So, I guess I'll keep my hunt seat saddle after all.
I have an interesting, and often annoying, work schedule. I work at least one weekend day each week and the day alternates every month. So in March, for example, I work each Sunday, which leaves me all the Saturdays to show my horse. Next month, I work Saturday, which means we don't get to show unless I can find a show that's held on Sunday. A lot of the shows I want to go to are on days I have to work and only being able to show every other month is a bummer...
In keeping with the theme of trying new things with Lilly so she doesn't get bored, I've been looking for some alternatives to the usual show circuits we frequent. After doing some research and chatting it over with a few friends, I've decided to try some local dressage shows. One of the training barns in the area holds a number of North Carolina Dressage and Combined Training Association (NCDCTA) shows, as well as hunter jumper shows, and they just happen to fall on Sundays during the months I work Saturdays!
While they don't offer any of the western dressage classes, they offer all three intro tests and I'm considering riding Intro C, which is new and not offered by some of the other circuits, but it's the first test with cantering. It looks fairly "simple" and would be something Lilly and I could have fun practicing for. I'm going to try to make it to three of the shows and hopefully see my score improve each time. It'll be nice to have comments from the judge for each movement. That way I know what to work on before the next show.
We don't have a dressage ring at the barn, but I'm thinking about setting up ground poles to mark what would be each corner of the dressage ring, and then I'm looking to get some dressage letters, or maybe cones. I'll need to put a ground pole at each end as well so Lilly and I can practice our center line stuff... she tends to get a bit noodley when she sees the end approaching, anticipating which direction we'll be turning.
I've been so excited about showing western that I packed away all my hunt seat stuff... I pitched my tall boots (they needed to be put to sleep anyway) and didn't plan on taking any of that stuff out until next year, assuming I still felt like showing hunt seat. I'm thinking now that perhaps I was a bit too hasty. I've been looking over a few show bills and I think we'll be fine doing hunt seat and western classes. Originally I was thinking it would be too much, but I think we can make it work.