It couldn’t have been a more perfect weekend for a horse show. Cool, dry, breezy. Overnight on Thursday it rained probably a couple of inches at the showground, but by the time we arrived on Friday evening the wonderful sand arena had soaked up almost all of it and left us with near-perfect footing. The Rockin’ Riders quadrille team had plenty of time to get into the ring on Friday and get both ourselves and our horses oriented to the space. I will state at this point that Charm behaved perfectly all through the practice, which is something she does not necessarily do in unfamiliar territory.
Saturday morning Charm and I had one class, First Level Test 3, before our quadrille class. Fortunately I have no photos and no video of our First Level test so I do not have to show what a total twit she was. The highlight of her performance was to break from canter to trot (usually the opposite of what she does–she prefers to canter when she’s supposed to trot) and when I asked her to give me the canter again she absolutely refused, and shook her head so violently in protest that the entire running braid fell out of her mane. This was near the end of the test and we looked really dorky coming up the center line for the final salute with 10-inch mane flying out every direction. This performance garnered us a score of 54.412. It also gave us 5th place out of 5 competitors. We’ve been scoring mid-50’s for the past two years, but since we have also been moving up the levels I maintain that getting the same scores when the level of difficulty increases means we are getting better. I did say we love the number 5, right?
I was completely taken aback–not by her behavior or our score, but by the fact that I was certain I had conquered the “mane coming unbraided” quandary. We had done many lessons and practices and the mane had always stayed put. So-o-o-o, before the quadrille I re-braided it after dousing it with probably half a bottle of Quic-Braid, which functions as a sort of glue for obstreperous manes.
Here’s a pic of her about 1/2 way through the quadrille. She can look like a dressage horse when she wants to. The mane is still nicely braided, and stayed that way. And don’t you just love our orange-gold feather boa mane decor?
Our quadrille music this year was Beatles once again, this time with a Sergeant Pepper theme. Thus the paisley jackets. They’re a short (rideable) version of the popular 60’s Nehru jacket. So, let’s start at the top, shall we?
We got 73.846 for this performance, our lowest score ever. But, in our defense this is the most advanced quadrille we have ever attempted. The movements are difficult and they come very quickly one after another, making it quite exciting to watch. We will be doing it again in a week and a half and should have some good video to show so you will all believe that I’m not kidding you. Hopefully Charm will be a bit more cooperative since we will be riding on our home turf.