And the final day … Again, thanks to Tracy at Fly on Over for providing the questions. Here are My (final) 5 Things.
I also enjoy watching the highest level tests like the Grand Prix and Freestyles because that gives me a picture of what the ultimate dressage horse and rider team should look like.
And strangely enough, I adore watching show jumping at the Grand Prix level. In fact, it's what I watch every night when I go to bed. Those riders are simply amazing. Watching them helps me ride Sydney better when he's gone a bit coo coo for Coco Puffs. If they can manage a 1,200 pound dragon seven or eight feet in the air while galloping at 20 miles per hour, surely I can handle my own little monster while trotting 20-meters at C!
23. One thing about showing (or riding in general) you wish you could change: I love how dressage shows are run. Everyone knows exactly what time their ride is so the sport suits my need for order and being on a schedule. With that said, the one part of showing that I don't like is coats. It is so warm here in Central/Southern California that I rarely wear a coat to ride in. On our coldest winter days, I usually wear a long sleeve running top with a fleece vest. Putting on a show coat, even a well-fitted one, makes me feel constricted and stiff. I would prefer to show in a fancy vest.
25. Best prizes: one of the rules about endurance riding is that everyone who completes gets a prize. We got lots of cool stuff over the years: flash lights, laundry bags, travel mugs, buckets, belt buckles, t-shirts galore, sweatshirts, hay carriers, coffee mugs, and a variety of other things. Ride managers take pride in coming up with creative completion prizes.
Dressage shows are a bit different. Ribbons are obviously the norm, and at the beginning, I loved getting ribbons; especially the great big ones. Now, not so much. I can't say no to a ribbon, but I have also run out of ways to display them.
I've also won a fleece cooler, actually two if you count the one I won at an endurance race. I know there must be other prizes out there to win, but so far, the things I've won at dressage shows have been pretty standard.