Two weekends ago on May 18th I took William to the Winters End Dressage show in beautiful Picton, Ontario. This is a schooling dressage show that I help organize along with my mom, the owner of Winters End; Elaine, and our friend who is a dressage trainer Lori. The idea is to have a quality schooling show without all the extra cost added you might have if you were at another high end facility. The show is very laid back and encouraging for young horses and green riders, but set in a very polished and professional manner.
I decided that William was ready to enter his first show off property, and, since it is so low key there, and he has been there a few times for lesson I thought it was a good choice for him. William was a super boy that weekend. He stood perfectly to be braided and shined. He loaded onto the trailer no issue, and when we arrived he stood quietly by the trailer.
I took him for a walk around the property for about 20 minutes and he was very settled and interested in what was going on. I tacked up early to give him a nice relaxing warm up and we took our time walking on a long rein and standing around soaking up the atmosphere. I was actually sort of shocked and surprised with how well behaved he was but I was not about to complain.
Soon, it was our turn. We were doing the Walk Trot Cadora Tests A and B. William was an absolute gem! I thought he was excellent for his first time doing a test at a show. A few bobbles here and there but nothing that bothered me one bit and I was thrilled to pieces. In his second test he had a tense moment where he had a mini meltdown after the first halt and did not want to go forward. I tried to just stay relaxed but firm that he was to stand and then walk on afterwards and after that little mishap he continued on to do a beautiful test.
I was so happy with William that I didn't even care where we placed or how we scored. That is, until I saw the scores and that I scored a 51 for my first test and a 47 for my second. I was sort of crushed. Really mostly upset because William was so well behaved and tried his little heart out and did not get the recognition for it. I do not want to get into a big spiel about the judging but needless to say there was an issue for me there. If you care to watch the video feel free to comment on your thoughts.
I tried my best to put that behind me and just be so proud of William. He was such a little show horse that day and it has gotten me very excited about his future. Williams first show was a big success!
*All photos are used with permission from Susan Dall Photography and are copyright protected.