My first dressage show–as a competitor, not a vendor!

Here's what Billy, Breezy and I earned over the 2 days of showing.

Here’s what Billy, Breezy and I earned over the 2 days of showing.

About 4 or 5 years ago I was thinking about showing Billy, then I lost my trainer (barn politics at work here). Started up with another trainer, and then Billy fell apart. If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you know that he has suspensory problems and arthritis. When I moved him to Michigan it was to retire him to pasture. The trainer at my new barn, Karin Bielefeld, approached me and wanted to know why I wasn’t riding my horse. So I explained the x-y-z of it and she asked for a chance to help him. It’s been 2 1/2 years of careful rehab and just for fun I decided to see where others who didn’t know him thought he was at. I’m not competitive by nature–only compete with myself, not others–so it was a bit of a new experience to enter a real horse show. Fortunately we didn’t have to travel far–it was right at our own barn, Willow Tree.

I also decided to compete Breezy, who I’ve been riding ever since I moved with Billy to Michigan. Breezy was a project horse too, but with totally different issues. Stiffness and straightness being a couple of the more outstanding ones. So I’m really pleased to say that the horses won the blues and the red, and the rider got the yellow and white (3rd & 4th place). Both horses got a 71.5 on their intro dressage tests–which is a truly stupendous score whether it’s a first outing or not. I was expecting somewhere in the 50’s. The 3rd and 4th places were in the equitation classes–how pretty the rider looks, not the horse. Obviously the rider has a bit of work to do! But I am so proud of the horses!!

Billy's perfect halt. Happy horse and rider!

Billy’s perfect halt. Happy horse and rider!

You can watch Billy here:

And you can watch Breezy here:

About Alli Farkas

Equine and landscape artist specializing in rural Americana
This entry was posted in awards, Billy's progress, dressage, horses, rehab, Willow Tree and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to My first dressage show–as a competitor, not a vendor!

  1. The title to your post gave me a huge smile even before i opened the email! Congratulations! How great, and the photo is lovely and makes me smile!


  2. Alli Farkas says:

    Thanks so much, Lisa! Nice to hear that you got some of the shared pleasure! I didn’t put this in the post because it seemed like it was getting a little long, but 2 1/2 years ago Billy couldn’t even trot properly. Didn’t know where to put his legs. And his attempts at canter looked like bunny hops, with the hind legs stuck together. The flow he has now is truly miraculous. And he’s not on pain meds, which is even more incredible.


  3. Theresa Pawlicki says:

    It has been a pleasure witnessing the love and care that you have given Billy. Congratulations to the three of you and your trainer.


  4. ronald maxson says:

    so glad to hear of this. unfortunately, my computer doesn’t have enough memory to play videos. continued good luck ‘horsing around’!


  5. It’s so exciting to see you and Billy competing, Alli. What a long recovery road it’s been for him. Kudos to you for sticking with him and getting creative with solutions. You must have been thrilled to share these moments with him, finally. Thanks for sharing.


    • Alli Farkas says:

      It was truly a great, fun time. I don’t expect much more from him and I won’t push him, but he was indeed a very good boy (in contrast to how he usually behaves in the great outdoors!). Somehow he knows when we go down that centerline that we’re going to do a dressage test.. Even when we’re not in a show. He gave me everything I asked for, and did it willingly. Can’t beat that!


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