I've been talking about RAAC for some time. Most of you probably have no idea what the RAAC actually is. Here's a blurb from the California Dressage Society (CDS):
RAAC is a two-day affair. The first day of the show is just a regular CDS/USDF/USEF show. Anyone can enter. Day two is also just a regular show, but RAAC participants are riding for a second level of recognition. I know there are RAAC ribbons and prizes of some type, but in all honesty, I have no idea what to expect. I know there is some kind of an award ceremony and a photo session for high placing riders, but I really doubt that I'll need to participate.
It's not like I am selling myself short; I am just realistic. I qualified at Training Level, but I only just started riding these tests less than a year ago. I've only done test 3 twice, and both rides were done this month. Many of the other riders will no doubt be much more practiced at this level. That's okay. My goals, as always, are to have fun, get a somewhat acceptable canter departure, and not finish dead last.
Geez. My goals continue to be rather low. Is have fun what the never-good-enough crowd always hopes for? I seriously hope that one day I can write, be in the top three as one of my goals. And I am serious about not wanting to be dead last. (Insert ominous music here.) I know someone has to be there, and it will most likely be me, but I really hope not.
Here are my ride times and class sizes for day one; these are not RAAC classes.
This is by far the largest class in which I will have ever ridden. One of the other riders from the class is also from Bakersfield. I wish her well. I don't know any of the others. There are thirteen riders; that doesn't bode well. Isn't 13 an unlucky number? I just hope and pray NOT to be the thirteenth placed rider.
The second class is a bit smaller, but I still don't know any of these riders. This class is judged by Gail Hoffman. I rode for her in June, and I didn't get great scores from her. I hope her scores were low because we stunk as opposed to her having something against Arabians. Again, I just don't want to be last.
My first class is at 8:00 a.m. Guess what? I think I am going to win. How embarrassing. I am not sure why no one else in the entire middle section of California entered at Introductory Level. Was it not worth the time and money to get to the show? Was it too hard for Intro riders to earn two scores of 65%? Were other riders embarrassed to go to RAAC only to show at Introductory? Again, I just don't know. I hope that CDS doesn't drop the Intro classes from RAAC. I saw it as a great opportunity to get my feet wet. I never imagined that I would also qualify at Training Level.
This class is also judged by Gail Hoffman, not my biggest fan. My plan is to try and do everything that I practiced with JL this week: keep Speedy soft, encourage him to listen to my leg, keep my seat light, and ask for the canter with a light leg aid. If we get through the canter departures without the theatrics, the only thing bugger that will lower our score will be the stretchy trot. If that's the only part we blow, I'll be more than happy.