Aaah yes! That happened in 2005 when I rode Harley in competition and I knew he hated the footing in the dressage arena. He'd been fussing on warm up outside and I knew I 'd have to move off quickly after halting because once he stopped I wouldn't be able to move him forward again. The judge blew the whistle after my sketchy brief salute and when I started again, he was stuck in the mud. And that's how the rest of the test went...stuck!
Had a flashback today...four years ago I began riding a former eventing horse named Nathan. I stopped after a year when we noticed that he was having back problems and would refuse to canter. The owner took him off the line as a lesson horse and I went on to other steeds. Today Nathan and I rode together. He's 20 now and has a slight hitch to his walk but after a long warmup, he's fine and definitely after his canter, his trot opens up and becomes more forward. After we renewed our working partnership, it was basic flat work followed by a few serpentine patterns. We had a good time!
That's a good thing!!!
I sometimes rode a "retired" eventing horse as well. His name was Jetstream, 18 when I began riding him, a Thoroughbred/Warmblood cross, black as midnight, 17.1 hands.
What a WONDERFUL boy he was!
He was mildly arthritic, and our warmups were long and careful. Once he had worked through the stiffness, he was amazing.
After he'd stopped jumping at a fairly young age, Jetstream had reached Grand Prix level in dressage, and, although I never asked him for a pirouette or piaffe, his other movements were still lovely--balanced, relaxed, and supple.
He was worked, and still in incredible condition, until he was 25.
Took advantage of a slow day where I had to kill 3 hours in the middle to wash my dirty pads and dressage girth. Now to start over again...getting them dirty! LOL!
Rode out to the barn with a plan of practicing Intro A & B as part of the lesson. Was pleasantly surprised that Ophelia was my mount du jour. After warmup, I gave my trainer the copy of the tests that I'd photocopied from the 2013 USDF book and picked up the trot to enter at A. I halted at X, saluted, trotted off and turned left at C only to hear my trainer tell me to stop. Puzzled, I did and then she asked me if I was sure that these were the current tests as they said that they were from 2011. She read them to me and I was puzzled even more as they were not the way the tests had been when I competed in 2011 at Intro level. We started over....no halt or salute at X..instead medium walk at X all the way to A. Totally different and B is also. Surprise!Pulled my tests from 2011 and they are different from the tests now.
I haven't been keeping up with the changes for the last few years. I do remember, though, that there were some pretty big changes in 2011 through all levels.
Changes like having the option to sit or post at the trot in First Level tests was a biggie. And cutting the number of tests for Training, First, and Second levels from four to three was major.
For me, it was the option to use a snaffle or simple double bridle in FEI tests ridden at national competitions. MAJOR! It's great to be able to use whatever bridle serves the horse best--even up to Grand Prix.
After 16 years of riding at the same facility it's about to become more of a boarder barn than a lesson barn. When I ended wednesday's lesson because I was given a horse who was tired and who has difficulty getting round, I was told by my trainer that the owner only has 3 school horses now and will add only 4 more that belong to another boarder. When I started riding there she had about 10 to 12 school horses. Most have retired or been sold. So we discussed my options including changing barns. So now I'm looking into reserving Nathan and then competing on him this season. I'm hoping that during the year something will change. Maybe someone will come with a horse that suits me that I can lease. I'll miss riding Opheila but Nathan's a good older guy.
Obviously, I can empathize.
When The Potomac Horse Center changed from a privately-owned, top-flight international facility to a county-owned dump for trail rides and Pony Club it was a major upheaval for the equestrian community. There was no other barn in the mid-Atlantic that came close.
I hope something works out at your facility. As long as you can lease a horse that suits your needs and still have a good trainer, you'll be okay; but it's so much nicer to have the support and camaraderie of a big, vibrant, like-minded community.
The other good thing is that most of my horsey friends are there but they own or lease their horses already and most are working at dressage too. So I'm not losing friends from this except for equine friends.
THAT'S a good thing! Glad to hear it, Carol! But I'm sorry, of course, for the loss of your equine friends...
Rain today but yesterday was nice and so I'd assume that Nathan had turnout & maybe a lesson or two. He started his usual way...power walking but after a while he began to settle down. We are still working with the new bit and today we added, at different times, work with a bungee and the flash band. The indoor was not too crowded at first but did get so later. Despite relaxing, Nathan changed to being twitchy & a bit nervous...now my nerves were beginning to twitch. He spooked twice to things outside the arena & once to a horse acting up inside, but we did get some nice trot work with bend. To help him work off some of his twitchyness, I cantered him...almost a mistake as he started to accelerate to gallop when I half halted to trot....a BIG forward trot! Tried the canter again...got the same result and so I switched to doing small loops & change of direction. Now I was tired & twitchy...but Nathan was relaxed! So we called it a day. Enough already! He had another lesson scheduled to late afternoon so I warned the groom that he might be still feeling his oats and may need lungeing.