Dressage day at Luhmuhlen.
We had a good test, not a great one, and great is now what you have to own, in order to be competitive at this level now. Our work is improving, but I left a lot of points in the ring that really should have been mine. We had quite a few very costly mistakes. Am I pleased? Yes, with him I am, they were not horse misbehaviors, they were lack of rider preparation. His behavior was fantastic all day though. As our level of work improves, I’m so excited to see how his confidence in the ring improves. I did notice, though, as the day progressed, the scores got looser. Tests that were much more inconsistent than mine, were scoring just a few points better, and the judging began to appear more inconsistent. One judge would give an 8 for the same movement that the other two would give a 4 to. Sometimes it’s great to ride early, sometimes is better to ride late. No matter what, I’m proud of HRH for what he gave me.
The most exciting part of both of the afternoons was to watch those riders that just make your jaw drop. Michael Jung is, hands down, a phenomenal rider. He could and does go into the straight dressage world and kick butt. I have never seen so many 10’s that were so rightly deserved. His winning three star test was flat out the nicest test I’ve ever seen in person and almost the nicest I’ve ever seen, Totilas included. Lucinda Fredericks winning four star test was a work of art. If it’s true that watching good riders can make you better, then watch out, here I come. There are so many amazing riders that I just can’t put them all in order. Just from watching I feel like I can understand where we need to continue working.
All in all, a constructive day. On to tomorrow! The course is big (as a four star should be) but not terribly technical. I’ve walked it about 2.5 times so far, everything at least twice, and a number of things 3 or four times. There are three waters (okay, four but we crisscross the third one twice) and a few combinations that are going to be interesting. One more walk tomorrow, to check footing and solidify what the plan is.
Parting with delusion is such sweet sorrow.
Today was a day like any other day except I didn’t know that I would soon know something I could not have known.