Show report below, but I’m most pleased that Neuf has finally figured out how to hand me fly masks, from the ground, when I’m in the saddle! We were so close a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t mess with it, but did think about it a lot. We went out today to spread fly predators and hunt down two fly masks. Spied the first one and came back for it after I was done sprinkling fly predators.
Stopped at the fly mask and said “Neuf, can you pick that up and give it to me?” And he reached down, picked it up, swung his head over to my right foot, waited for me to have hold of the mask, then let go! I squealed with delight, telling him what a clever horse he is, and gave him 2 carrot pieces!
Then, it was out to do the second bag of predators and retrieve the second mask. Got to that one and he did the same thing! Woot!!!!
Next up, picking up other things. Ball caps, whips/crops, perhaps a glove. The things that you sometimes drop when you’re riding. Bell boots might be useful as well, the horses lose a lot of those.
Neuf, my Warmblood Retriever.
I entered a combined test at Morningside this past weekend. Novice Test A. I printed it the day I entered, read the test, rode it the next morning. Asked Tori for a lesson, to get some polish, and off I went.
I set off, not feeling too nervous. I arrived, found a place to squeeze in my trailer, walked over for my number, tacked a relaxed Neuf up and climbed on. We went up to the dressage arenas, told them our number, I had 16 minutes to warm up, which was perfect, since the heat and humidity were insane!
Rode a nice test, sadly no video, got the less frequent “your hands move too much” speech from the judge, which I smiled and shrugged. I ended up with a 34.5, so other than one mistake (Neuf cantered one step at the walk-trot upward transition) it was a respectable test. Bouncing hands and all. Honestly, I was so thrilled with his relaxation and listening, workmanlike attitude that she could have said I was riding like a monkey and should never ride again and I’d have shrugged.
I went off and found Martin, found out there was a fair amount of time left before they raised the jump course to Novice height, learned the course, hopped off, got my water, visited with friends…then finally got back on to do jumping warm up.
I don’t love the jumping warmup at Morningside, it is on their schooling race track, people walk in front of the jumps constantly to go to the cars, making you pull up, the track is too skinny to keep a good pace when you reverse, so I never did get a great rhythm going for the jumping, but I wasn’t nervous. This was a soft Novice level…maybe one fence at 2’11”. Unfortunately, as we stood in line to go into the ring, someone noticed Neuf had lost a shoe! The footing there is excellent and soft, and I hadn’t noticed the shoe missing on the track, so, I opted to go ahead and ride my course.
That lack of rhythm in warm up? It showed, I wasn’t forward enough, didn’t get to finish the path I’d wanted to take before the bell rang. I thought I destroyed the first fence. Neuf paused, went crooked, ran into the fence, an oxer, I said “go”, he went, I heard fence sounds, and was “what was that?”
Everyone said “Keep going!”…so, we kept going. Things got a little smoother, chipped in at 5, took a long spots to 6, roll back to 7 was so so, but we got it done. As we finished, I noticed that they’d already put fence 1 back together. How odd, they aren’t usually that quick during the schooling shows. There was an accidental stop to the video, so the rest of the round is a second video.
Since it had not been as smooth as I’d like, I opted to go in and school it again (allowed, but not for scoring), and the round was much smoother, more forward, but we had a rail at fence 7.
Later, when I went to pay for my extra round and get my test sheet, I asked if I’d placed, thinking it was a nope…but they said the judge marked me with 0 jumping faults. Huh? I could have sworn that I’d demolished that fence. I took my 5th place ribbon and headed home. Later, I thought to watch the video…and I’ll be…somehow, Neuf left that first fence up.
Bali is still on low-impact, walk work for one more week, I did do a very short, test trot yesterday and she felt good, but it was less than 2 minutes and we only have a few more days. We’ve been doing a combination of walking around that feels like Bubba’s shrimp recipes in Forrest Gump, walking with a child in front, or walking around on a trail loop, or walking and doing squares, walking haunches in, walking shoulder in, walking renvers, walking half pass, walk pirouettes, medium walk, collected walk, extended walk, free walk, walking serpentines to focus on bend change.