I mentioned that my mom was here to visit and that she videoed my tests. I need to mention that while my mom loves horses, she doesn't know that much about them and knows even less about showing. So after my tests were completed and Speedy G was untacked and tucked into his spot at the trailer, we walked back up to the dressage court to watch a few other tests being ridden.
Just 14 months ago, I went to my first dressage show. I remember being overwhelmed by how many procedures there seemed to be. How in the world did everyone seem to know what to do? A bell was ringing every few minutes, someone was shouting out alphabet letters followed by equine gates, someone else was calling out riders' number with a time. And horses were trotting and cantering everywhere. It should have looked chaotic, but it didn't. It was actually very harmonious and relatively quiet.
Mom and I chose our spot along the spectator fence under the shade of the oak trees. I started seeing the show through the eyes of a newcomer and realized that I hadn't bothered to explain what was really going on. She had seen me ride of course, and I had already explained how the levels were arranged and how each rider was given a time to ride. But really, that was it. I spent a few minutes explaining what the letters meant, what the judge was looking for, and what a reader's job entailed. As the next rider entered at A, I very quietly "translated" the reader's directions. After seeing just one test ridden, Mom quickly picked up how to follow the horse's movement around the dressage court. For the second test that we saw, she began to see when a horse or rider had made a mistake or when the horse was being a bit fussy.
Mom turned out to be a great "horse show mom." She mentioned to everyone in site that THAT rider was HER daughter and isn't she just such a LOVELY rider? She schlepped my boot wiping rag with pride. She toted my water bottles around and offered me a drink every time I looked hot. She cared for my show coat during warm up and pointed out the dusty spots on it so that I could wipe them off. And she of course "oohed and ahed" appropriately over my blue ribbons. It was quite fun to have such a dedicated entourage.
On Monday afternoon, after spending all morning with me at a lesson filming yet again, we checked to see if the show's results had been posted. Mom's super supportive "show mom" side appeared again. She suggested we count how many riders scored below my top score and how many scored above. Once we tallied the results, she excitedly pointed out that my scores fell within the top half of the scores. She really made me feel successful in a mathematical way. Thanks, Mom!
You'll find the link to show results here. (At some point the link will reflect scores for the July 2012 show).