Ike’s behavior was stellar.

Ike’s behavior was stellar.

Since horse racing takes center stage this time of year with the Triple Crown races starting with the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby, it seems appropriate to share my show news in racing terms.  Sadly, I did not have a trifecta bid on the Derby, but if I had, I’d be $1700 richer today.  But, in terms of success, I’d say that this past weekend’s show outcome is just as exciting…at least in my mind.

Ike’s behavior was stellar.

I can honestly say that Ike continues to amaze me with his show demeanor.  After so many years of hanging my head in shame after Cigar would exhibit his wild side, it is nice to have a horse who is easy to handle.  There is no stress during trailer loading.  The trailer does not rock from side-to-side because we are trying to escape as the trailer rolls down the road.  I love that I can braid Ike in under 1 1/2 hours (yes, that is how long it would take to braid Cigar).  In fact, I can now have presentable braids in about 30 minutes using bands.  I love that although he gets rattled by the large tractors, he does try his best to focus and continue to work.  Ike is usually not bothered by the disobedience of other horses in warmup.  He is an amazing partner for this dressage adventure.

The show was well run; the weather was perfect.

The show was hosted by the Central Chapter of the Virginia Dressage Association.  They should be commended for pulling together a show that offered a pleasant atmosphere, friendly volunteers, great ribbons and prizes, and timely classes and scoring.  There is nothing worse than waiting over 2 hours to find out how you did in a class.  Kudos to the stewards, scribes, runners and scorers that kept the wait to a minimum.  Mother Nature also was cooperative and gave us perfect spring weather for the entire weekend.  We were due since the week before had been drenched with almost 6 inches of rain.

Ike has the best fan club.

There is no way I could write this and not thank everyone who helped to make this weekend as memorable as it was.  My husband is my rock that helps keep me from going off the deep end with nervousness.  Ms. C was there to school us on Saturday and to make sure that we put forth our best effort.  My show buddy Ms. D made hanging out in the barn so much more fun.  I got to meet fellow HJU blogger Lisa and cheer her on at her first dressage show.  And I must sincerely thank all my friends and family who made the trip to the show grounds to sit in the stands and cheer for us.  I’m pretty sure Ike had the biggest fan base at the show; he especially appreciated his junior fans who brought him apple slices.

Our scores were our best EVER!

WOW!

WOW!

I am still in a bit of shock.  There I said it.  I have never had show success like this.  I might not ever have it again, but for this one weekend, all the stars and planets aligned to give us our best scores ever at Training and First Levels.  I kept staring at the score sheets in disbelief fully expecting to hear that my scores were for someone else.  My hands shook as I was handed each of my test sheets and ribbons from the smiling volunteer.

Ike came home with two blue ribbons for his Training Level tests (both were Test 2) with scores of 71.607% and 71.071%.  Mom came home with two hand painted, commemorative wine glasses.  How awesome is that?

He also has a red ribbon and a yellow ribbon for his First Level tests with scores of 68.108% and 68.103%(Test 2 and Test 1, respectively) .  Who knew that we had it in us to pull this off?!  My favorite part of this video are my husband’s comments – it was as if he was riding the test with me.

The most surprising was that Ike also received the High Point Training Level Award for the weekend.  What?!  That never happens.  Never, ever.  I think I am most excited about our First Level scores since we’d only ever tried First 1 last fall at a schooling show.  It was perhaps a bit ballsy to sign up for two First Level tests at our first show of the season, but what did we have to lose?  If we can survive a clinic with 200 auditors, we can try a test with a few spectators, a judge, and a scribe.

So there you have it.  Our first show of the season is behind us.  Now we need to forge ahead, master sit trot, conquer First Level Test 3, and continue the journey for our Bronze Medal.  Hope you stick around, it is just starting to get interesting!

Alison