Progress! Working our way up the levels

Far Above Par (

Far Above Par (“Finn”) and Edie

I sign up for dressage shows weeks in advance, thinking, “we’ll get it together by the day of the show.” And then as the show draws near, panic begins to build.

We’re not ready! We still can’t do X,Y, and Z, at least not predictably and elegantly. This is ridiculous. What was I thinking?

I’m always one to push myself a bit. To reach a bit farther than perhaps I should if I wanted to be sure of success (if success equals high scores and lots of awards).

On the other hand, pushing myself means I’m forced to confront the things that are difficult. Aaaauuuggghhh! Pirouettes!

The deadline looms: produce or…what? Die? I don’t think so. What’s the worst thing that will happen? Public embarrassment? Guess what: most people at a horse show are far more interested in other things than in you. They are not sitting there pointing fingers and laughing if you are struggling. Most likely they remember their own struggles and sympathize. Or if not, well, that’s their issue, right? Right.

Showing and pushing myself to keeping going up the levels helps motivate me to focus and apply myself: to stretch, learn and  grow.

Keeping up with the big horses in the warm up ring

Keeping up with the big horses in the warm up ring. I’m sure Finn’s stride is just as long!

I expected a potential disaster today in my first attempt at 4th level, but God bless my wonderful Far Above Par (“Finn”). He came through like a champ! We’ve worked hard polishing up some things and it paid off. What really pleases me is that we did NOT have brilliant rides. They were good, but we can do better! I made plenty of rookie mistakes that can be fixed (not to say I won’t make different mistakes tomorrow). And yet our scores were satisfyingly respectable for a first foray riding tests 4-1 and the notoriously horrid 4-3, which tells me we are showing at the right level and are on the right track.


I dream of Prix St Georges. Finn dreams of carrots. His dream will come true sooner than mine.

Lots more work to do, strength to build, more for me to learn, but we’re having fun and continuing to work our way up the levels. The cartoon below wasn’t TOO far off the mark although no one fell off (while I was there). Every horse was twice the size of Finn, but he doesn’t bothered. He has Pony ‘Tude.Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 5.12.29 PM

6 thoughts on “Progress! Working our way up the levels

  1. Oh this is lovely!
    Exactly what I needed to read before this weekend.

    Dressage, approached this way, will NEVER be boring!
    Congratulations to you and Finn!
    He looks very well put together, and you fit him like a glove in that saddle 🙂
    Way to get out there!


    • My comfy Lemke saddle! In spite of my bouncing at the extended trot, Finn never seems to have a sore back. That’s a miracle! Go for it this weekend, Elinor, and I think you and Cooper will have a good time and MAY do better than you expect! Keep stretching and growing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Glad to have you along cheering on. So excited, despite being eons away from any such beautiful 4th level dancing.
        (This better be fun, with a 3 am wakeup call)


      • 3 a.m.! That’s even worse than my 4:45 a.m. wake up call this morning (and by the way, I woke up at 3 a.m. even though I didn’t need to be up that early, just too wired to go back to sleep). Have FUN!

        Liked by 1 person

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