Yes, this weekend was a success! There are words and no pictures/video because Google+ hates me. Don't worry, I HATE YOU TOO GOOGLE+. I shall try to provide visual interest with completely irrelevant font/formatting. #notwinningatblogging

Pre-Event Events: Saturday I went back out and helped set up stadium then got a jump school with Sweet K on Dassah.

I have GOT to get my leg and butt set - I'm getting better but sheesh, if it's not one thing (my butt coming out of the saddle over fences), it's another (burying my hands instead of releasing).

Every now and then during the jump school I'd get my act together and have a glorious position (oh the feeling of being fluid over a jump!) but then my brain would blitz out and I'd pop my butt out of the saddle and stand in my stirrups. #headdesk.

Anyway - it was pass-out hot Saturday and I really wanted to skip xc school but Sweet K convinced me to go out. No quibbles until the spool jump of death - it's about 6-8 black plastic spools turned on their sides.

Relevant Tangent: The Tuesday before we had attempted this jump (I think it's maaybe 18 inches tall?) and this is how that went:
(we jump the 2'3" rolltop before, approach spools, get set and...)

Dassah: Doot doot de dooo.....whattheholy...NOPE! Nope, nope nope nope. Oh, and nope.
Me: (giving many sweet thanks for my neckstrap and Sweet K's restructure of my lower-leg) Easy drama llama, just look at it. 
Dassah: (blows/snorts) Ennnnnnh, If you say so.... Looking...and new trick! Reinback zoooom!
Me: Just LOOK at it. 
Dassah: Naah, you know what needs looking at, this grass needs looking at. And needs in my mouth.
Me: Dude, you're not scared of this. 
Dassah: Damn right I'm not. I am a goddess. A fiery red goddess with absolutely no intention of going over something that looks like that. 
Me: Let's try it from the other side. 
Dassah: (with mouthful of grass). Looks the same to me, dumbass. It looks the same and my response is the same. Not.going.over.

So we skipped it. 

End Relevant Tangent. 

On Saturday with Sweet K looking on, we attempted it again, obviously Dassah deigned not to jump #sigh. So we just stood there facing the jump - if she attempted to walk away, I faced her back to the fence, calmly. After about two minutes she scratched her leg and with absolutely no drama, popped over the spools as if she had already done this, "like a million times Sarah, duh."

 We circled, re-approached, and she jumped it without any ado. We then went back a couple more fences, jumped those, and then cleared the spools easily. That mare...

End Pre-Event Events

Actual Events Alluded to in Title: Sunday showed up and thanks to a late dressage ride time (12:12) - the hubs and I didn't have to leave the house until 10! Woohoo for sleeping in. 

Got to the barn, farmed out the hubs for volunteer work (which was a total accident but since Sweet K has helped me so much, I kindasorta threw him out there as a helper at the last second - thanks Babe!) and cleaned up Dassah. Who, as it turns out, is in raging heat. Like, thrusting her butt at every gelding in the barn, squirting everywhere (side note: did anyone else get grossed out by that word, "squirting," cause I sure did and I am so sorry), and causing every gelding to call, squeal, and go crazy. At that point, all aspirations for anything other than a completion went flying out the window. 

I ran out of time to lunge before mounting up (thanks you dirty butt hussy!) so into the indoor we went. Which was empty. Which I did not expect as there were at least 20 trailers parked outside with 2-3 horses tied to each. So we warmed up in the nice cool indoor. I realized on the way in that our dressage test would be in a small arena, the 20x40, so I had to refocus and re-imagine our test/transitions/etc. Warm up went really well, no calling from Dassah and she felt nice and loose (usually she gets a little short strided in the back and feels 'ouchy.' 

Our dressage test went off without a hitch - she was a little sticky in our trot transitions (which I knew would happen) and quite looky at the judge's car but for a chestnut mare in heat, she did great! I rode every moment (except I totally threw out leg aids for the circle left trot and with that went our bend). 

We took a couple minutes to school over fences in the indoor and then went back out for stadium. There was no wait (but they weren't rushing anyone) and I actually jumped ahead of the two girls who were technically in front of me. 

I was shocked to see stadium set so low - I think we've been schooling at Maiden (2'3") and was definitely expecting more of those elements rather than the low verticals we had. No complaints though, I know it's better to show lower than you school. Or school higher than you show. Or whatever. Same thing. 

Dassah was beautiful in stadium. I had a boneheaded moment where I forgot the rollback from 7 to 8 and came in almost at a diagonal to 8 (Sweet K was at the in-gate and gave me a reminder about it - which I had realized only after I cut my corner to short to roll back) but again, small vertical and Dassah didn't bat an eye. FULL DISCLOSURE: We trotted in almost every fence. Having raging heat mare made me very cautious and I wanted a good experience for her. So while we looked ridiculous trotting in every element, it was really good for her (and me). 

xc went right after stadium and again, raging-heat mare was shockingly low-key. The beginning of the course is set along a run-down barn with scary piles around it and Dassah always gives it the hair-eyeball (typically with a side of bolting) - so we (gasp) walked it. Yep, we walked to our first element, trotted in, and settled back into a walk to our second element. Picked up the trot to our third and then settled back to walk to the fourth. Again, only wanted a good experience for her and did not want to get dumped. After the fourth fence we settled into a nice steady trot with a couple canter strides here and there. We had our one and only refusal at the spools. Shocker. I know. I kept my leg on her all the way in but at the last second she blanked and spun. No problem though, I represented and we popped over casually. Of course. 

The rest of the course was nice and simple. 10 fences for grasshopper. Maiden and Beg. Nov. had about 14 I think. I'm planning on entering Maiden for September or October's mini-trials - but maybe we'll just actually canter the course at grasshopper. Who knows?! 

Our refusal put us in 7th place at the end of the day. I think there were about 11 riders in my division? I'm waiting for the scores to come out so I can see how everyone's dressage went. We got all 6s except for one 7 for our down centerline and halt. Which shocked me because if you ever get to see our video, we were NOT square at all. Not even close. Interestingly, our square halt at the beginning of the test got us a 6....
We got 5s on impulsion, submission, and rider effectiveness. Remarks were consistent with, "Resistance, needs bend, inconsistent."  Apparently the judge was not in a particularly commenting mood because we got absolutely no further remarks. I thought for a schooling show I'd get more feedback but whatever. 

Sorry for no pictures. :( I'm working on it. 

Anyway. I HAD FUN! So much fun! Really want to get back out there asap and jump all the jumps. 


  1. Having fun is the whole point! Congrats on the placing.

    1. Thanks! Sometimes it's so easy to lose sight of the whole point.

  2. So glad you had fun! That's the most important part :)

    1. Thanks - I can get a little competitive with myself and need to constantly check that!

  3. Sounds like a good experience for both of you!
    I have my first ever mare and I am a bit worried about what her heat cycles will be like....*cringe*

    1. You know - it just depends on the mare. Dassah can get real ouchy and trots stiffly or she can get real pissy and pin her ears at everything, all the time. I was shocked at the calm and cool mare I had yesterday! I did not predict that at all. Here's to hoping you don't even know your mare is in heat when she cycles!!

  4. #yay! Sounds like it was a great experience for both of you!

    1. It absolutely was. Ready to do more!

  5. Aw, sounds like a great experience! So glad it wasn't a crazy mare-in-heat moment!


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