From Endurance to Dressage
Turquoise Isn't Bad Either
At my final salute in the RAAC class, I was a bit startled at the lack of any applause. There were bleachers along the long side, and while they weren't packed, there were at least ten to fifteen people seated there during my test. I don't expect a standing ovation, ever, but a smattering of gratuitous hand-on-hand noise was at least somewhat expected. I know I always applaud.
As I turned to walk out on that long rein, my heart crumpled. I knew (or thought I did, anyway) that the test wasn't great, but I didn't think it was that bad either. I walked back to the barn feeling rather dejected, but I didn't have time to check the score board because there were only about 30 minutes between the RAAC class and my second ride, which was in the regular portion of the show in Ring 2.
I'll admit it, I beat myself up a little bit. I didn't cry or boo hoo, but I let myself know that I am just a mediocre rider with no talent on a very forgiving, if not very fancy, horse. I didn't know about the 72.600%, and I didn't let myself think about the great scores that we earned just a few weeks prior. I let the lack of any applause dampen my enthusiasm and tell me what kind of rider I am. I won't make that mistake again!
Speedy G took a long drink back in his stall, for which I was thankful. I may not be an extraordinary rider, but I will proudly put my horsemanship skills up against anyone else's and feel quite confident that I will hold my own. In that arena, I rock!
I got on and walked over to the warm-up for the River View ring. We tootled around for a bit, chatting with some of the riders and enjoying the nice weather. My expectations were low so my motivation was not particularly engaged. The ring steward gave me the sign so we ambled over to the ring.
The test rode well enough, but I made a few slight errors when I let my attention wander a bit. Our stretchy circle was back to being kind of sketchy which really dinked our score (5.5 with a double co-effient), but the rest of the test was about where we've been this season. It was what I expected.
The judge awarded us with a nice, middle of the road 64.400%. It's a good score, and one that I usually really appreciate. We didn't earn any 8.0s, but we did pull off seven 7.0s, seven 6.5s, four 6.0s, and then there was that single 5.5 for the stretchy trot. These are good, solid scores. Had I not talked myself out of being a competent rider though, I might have scored closer to the high 60s; lesson learned.
It wasn't until an hour or so later that I finally had time to walk up to the score board to see our RAAC score. VG's husband saw me coming and pulled me aside to tease me about my scores before I could get to the board. When I finally made it close enough to read them, I was pretty shocked. And then when I saw this score, I was even more pleased. I didn't think it was going to be much above 60%. So in all, we earned some pretty nice scores to add to our Centerline Scores data bank. And I think our average went up a scooch!
For the weekend, we earned ...
I do have one more post I'd like to write about this show. A couple of funny things happened, and I became aware of a few things. So, one more show story tomorrow ...
What a great illustrative moment about how important our mental game is in dressage. I'd have had a hard time keeping up that level of intensity the whole time, so I'm cutting you a ton of slack for that last test. At the end of show weekend, it's hard to keep up the motivation and "want."
8/28/2014 10:48:19 am
Thanks for that insight, Austen. I hadn't really considered that I was mentally tired.
8/28/2014 10:49:53 am
Thanks, Emma. I always applaud, too. We're all out there doing our best; the applause doesn't necessarily mean you loved the ride, only that you appreciate the rider's effort. And yeah … I am definitely my worst enemy! :0)
8/28/2014 10:50:18 am
Hear, hear!!!!! :0)
8/28/2014 03:48:41 am
It's such a mental game... hopefully next time you won't manage to psych yourself out between tests! Congrads on another great score, and another gorgeous ribbon!
8/28/2014 10:51:14 am
I've managed to psych myself out a few times, and I am sure it will happen again. :0) But thanks!
8/28/2014 10:53:39 am
Wow, Sarah, high praise indeed. I don't know that I work harder, but I know I work hard. Sometimes it seems for naught, but apparently, it occasionally pays off. :0) Keep that in your own mind. You'll love the end of tomorrow's post. My trainer said something like this: the harder we work, the luckier we get. :0)
Congratulations. it's great to see your dedication and hard work paying off. You should be proud of yourself. I agree that it's nice to applaud but I find that by the second day people are tired and perhaps not paying as much attention as they should.
8/29/2014 08:39:24 am
Bets of luck, Teresa! Getting out there is the sometimes the hardest part. :0)
8/28/2014 11:30:11 pm
Spectators should definitely clap. At least next time you will not let them dampen your game. Those are some awesome scores!
8/29/2014 08:41:40 am
Normally there aren't enough people watching to warrant any applause. It just struck me as strange this particular time since there wasn't anything else to see while sitting in those bleachers. If it happens again, I'll know not to give it a second thought. On that day, I thought that the lack of the cursory applause meant that I had ridden REALLY badly. :0)
8/29/2014 01:21:06 am
What fantastic scores! I am a bit perturbed at the no clapping... how rude! I always clap, it feeds the ego and even Varro likes it when people clap!
8/29/2014 08:43:27 am
Thanks, Sandra. :0) I always clap too, and I try to say something positive to the rider as she/he leaves the ring, especially if I am the only one watching. Most riders seem to really appreciate the kind gesture.
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: