Back In The Ring, Dressage and Jumping, Show Report, FCHP Schooling Show, April 2021

Riding Journal

Awareness of the outside world. Dentist today. Been expecting this. Managed to hold off a good long while. Tooth finally cracked two weeks ago. In other news, within the last week, I’ve had vaccination, show, and dentist. That’s a lot of people-ing for someone who doesn’t get out much. [Same, Same, Not Happening]

FCHP Schooling Show
Full Circle Horse Park
Pell City, Alabama
Saturday, April 17, 2021

Doctor Whooves

Class 14: USEA TOC. Beginner Novice Test B. 1st of 1. Score 29%. Hi-score, 8 for halt, movement 16.

Class 23: Cross Rails. no placings, completion ribbon. For the record, time was 2:27. Other times 1:47, 1:48, & 2:07.

10q to FCHP.


What I thought would happen
Would break into a trot on the left canter. Left circle is a work in progress. Would picking up a canter instead of a trot for transition at M. Yes, he will canter when I want him to trot and trot when I want him to canter. Meh. The resulting gaits are calm and smooth. It’s more about him doing what he finds easier at the moment.

What happened
Nailed both. Go us. Came around the turn for the walk across the diagonal. Got excited to show off Rodney’s walk. Punched it. Got trot steps. My bad.

What I thought he would look at
The judge’s booth. Because they all do. I even made a point of feeding him a treat from the ledge of the booth in the morning before the show.

What he looked at
Cars belonging to the judge and scribe, parked outside of the ring. I think we inverted the C-to-M corner every time, see comment on movement 6. He wasn’t spooking. More like, ‘Oh look, cars.’ Traffic fascinates him. [Where Are We Now?]

What I did
Finished my corners and arcs. One of my circles was too big, instead of a shrunken diamond, movement 7. [Finish]

What I didn’t do
Keep my mouth shut. I know I asked him if he was ready to canter, both directions. Ground crew says there were at least three instances. Judge was kind enough to leave room for doubt. There is no doubt. I talk to my horse.

I blame saddleseat.

I blame driving.

After schooling in these disciplines, we now actively use voice commands to communicate with both horses. They also appear find it soothing to have their rider maintain a steady stream of chat. If I don’t say anything, Rodney assumes the worst.

Called it. Check out the judge’s comments in the collective marks. [Why Wup?]

To read the fine print, Beginner Novice Test B, download.

Covid Compliance
Our understanding of the rules was ‘Masks on unless mounted.’ We interpreted that to mean not on a horse and not hanging out at the trailer. We treated our work space as an extension of our bubble. As soon as we ventured forth, we donned masks. We were not alone in mask wearing, but it was not universal.

I see three reasons for a lack of mask. 1) Outside. 1a) Outside with natural social distance. Mostly one is nodding and chatting with folks en passant. 2) Vaccinated. When I was standing around – at a social distance – with friends, it turned out all four of us had gotten our vaccinations. 3) Red state.


So what about the jumping?
Tomorrow. Yes, I’m spreading out the posts. First horse show in 18 months. I’ll probably go on about it for the rest of the week. If not longer.

Update. Show name added. After posting, realized I forgot to note Rodney’s show name or even which horse was showing. Not so much an oversight on my part as too obvious to mention. [Doctor Whooves]

Update II, Show Links
[Conversations With My Horse, Jump Class, FCHP Schooling Show, April 2021]
[Pre-show Thoughts, FCHP Schooling Show, April 2021]
[My Horses Are Weird, Separation Anxiety Version]

Stay safe. Stay sane.

14 thoughts on “Back In The Ring, Dressage and Jumping, Show Report, FCHP Schooling Show, April 2021

  1. “If I don’t say anything, Rodney assumes the worst.”

    The best horse I ever rode was old, so very old, the oldest in the barn at the place I took lessons. I talked to him nonstop and he pulled himself together like a champion. The smoothest trot I ever experienced. This was more than fifty years ago, the last horse I rode, but I still remember.

    1. It wasn’t until I read “more than fifty years ago” that I realized it’s been a little over 20 years ago that I was on a horse. I owned Chief for a while after I had to stop riding, until he went to the Bridge, but still…that was the same year. Sometimes it seems like only yesterday that I was bopping around the trails, sometimes it seems like forever.

  2. A familiar voice is soothing to the listener as well as comforting to the speaker. It means you’re there, just in case. My partner often has trouble sleeping but we find that the sound of my voice at bedtime is relaxing. True, I try to talk about a boring subject but it’s the reassurance that I am here and my partner can be “off duty”. Some one else is in charge. For a worrier, that’s a tremendous relief.

  3. The only event I took Chief to, I talked to him twice in dressage, but they kindly only counted it once. It was a low-level, basically schooling show. Chief was getting ready for one of his pretend shies, and telling him in a calm voice to cut it out and behave was all he needed. Of course, both times he decided to do it at the judge’s booth (actually a horse trailer). I was always talking to him.

    “Red state.” So sorry.

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