To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Hold onto your hats helmets...'s going to be a wild ride just documenting the last week, not to mention what's coming!

So after I wrote my last post, I got to thinking (thinking; always thinking). There is no rule against showing in an ancient, battered saddle; people who see us before we go into the ring would surely raise their eyebrows but the judge will likely have her attention on other things while we're in the ring. Check one showing obstacle off the list to address before the entry deadline of June 1st(!).

A second obstacle was Stella's teeth. When I sent Suzan a photo of the damaged Nathe bit weeks ago, she stated that Stella is teething and to switch to a bitless bridle for most of her rides in order to avoid causing 'issues.' Rick did a quick manual check and confirmed she needed a dental – sometime ("the cobbler's children have no shoes"). I didn't want to ride her in a bit as I would need to in a show without that dental, so I finally asked him Monday if he could do it. Bless his heart, he did – even though it was HOT and he and I had moved over four tons of hay that day.

She has big wolf teeth, but he didn't want to give her the additional anesthesia needed to remove them. So he did the necessary floating and said we'd wait and see if the wolf teeth give her any trouble.

While the anesthesia was wearing off, I decided to take advantage of modern pharmacology and clip her bridle path and fetlocks for the very first time. Then I sprayed Show Sheen in her tail, trimmed the end and brushed it out. That felt like removing a couple obstacles. (Lance got some spa treatment, too.)
Tidy fetlocks!

But the big question/obstacle remained. Not "Are we ready?" I have no illusions about Stella being ready to show; she's not. She's still a hot, reactive mare that's greener-than-Intro Level-grass. No, my concern is that the whole experience could overface her rather than give her positive exposure, and I didn't want to risk that. So on my way to work Tuesday (June 1st), I called the person who knows her best second to me: Lisa.

Lisa had already expressed enthusiasm for my entering the show when we rode at the fairgrounds, and she reiterated how impressed she was with how well Stella did there. She thought I should go for it, with the caveat that I would know if she wasn't ready, and could scratch.

Ha; Lisa apparently doesn't know me as well as she knows Stella! I know people do that, but the thought of paying all the (non-refundable) fees, going through all the prep work, and getting up at o'dark thirty to get to the grounds in time to tack up, lead Stella around for a lengthy looky-loo, and warm up before entering the ring shortly after 8:00 a.m. only to decide "Nope; not a good idea!" was anathema. BUT. If my main purpose for entering this show is to give Stella more life experience, why not go? Even if I end up scratching our Intro tests, she would get new experiences in spades. Besides, it is fun to go hang out with other breed enthusiasts. At a regular dressage show she would be something of an oddity; at a Morgan show, she would be enthused over.

So I scrambled after work on Tuesday in order to get our entry form filled out and postmarked in time. We're going to the Oregon Morgan Classic two weeks from today!

But wait; there's more!

Since I would be slightly self-conscious showing up at OMC with the old navy Wintec, I have been investigating saddle options online. Having another grippy synthetic saddle has a lot of appeal when you're an 'old lady' riding a fresh filly, so I looked at newer used and brand new Wintec saddles. SmartPak has test ride saddles with free shipping both ways, and this morning I realized that if I ordered one today, I would have the saddle in time to try it before the show – and could show in it if Stella and I like it! So I ordered this.

Then I went to the barn to ride. I swapped out the damaged Nathe for the double-jointed snaffle; she has worn it while being ponied but I don't think I've ridden with it. Better see how she goes in it, right?

The only positive to this is that she got foamy – on one side.

Ugh. Stella was NOT happy. Lots of mouthing and gaping and tongue contortions; she was so busy fussing with the bit that she couldn't really listen to me. Remembering how well she went in the Nathe at the fairgrounds, I promptly ordered another when I got back to the house (actually, I ordered this, which Suzan says is identical).

So in for a penny, in for a pound whole pile of cash. 😆 Now if I can just find someone willing to come along as a groom of sorts, since I will be showing out of my trailer....


Jen said...

Yay, this is so exciting!! This will be so good for her.

Michelle said...

I hope so, Jen!

A :-) said...

This is so exciting!!!!

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