Show Prep Gone Awry!

Saturday will be Leo's first dressage show! I had hoped to prep all week, but unfortunately, a project deadline at work kept me at the office from early morning long into the evening every day. However, that deadline came and went, and I was finally able to ride Leo this evening. I was relieved by how excellent he was! He also had hind shoes put on for the first time this week, and I can tell a definite difference in his trot. There is more action, and he's reaching under himself with his hinds willingly.

The show we are going to is a local schooling show, and my focus is simply to take him and expose him to the show atmosphere and routine. Since this is his first show, there are a lot of unknowns in terms of how he will behave off-site, in an outdoor arena without a rail, and with other horses schooling. While he is generally well-behaved off-site for small clinics, I feel like the show environment can be its own beast. So, I decided to keep the pressure off our actual test ride and only enter Intro A instead of Training level. The alternative was entering as a non-compete, but if he's handling it all well, I know myself well enough to want to ride a test. I'd rather scratch Intro A if I'm not feeling it.

If all goes well in terms of Leo's behavior at the show, we will step it up to training level for the next show, which is a rated show, in three weeks. For now, I will be happy with a well-behaved young man and count that as a success. If we also pull off a well-ridden baby test, that will be the cherry on top. Wish us luck!


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