Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dressage and PAC

I was rained out again today and from the looks of things, I won't be able to ride tomorrow either because the arena is a soupy mess. Not having an arena to ride in makes me sad... I haven't had a healthy horse for quite some time and now that I finally have one, I don't like being kept from riding just because the arena doesn't drain like it's supposed to.

Since I can't have a riding post yet again, I'll babble on some more about a few other things.

Thank you for all your supplement suggestions yesterday. I looked into cocosoya oil but I can't find it in anything smaller than a gallon size and it would take me forever to use it up. Not to mention, Lilly will get tired of that flavor in about 3 months and I'll have to switch to something else. I read that some people make their own cocosoya oil by using canola oil (or a similar oil) and add a bit of molasses to the mixture. The BO tried straight up canola oil she had on hand this morning, along with a handful of Ultium (bleh...), and Lilly ate it without issue. So that's what the plan is for now. In June I'll have to try something else, which might end up being applesauce.

I've also been looking into the dressage tests and I think I've decided to skip the intro tests and go straight to training level. I used to show training level back in 4-H, so I'm familiar with the movements on the tests, I just haven't done any dressage with Lilly. The reason behind skipping the into test is so that I can get PAC points. APHA approves any show sponsored by the USDF or USEF, and the North Carolina Dressage and Combined Training Association is sponsored by the USEF. APHA does not recognize the into tests, though, so in order to have a chance to get points, I have to do training level.

I might be crazy to think we can get points, but I'd rather ride the tests with the chance of possibly getting some recognition with APHA than not. Intro C involves cantering anyway, so I might as well just go ahead and do training level test 1. Here's how they score the tests:

67.001% - or better.................4 credits
64.001% - 67.000%................3 credits
60.001% - 64.000%................2 credits
55.000% - 60.000%................1 credit

They use this system regardless of the number of entries and regardless of what placing you might receive. The horse must receive a score of at least 55% to get any credit, though. I never saw any of my tests from 4-H, so I have no idea what I used to get, and I have no idea if a 55% is difficult to achieve nor not... but we're going to go for it!

Speaking of PAC, one of my favorite show circuits is no longer in existence this year, so the number of shows in my area that are PAC approved has really dwindled. I'm down to two circuits that are approved by PAC and it stinks. Because I don't get to attend a majority of the shows, it isn't worth my while to have a membership with these circuits because I won't be able to accumulate enough points for year end awards. Some of them even require you attend a certain number of shows just to be eligible, so I it feels like a waste of money sometimes to spend all that money going to the show when I come home with nothing but a ribbon. Granted, it's great practice for me and Lilly, but we show to win stuff just as much as we show for fun, and without year end awards, it's just not as exciting. When the show is PAC approved, I know I have a chance to get points with APHA, and maybe end up in the top ten at the end of the year. I've always wanted to win a belt buckle!

With only two circuits participating in PAC, though, I'm having the same problem. Showing in 4 showmanship classes in 2012 won't get my nearly enough points to be in the top ten with APHA. I need to be able to compete for points at a lot more shows! I did a lot of whining to anyone who would listen, but I didn't know what to do about it.

Then I decided to see what I could do about it. I contacted APHA and spoke with one of their PAC representatives and she explained what I needed to do to get more of the circuits approved with them. It's as simple as filling out a form and mailing it to APHA. The only requirement they have is that the circuit keep accurate records of points and classes in case PAC wants to verify one of my exhibitor reports. Simple!! The PAC lady even mentioned that I could simply take an event approval application with me to the show and beg them to sign it, then send it in with my exhibitor report.

Rather than springing it on them at their show, I decided to email two of the circuits I would be interested in showing with and explained how beneficial it would be to them (and me) if they decided to participate. More members + more people at their shows = more money for them! And all they have to do is sign a form?? I thought for sure they would agree!

So far I've only heard back from one of them, but the show secretary emailed me to say they decided to go ahead and sign up! They hadn't heard about the PAC program and thought it was a fantastic idea. To say thanks, I'm going to become a member and attend as many of their shows as I can. I do hope to hear back from the other show as well since they have a few more classes we could show in, but if not, I'm going to take the event approval application with me when/if I find myself at one of their shows. Maybe if I harass them enough year after year, they'll decide to participate. I don't see a downside to it, so I'm not sure why they would opt not to join...

Our first show is Saturday and it is PAC approved. Yay! I'm also a member and really enjoy these shows. They're very low key, but also fairly competitive and I know several other people who will be going. Lilly's old BFF will be there too, so I hope she doesn't lose her mind when she sees her. I think we're beyond that, but it'll be interesting to see if she remembers her.

Sure would be nice if I could ride before Saturday!!

14 comments:

  1. This is fabulous for you. I've been busy getting our house ready to be put on the market, so had to take a blogger break. I need to catch up but I saw this and wanted to say I think it is great you did something about it! Another is that I THINK you live in NC? If so, would you mind sending me an e-mail of these shows you are mentioning here. I am quite a long way off from showing and may never. BUT I do enjoy going and I can always learn so much. My email is mbednar@triad.rr.com.

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    1. Margaret, I sent you an email... I hope it helps, and maybe I'll see you at a show one of these days! :)

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  2. Bummer about the weather. (I am trying hard to be sympathetic to your "rain" but it KEEPS SNOWING here every morning so my sympathizer is kinda rusty!) And totally awesome!! work with getting the one circuit signed up for PAC! That's so cool, that you care enough about your discipline to do the legwork and join the clubs and stuff. :D

    Have fun with the tests!

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    1. I guess I'd take the rain over the snow because it's much warmer here, but at least with snow I might be able to ride... maybe.

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  3. I also think its awesome you are doing the work to get them in with PAC, great job!! That will benefit lots of people! Have a great time Sat, I'll be thinking of you while Daisy and I are out at our shindig! I hear you about the rain. Its supposed to rain here the end of the week and thats when I wanted to bathe Daisy! Oh well!

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    1. My show was rained out... I hope you were still able to go to your fair!

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  4. Crazy weather. I can finally use my arena - it thawed out!

    No, a 55% is not hard to get. So glad you are doing this. You will be an addict in no time.

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    1. It's so nice having a place to ride! I'm glad your'e able to get into yours finally! :)

      We're looking forward to it... it's something new and I think Lilly will really like it because it makes her think.

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  5. I really want to get involved in the PAC program, but around here, the only PAC approved shows are those that dont offer reining. There are only...um two this year that offer reining and are PAC approved...that sure isnt enough to stack any real points in my favor. Im super bummed because it seems like there is never the right solution for me around here...Im even lucky if anyone will add reining so I can go. I begged last year with the local shows that hold Washington State Horseman Approved shows to add reining (which their shows are PAC) but they wouldnt. SUper irritating...

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    1. Yeah, that's the hard part... if so few of the shows participate, there's no way to get lots of points. They do accumulate over time, though, and at 20 points you get a certificate. It's not like a belt buckle, but it's still pretty cool. Maybe you could ask some of the shows you go to...

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  6. I'm seriously considering trying dressage this year! And I really don't think you'd have a hard time scoring at least a 55% at all!

    @Nina - and then they all say "I don't know why nobody comes to our shows anymore"

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    1. You absolutely should! I think it would be fun to try with Lilly, and I'm sure you'd have fun too!

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  7. Great idea re PAC. I wish Paint people around here would do it. I don't think you'll have any trouble at all getting a 55, and probably higher.

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    1. I wish every show participated in the breed association open show point systems. Paint has one, AQHA has some, the Appy clubs have one... it might draw more people out to the shows.

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