We started off the season with a few shows where we put in good-for-us efforts, though the scores weren't very competitive.
Then we had a disastrous dressage in April, and proceeded to have meltdowns at home as we tried to investigate and address the issue. It was scary there for a while, with rearing, bucking, and (most horribly) unevenness in gait.
We spent the rest of the season at local shows, trying to give Hemie (and myself) positive dressage test experiences. We wanted relaxed outings with no craziness. So we completely took the pressure off at these shows.
It worked. We did not have repeat issues at shows. Slowly over the months, we asked for more effort from Hemie (and better riding from myself) to get better performance. We added the pressure back, bit by bit.
By the end, I feel very good about our dressage, and ready to head back to a registered event.
So let's take a look at the scores, shall we? First, a handy chart to help people understand the scoring:
Our 2014 dressage test results:
|Date||Location||Test||Eventing Score Penalty Points||Dressage Score Percentage|
|Feb 1||Galway Downs||BN A||40.00||60.00%|
|March 16||White Birch||Training 1||38.12||61.88%|
|March 16||White Birch||Training 2||40.71||59.29%|
|April 26||Fresno HT||BN A||51.10||48.90%|
|May 31||El Sueno||BN A||43.90||56.10%|
|May 31||El Sueno||BN B||39.15||60.85%|
|July 19||El Sueno||BN A||40.00||60.00%|
|July 19||El Sueno||BN B||40.00||60.00%|
|Oct 5||El Sueno||BN A||41.58||58.42%|
|Oct 5||El Sueno||BN B||38.75||61.25%|
|Oct 11||El Sueno||BN A||31.05||68.95%|
|Oct 11||El Sueno||BN B||31.00||69.00%|
As with all data, it can't stand alone - it needs to be compared to something to have meaning. So let's compare my median score (40.00 aka 60.00%) against the dressage scores in my level at registered horse trials (available from eventingscores.com).
- Shepherd Ranch, August: it would put me 6th out of 8 after dressage.
- Twin Rivers, September: I'd sit 14th out of 21 after dressage.
- Fresno County HP, October: I'd sit in 6th out of 11 after dressage.
So, not dead last, but towards the bottom.
And that's just fine. Because while I like to geek out and crunch the numbers, I acknowledge that they simply can't tell the whole story. I've always been much more focused on positive experience than I have on being competitive. I care most about competing against myself - ie, continually improving. And even when we take steps backwards, I'm able to keep it in perspective and do my best to get us moving in the right direction again. After all, this is a hobby. This is fun. Hemie is a pet first and a sport horse second.
|Karen and I at White Birch in March|
Our smiles say it all.
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