The chronicles of a Friesian mare who happened upon an owner who lives outside the show ring....

Monday, May 12, 2014

NEDA Spring 2014

  Last Saturday dawned a cool 52°F (too cold for a bath!) and rose to nearly 80°F by the afternoon.  Thankfully the sun stayed behind the clouds most of the day, but it was a shock coming from such a cool start!

I didn't expect much from Daatje.  We're not fit, it was hot, we haven't had lessons or a coach since 2007 so I really just wanted to get out there, do our very best, and see where we stood.

The ride down was long.  2 hours and 15 minutes of heavy traffic, highway driving, most on 95 south just west of Boston.  I'm used to hauling, but not on those kinds of roads!  Stressful.

We got to the Marshfield Fairgrounds with 45 minutes to spare before my planned warm up.  Daatje unloaded and chillaxed while I got ready.

My Mom came with me, such a treat to have company, especially on such a long trip. :)  (she took all the photos)

So serious! Lol
First 2 went pretty well.  We made some technical errors that we might have been able to avoid given more balance and strength, but all in all, not a bad test. :)
15m Canter

Trot down C-line

Leg Yield Left
And as it turns out, we recieved a 65.81% which left us in second place behind the leader who scored 65.94%.  Just a hair under a tenth of a percent from the blue!  (at NEDA Spring, first place over 65% gets the NEDA medal along with the ribbon and goblet)  I was thrilled with her and was encouraged that we still have it to be competitive at the big shows (practically right out of the field!)

It got hotter and more humid between First 2 and Training 2 and we were both tired.  She was poky in the warm up and I didn't want to push her.  After a bare bones warm up, we proceeded with Training 2.
Halt Salute

A little tight here


Free walk (Daatje says "thank goodness!")

Medium walk

20m circle

Softer here too

Second canter circle

Halt-Salute end.

All done, we're pooped!
I honestly thought we lacked such luster in that Training level ride that we'd be lucky to score a 60%!  It felt as if in slow motion. :P  To my absolute astonishment, we scored a 70.34% and won the Training 2 division!  (a pretty big group)  Go Daatje!  I'm so proud of my sweet mare.  Willing to go along with just about anything.  So, at the end of the day, we did come home with a NEDA medal!  Who would have every thought?  Not I, that's for sure.

Our return to USEF rated dressage has shown me that it can be done without a trainer/coach by your side and that although we haven't had the money or time for lessons, we have not lost our skills.  I'm really looking forward to training more over the summer and tring to improve those scores at First level!  My goal would be something in the 70%'s at First 2 and or First 3.

I might do a schooling show the end of May/beginning of June to test out First 3, but that aside, our next rated show will be at UNH on June 21st!  Whoo-hoo!

UNH June (First 2, First 3) 6/21/2014
NEDA Summer (First 2, First 3) 7/13/2014
Oyster River @ UNH (First 2, First 3) 8/10/2014



  1. Wow Sarah!!!! GREAT job! I am so impressed, especially pulling her out of winter vacation in the field and going in to win it like that.

  2. Wow! Congratulations.

    Just when I was wishing I had your confidence, your final words gave me confidence to try it on my own.

    Thank you!

  3. Yay!!!!! Congrats on your medal! That is so cool! I have to echo Sam's thoughts. I've been lacking confidence in my ability to train Chrome on my own (haven't had lessons since 2006), but this definitely gives me a boost of confidence to just go for it. Thank you! You and Daatje are inspiring!

  4. Love your photo's...yummy boots