A couple of years ago, when I first started in dressage with Fritz, 2nd level seemed unattainable and like an “upper level rider”. Never in a million years did I think I would be an FEI rider, even though I knew Fritz could be an FEI horse with the right help!
I was out of town for a work trip the week before the show, so got in absolutely no riding leading up to the show. I flew home Friday night, and after some flight delays, snuck in a quick “refresher” lesson to make sure I remembered how to ride, and then competed Saturday & Sunday. (I don’t know how many of you have to travel for work, but I feel so out of sorts the first day or two back in the saddle after a week away).
Saturday, I had a LOT of horse (in a GREAT way). Fritz was fluffed up, more animated than usual, but 100% rideable. We had a lovely warm-up, and headed into the ring. While we had a few little bobbles through the test, I couldn’t be more proud of the effort Fritz gave me OR my riding. I had to hold in the tears after my final halt-salute because I was overwhelmed with joy. Fritz really put it all out there for me, and my riding has improved leaps and bounds (thanks to amazing training by Julie Burt!). We ended up winning the class on Saturday.
I spent the afternoon Saturday volunteering as the ring steward as well! (Shows can ALWAYS use volunteer help!) So I got to watch a bunch of other great rides that day.
Sunday I could tell Fritz was a bit tired, so his warm-up wasn’t as long or hard. We had 2 judges Sunday – which was intimidating because I’ve never shown under 2 judges before. We headed into the ring and started the work. Overall the test was pretty good, but at the end Fritz was extremely tired, so we had some mistakes that definitely cost us points. Even though he was tired, he tried so hard for me and still gave it his all. We still managed a 2nd place in the class. And I have learned a lot about managing Fritz for his 2nd day of showing to ensure he’s not worn out for these marathon tests!
Some of the highlights of the tests were in our trot & canter half-passes which only a couple months ago were still a bit of a struggle and I fought to get to the letters in time (specifically in the canter half-pass)! We also had some lovely moments in our pirouettes and tempi lines.
Not only was the show a success, but I had fun with my friends, and made new friends along the way. I am so lucky to have had the help of my friends to get ready, and my trainer’s amazing guidance. There’s no way I could have done it without their help & support!
I am so proud of my rescue horse.. and so honoured to be his partner down centerline. I can’t wait to grow and develop even more together into the future!