainin 2 first, which went well. She was a little deep (my tension combined with not being used to working in rising trot) and lacked forwardness (I was blocking her) but still scored a 64.5% which wasn't too bad!
After a short break, we were back for First 2, which actually rode much better than the training level test. I much prefer to ride the sitting trot and she had loosened up quite a bit. I wasn't as nervous and was not blocking her so she got much better marks for gaits and connection.
However. Rider had a brain fart and started the second leg yeild in the wrong direction! Oy. Can't believe I did that. I knew the instant it happened, before the judge even rang the bell, but there was no saving it! We went right back on track and then Daatje decides to stop to poop in our second canter. Ah well. There were some really nice moments despite the goofs and we scored a 62.7% regardless.
All in all, a good ice-breaker for the season!
|Posing in the Micklem|
|Training test 2|
|Training test 2|
Hoof-it Natural Flex Shoes - an update
Daatje was shod in the hoof-it's two weeks ago (April 19th). I have been in the process of forming an opinion of the shoes, which concluded at the show. She does not move as freely in these shoes as she did in the Ground Control Shoes, nor does she seem as comfortable in them. The best way to describe it.....she feels "stuck". She felt much the same way when shod all 4 in steel shoes. I believe the design provides too much traction and does not allow for enough natural "slide". The Ground Controls, while not offering as much additional traction, were closer to the "feel" she has of the ground when bare.
So, when we got home from the show, I pulled the Hoof-it's and put her back in the Ground Controls. Thankfully I had a set that were only worn 6 weeks, so were perfect for a reset.
There was an immediate difference in the way she moved and apparent comfort level in the way she stood. I would compare it to taking off a pair of chunky soled work boots and putting on a pair of soft slippers.
I'm giving her a couple days off and will ride again on Wednesday to see how she feels. I didn't take photos of the reset GC's as it was late and I was all business. :)
Fingers crossed the weather is nice and all goes well at NEDA Spring!