November 8, 2010

Kasane riding Intro Test A

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The first weekend in October, Kasane had her first show. She did very well, considering a lot of things. It was her fourth time ever being ridden in a bit, there were Crazy! Things! at the dressage ring (plastic rails, retaining wall, geese, pond!), and she still was willing to try to complete the test with me.

She was willing to try the test and ride to the end of the ring with the scaries. I did learn that she has cow pony moves: And duck and dodge!

During the dressage class itself she was not happy. She fought the bit, but I can’t blame her really. She hasn’t been ridden in the bit much and we found out that she had four teeth coming in. By the end of the test, she felt wound and coiled. If I had asked much more if her, we would have had an explosion on our hands.

I tried to make the experience of riding at the show as pleasant as possible. Immediately after the class, I dismounted and let her graze by the ring with the bit in. Something so it wasn’t so bad. She just seemed irritated and annoyed. I untacked her and took the bit out of her mouth. We walked back down the ring and she was so much quieter and happier. Her whole demeanor changed when I took the bit out of her mouth, so there was no way I was going to put it back in her mouth for the second class.

High Time Photography took pictures at the event. Here is one of Kasane from her class. This is probably the most relaxed picture I could find.

The second class was an obstacle course. Those of us in the lowly beginners class were allowed to ride at a walk or trot and go over poles without jumping. When the judge gave me permission to use the halter instead of the bit in the second class, I unloaded Kasane, tacked her up, and away we went. (Her body language was so much happier in the halter.) She completed the class beautifully: head down and soft, investigating all of the jump standards and poles, the plastic flowers. She got a round of applause at the end of the class. I was very pleased with her.

The weekend after the horse show, i decided to ride the test at home and asked the barn manager to video tape it. Here is how Kasane should have looked at the dressage test: relaxed, good cadence, and very quiet. The ride picks up just after we trotted into the ring, halted at X, and then continued off at a trot.

The Intro Test A ride was a far cry from our first ride at a trot on command back in July.

Nice when you can see they have improved.

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