Thursday 15 June 2017

Chinook Country - Here We Come!

Tomorrow Kachina and I will be on our way to the Chinook Country Bronze Dressage Show. This is one of our main rated shows planned for the season. I'm looking forward to it but I'm also wishing I was more prepared.

The plan is to compete in the following:

- Training 1
- Dressage Equitation flat class
- Training 3

- Training 2
- Dressage Equitation TOC - Training 1
- TOC - Training 2

Us at the same show last year

Here's what I feel good about:
- It lined up that I have tomorrow (Friday) off work so I will have lots of time to pack and can get to the show grounds early (it's about a 3 hour haul)
- For the first time in my life I have hired someone to prep and braid Kachina's mane for me (rates were reasonable, two less things for me to worry about, and I'm also planning to watch and learn)
I was actually pretty proud of these braids, but they didn't stay in very well
- 6 tests in a weekend gives me a good chance of having at least one decent test, and the ride times are pretty nicely spread out
- KateRose might be coming to watch
- I was at the show last year and it's a nice size show with a good atmosphere
Getting some good feedback from the judge last year
- We succeeded in getting our best ever canter transitions last week
- We have a solid warm-up plan
- She's been to this venue before, and I've taken her several new places in the last year so riding away from home isn't much of a concern
- I've arranged for a saddle fitter to do a saddle fit assessment for us at the show. I've wanted get a second opinion on my saddle for a while now, and this saves me significant travel costs compared to bringing a fitter down to where I live. I think my saddle fits well, but I'd like confirmation, and I also want some girth answers.

Here's what I'm nervous about:
- We went to the show last year and won for "best rodeo" in the fun warm-up class, not looking for a repeat of that! (I did not enter said warm-up class this year, but I don't want any rodeo moments during my tests either)
Let's not have a repeat of this
(this was just a canter transition, actual rodeo moves not captured on camera)
- The show doesn't offer Walk/Trot tests so I have to tackle the canter every class
- While we are figuring out canter transitions finally, it's far from confirmed and I haven't done it off a circle yet
- The saddle fitting isn't happening until Sunday and so it doesn't really help for the show itself
- Last year Kachina freaked out every time the steward tried to check her bit (it was our first and only show so far that had a tack check). I have been practicing with her on having her mouth prodded, and have some methods I can use, but she's still nervous about strangers going near her face, especially men

Laying it out this way is useful for me, now that I see that the first list is longer than the second, I'm not so worried!

The most important thing to me is having a positive show experience for both of us. Second priority is putting in the best effort that Kachina and I are capable of right now. How we shape up compared to the competition is much farther down the list.... but, I also love me some satin and I have to admit that I would love to earn some. I need to temper my expectations though because this show has 14 entries in Training Level, some of whom are excellent pairs, and last year only the division and reserve champs got ribbons (but the ace up my sleeve is the dressage equitation division ;-), I like having an extra couple classes but it's a fairly new and unknown option so there's only 3 of us in it)

I managed to squeak out a win in Dr Eq last year
out of two people, despite poor performance,
and if you can win a ribbon, they are beautiful

Wish us luck! Anyone else showing this weekend?


  1. Not sure if it's the same in Canada, but you can get your bit checked after your tests. If you bring a halter along and just pull her bridle it might help with the anxiety. Good luck!

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, that's already my Plan B. The tack check area is outside the arena in an open spot near a road though so I just have to be careful about how I do that too.

  2. Good luck!!! I hope you and Kachina have a fabulous show.

  3. You're going to do great! Have fun!

  4. It was great watching you guys! Excited to see the show recap post ;)