Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Devonwood Dressage Show

Devonwood was one of the big shows for me this season. Next to Championships this is the second "biggest" show in the region.

I took down Claudius and Neo to show at the Prix St Georges.

The short story, and that's all you are going to get, is that while we didn't have a bad show, we didn't ride as well as we could. I wasn't looking to win the classes (Claudius did win his 4th level warm up class), but go into the classes and feel really good with how we did. That never happened. A big part was I couldn't find my mental focus and didn't ride with the sharpness that I would have liked too.

I took the week after the show fairly easy and now this week I'm back on track. I feel my confidence back and am getting both Neo and Claudius riding well.

We have the Whidbey Summer Show show 2 week from tomorrow. I have the utmost confidence that I will be able to not only get the horses going better before the show, but will be able to find my "zone" in the show ring.

In the meantime, it's lot's of practice both on and off the horse.

The one great thing about the show, besides showing at a fantastic venue, is the help and support I received. Owners Cindy and Rebecca, and groom Rachel, worked tireless for me throughout the entire weekend, and in very hot weather too. A big thanks to some of the fan club who made the drive down (Mom, Wendy, Julie, Norma, Roxanne, Joan).

Thanks for reading and I'll put an update in before we leave for the next show.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Show Week For Devonwood

Next weekend I have the 2nd biggest show of the season (Championships being the biggest) at the Devonwood Dressage Show. Devonwood is hands down the best facility in the region. The biggest reason why I'm taking my guys down to this show is the fabulous footing in all the arenas (show rings and warm up rings). Some of the other venues in the area should take note on the footing. Additionally, a top notch judging panel will be on hand.

The team that is going down is Neo (with owner Rebecca Chatfield), Claudius (with owner Cindy Bucceri), Sharon Hummel and Sabu, and Deborah Hauck and Nick. Today is only Sunday and I'm feeling very motivated for the show.

I'll be showing Neo at Prix St Georges and making our debut at Intermediate I. Neo's training lately has been solid. I'm very confident in our trot work and hope to pull 8's (maybe even a 9) on our all of the extended trots. In the canter work our changes are good and I just need to get a better sit in the pirouettes. If I can keep my mind in check during the rides we should be near or at the top in all of our classes.

Claudius will be going Prix St Georges and if I can keep him relaxed we should be able to wow the crowd. The last two days of training have shown me I can go into the ring with the utmost confidence. I ran through the PSG today and it was heads and shoulders above what we showed last month. While the half pirouettes where still "a little" large we had better sitting than previously. If I can keep the engagement in both the trot and canter half passes we'll be pushing 8's and 9's!

My goals for Neo and Claudius are pretty simple: go through each ride error free, have a clear and positive mindset during the rides and get qualifying scores at PSG. Anything else that we get (i.e. blue ribbons) will be icing on the cake.

Sharon and Sabu have been displaying great work in their lessons and I expect them to continue their great riding like they did at the Whidbey Island Show. Deborah and Nick have also been doing well and should produce qualifying scores at Training Level.

I'll post an updated blog about the Devonwood Show next Monday.

A couple of pics from the Henrik Johansen clinic last week. I got some really good work from the four horses I rode (Neo, Claudius, Nick and Sabu) and found this to be one of the best clinics he has given me.