Wednesday, October 15, 2014

El Sueno Derby Recap

Our last scheduled show of the season took place this past weekend, at good ol' El Sueno nearby. Once again I trailered my pony by myself and felt confident doing it.

Hemie started off the day feeling quite fresh, with impressive acrobatics in his 12x24 paddock, so he got some time in the roundpen to get the bucks out.

We got to the showgrounds and Laurie graciously gave Hemie a nice long walkabout while I checked in at the office. She doesn't do that for all her clients, and I am thankful that she genuinely cares for Hemie and goes above and beyond for us at shows.

Our plan for this show was to ask for more out of Hemie in terms of dressage performance. The overall vibe in the warm up was very low-key, so Hemie and I started off plodding along until Laurie reminded me to not settle for whatever Hemie offered, and instead make sure I was giving clear aids for better work. Overall the warm-up went very well. We had about 30 minutes which was perfect.

First up was BN Test A.

We scored a personal best of 31.05 (which is equal to a dressage score of 68.95%)!!!  This is absolutely record-breaking for Hemie and I, so I admit I teared up when I saw the test. Overall I am so, so pleased with this test. I was still a bit more of a passenger than I'd like to be, but that's something I'll continue to work on.

Next we did BN Test B. We had ~ 3 rides before our next test, so we did plenty of walking around then did another quick warm up where I was sure to really ask for quality.

On this test we scored 31 (69%)!! Very close total to our first test, and I was proud of being a more active rider and am very proud of that free walk and our halt. Going forward I need to work on quality transitions, especially trot/canter. Our judge for both tests was local dressage trainer Michael Lieberg, and Laurie commented that as a traditional German dressage trainer, he rewarded us for having good contact, whereas other judges tend to focus more on roundness.

Unfortunately the video to jumping round didn't come out, but here's the recap:

  • We went double clean!
  • Many of the jumps had options - 3 jumps next to each other, and the rider picking whichever one to go over to count for that obstacle. For example, you could do the ditch or a log next to it or a stadium vertical next to it. 
  • At 2 jumps, we had a shoulder popping issue a few strides out, resulting in me taking the "middle" sized option rather than the "large" jump I was planning on.
  • The dreaded jump following the water had no problems.
  • We did a down-bank with no issues. 

While  both Hemie and I had a great time and good jumping round, I wish I'd have responded better and faster to the shoulder popping issues and still jumped the jumps I originally pointed us towards. After all, at registered horse trials we don't have the options. But we got around clear and it was a good outing overall.

We finished off in 2nd place for the BN derby (combined dressage & jumping) out of 2 competitors, and 1st in the BN Test A dressage only, again out of 2 competitors.

Laurie and a sleepy Hemie
Then I trailered home alone, and unloaded Hemie alone, without issue. Pony got lots of treats and pats for being a good boy.


  1. Great job!! Such a great moment seeing that dressage test. I know that feeling.

  2. Congratulations! Sounds like a great show :)

  3. Awesome scores and great tests!

  4. Congratulations :) Sounds like a great, low-key show.

  5. Congrats! Awesome job showing and trailering!

  6. Awesome show! Congrats on a great end to the season

  7. Wow you two! Great show!

  8. That dressage is beautiful, and miles ahead of where it's been! Congrats!

  9. Congrats!! Such a great feeling when flatwork pays off :)

  10. Woohoo! Your dressage is looking really, really good!

  11. congrats - those tests looked great! i'm sure you're thrilled with the personal best scores :)

  12. Way to go, Sarah! Hemie looked 1,000 times more relaxed in the dressage portion which was definitely reflected in your scores. Awesome job!!!!!!!!!