My goal with this first show of the year was to put in a solid test, aiming for a 30 if we could replicate our efforts at home. Spoiler alert- we didn’t. But we got close!
I think a lot of what’s to blame is that I haven’t figured out the key to unlocking the warmup. We tend to have very relaxed showjumping warm ups, but dressage lacks the suppleness and relaxation that should be there. Despite the warmup area being fairly calm, he was holding a lot of tension through his back and was super stiff through his right jowl. I tried going forward, lots of canter, figure-8s… but none of this accomplished what I was after.
The test then was a bit of the same. There are moments where he takes a deep breath and relaxes, but the centerlines and canter transitions bely the underlying tension. Take a gander to see what I mean:
Overall we scored a 31.4, putting us in the upper half of the 20+ competitors that day. Jack scored a 7.5 on gaits, and I got a 7 on my rider score, which were a big help towards our score. Things I wish we could have fixed obviously include the canter transitions, and being able to get more push in the trot without breaking into the canter (which we got dinged on).
I feel that if I can get the relaxation in the warmup for dressage, these pieces will come. Tomorrow, onto showjumping!
Tension in the dressage ring, boy is that a familiar tale. Henry’s is much more intense than Jack’s though! lol
Haha I know I’m nitpicking, I just got so used to Foster’s ‘whatever’ attitude regarding the dressage ring! It’s hard to be a Jack some days I guess.
I love Jack’s walk! You guys will get there, but it sounds like you had a great first outing! Fun fact, the horse that won your division was one we sourced and sold:)
Oh, nice! That’s so cool 🙂
Glad you guys had fun!!
And you were pretty close to your goal!
*This* close! Hopefully next time!
The relaxation will come! But he looks really nice so it can only get better from here 😁
I hope so!
I think that looks like a very lovely and calm test. I think you should be super proud of your effort 🙂
Firstly, that girl comes super close to you when you are riding! down here in australia you have to be 20m away so that wouldn;t have helped.
i think it looks super, he does what Moo is doing at the moment, trying to avade using his outside shoulder.
also, you mentioned the warm-up! it looks super cold there so maybe he was just cold, far out i admire you guys getting out in that weather.
I am working on my warm-up at the moment. It’s hard to be consistent and I think that’s where i am failing at comps.
he looks damn lovely to me LOLI would kill for that ‘tension’ and ‘score’ HA! But i know what you mean. I find Dressage is the hardest part for a lot for that reason. The warmup is usually a zoo and hard to get the horse relaxed like in a lesson. I think Jack is gorgeous and carries himself wonderfully it will come! COME ON JUMPING RECAP! 🙂
He’s such a nice mover even with that little bit of tension!
Tension is my nemesis right now… so frustrating! But I just have to trust in the process, and know that it WILL COME. ONE DAY.
Dressage warm-up is always so much more difficult than the jumping warm-up! He looks great regardless and put down a solid effort despite the tension.