Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Warbling, Cob Trot and Air Traffic

Saturday began our weekend of shows. Mom, Peggy and I powered through washing 4 horses. Ember and Roscoe were tucked into their stall, after being sprayed down with WOW. Our fingers were crossed that they would stay fairly clean.
After giving everyone dinner, I changed into show clothes and we loaded up to go. It was hot and a bit humid and I hoped Comrade and Rosemary had enough energy. I purposely asked for Comrade to go first to give Rosemary the later time. Luckily this venue seems to have a nice breeze. We left Rosemary on the trailer when I headed out with Comrade.

Well Comrade decided to call to her... over and over. He called some at the last show, but it was more this time. I told him he could warble all he wanted if he kept his frame and listened. At least this time I remembered the spurs this time. We got both our leads in warm up, which gave me confidence going into the test. He was really distracted though and it showed in his walk. I was a bit put off by some of the people in warm up, who did not keep track of the other horses. Every time they came by Comrade, I was forced to move off my line to avoid a collision. What ever happened to passing left to left? Anyway they continued to tick me off when it was my time to go in the arena. Warm up at this show is right next to the show ring and these guys did not clear the path along the show ring.

8 halt
Comrade and I made it work. We started and ended strong, with pretty solid trot work in between. His canter was not confirmed and his walk nonexistent, but it was a solid test. Comrade kept warbling during the test. Surprisingly, the judge did not mention it at the end. I agreed with her comments that he needs to be as confirmed in his walk and canter as he is at the trot. So put the volume up when you watch. You will also hear the sound of air planes.

7 track right
8 trot circle
6.5 Canter
8 Change direction

5.5 walk, Oh Comrade

7.5 last trot
8 halt

As we saddled up Rosemary, we saw the first hot air balloon. I guess during the August show last year a balloon had to land  in the field. Everyone hoped a repeat would not happen. There was an air show going on just down the road. So the air traffic was heavy with planes, balloons and motorized glider things. Rosemary noted it all.

As we entered the ring to warm up, she grew underneath me and snorted. She surprised me by picking up trot, a big bouncy COB trot. Her tail flagged, her head went up and she strutted. My normally so flat you can barely post girl turned into a pogo stick. I decided to just ride it. That much suspension is hard work and she is not in good enough shape to carry it long. She certainly wowed the audience while it lasted. Once she settled, we worked on transitions. She gave me canter both ways and her trot improved. It was hot, so I could not do much with her. She was a bit jumpy with the air traffic adding to the busy show environment. Despite that, I felt good as we went in for our test.

Air Traffic
Look at that step under

Ready to enter at A

Rosemary fought the first halt, then I did not see the judge salute and then we tripped at C. We smoothed out for our trot circle and blasted off for our canter. She needs balance, but I knew that. The canter did improve her trot and the change to the left was great. Her trot circle was improved and her canter about the same as the right. Where Rosemary shined, was at the walk. She rocked the free walk with stretch and over step. Her last trot was the best of the test even though we missed center. We finished straight with a better halt than the first. I could not have asked for a better first test out of Rosemary. You can hear the planes and see them in the sky overhead during her test. Comrade gave his two cents too.

6.0 first halt

6.5 Trot circle

Improved trot after canter

7 change direction

Trot after canter

7.5 free walk

7.5 final trot

7 final halt

Score wise, I felt they reflected the tests. Comrade scored 70.5% winning the class. He even got a 7 for impulsion and gaits. The judge called us a "talented team" and said I was a "secure rider." All of my rider scores improved. I guess doing a bunch of dressage tests has helped me too. Rosemary scored 66% earning third place. The judge felt that she improved as the test progressed and probably would have done great if she had rolled right into another test. She said her gaits were active and she just needs to work on balance. I love these Cobs. We pulled off two super tests despite heat, warbling, Cob trotting and heavy air traffic.
Rosemary was ticked because Comrade tried to eat her ribbon

Happy now after getting a banana