One of my mottos is “Show ring success is not the purpose of my training but a happy consequence of it”.
I’m not a trainer who is driven to compete, I don’t attend a lot of shows but understand that it’s a valuable way to get feedback on my training and see how the horses stand up to the competition. I do enjoy the other aspects of shows, getting together with other horse lovers, and I’ve made some great friends this way. Sometimes a particular show is the only time I might see someone, and I do consider it a nice “camping trip”.
The 2022 show season in our area is coming to a close, and I wanted to do a quick post to review. As usual, we kicked off with the Arabian Region 6 Championships with Tamar Diamond Lil (Little) coming back from small oopsie and competing Level 2 Dressage, as well as Sporthorse in hand. Om El Babylon was having his first Level 1 rides with me and a Sport Horse ride with owner Athena Steadman. Athena was also having her first show with her new girl Tamar Royal Arrival (Cricket). This show is always a great one for us, and we came away with a swag of champions and reserves. I was so very happy with each of the horses and it was a great first show for Athena.
With very few Arabian Sporthorse shows available to us (Region 6, an 8 hour drive is our closest!) I decided we best get out to some open dressage shows. I also needed to bite the bullet and get my big guy Rubin to a show! We headed to Millbrook Farms Summer Dressage Festival in Fairfield Utah. My second ever open dressage show and Athenas first. We took the 3 Arabians plus Rubin who I was debuting at my first ever Level 3 ride and his first show in the US! I must admit, I was quite nervous heading into this show, stepping out of my comfort zone and with a new ride! Well I couldn’t have been happier. Under trying conditions (incredible heat and gale force winds!) the horses were fabulous. Athena had some brilliant rides on unflappable Cricket who delivered Athenas first rated show wins! Little was a bit flat after just a 3 week break after the region 6 show, but still placed and provided some good learning opportunities. Babylon was my star, giving me the best rides he ever has, overcoming a couple of challenges we have been battling with and bringing home a win. Rubin was wonderful, stepping up and giving me 2 fabulous first time Level 3 rides, and also bought home the Level 3 High Point award with a 70+%!
With my dressage scores from these two shows I achieved one of my other goals, my USDF Bronze Medal!
The only other show to date was C&M Farms High Desert Classic with Rubin and Little. Once again Rubin gave me a great experience at Level 3, winning both his classes with 69+% for both rides and numerous 8’s on the cards. Little always attracts admiration and won both her Level 2 classes and also picked up the Pony High Point Award.
I am now in preparation to attend my first USDF Regional show. We made the decision to only take Rubin to this show, I’m looking forward to a wonderful learning experience to finish off my foray into the world of open rated dressage for this year, after which I’ll be evaluating training schedules and plans for each of the horses and start planning for next season!