Monday, March 12, 2012

Dressage Tests In Our Future?

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.


  1. Very cool! No advice on the curb problem, but, uh, at least you won't have to show her in a curb in dressage any time soon, lol!

  2. Sounds like a good idea to me. In case you need any erm... trashy ideas for dressage letters you can always use water or milk jugs for letter markers. Cheap and easy.

  3. Sounds like fun to me! I wish we had fun training shows around here like they do where you live. See selling the english saddle would have been a bad idea ;)

  4. Funder, exactly! Lilly will be so much happier in her snaffle! LOL

    Smaz, that's a great idea! I'm trying not to spend a fortune, but I want to know where the letters are for practice. We only drink milk out of the cardboard half gallong containers, but jugs of water are cheap enough that I could just buy them and dump out the water. :)

    Sam, I knew listening to you guys would be a good idea... the english saddle gets to stay!!

  5. Dressage! Now your talkin', kiddo!

  6. Are they going to laugh us out of the dressage arena?? You know, since we're short and stocky and all? :)