Two shows, that's all I could muster this year. Hey, it's one more than last year! Turns out that keeping a tiny human alive takes most of my energy, and teaching lessons takes most of the time I would have spent riding, and I only got a couple lessons all summer from my trainers due to conflicting schedules...but enough excuses! Regardless of all that, I did manage to get on Clay enough to make a little progress this year, and for that I am proud. He is such a hard working little bugger and always gives me his all, even when I am rusty/tired/distracted/in a rush, or when a whole week has lapsed between rides. I'm so thankful for him.
So this was our second and last show for this year. We debuted Second Level but I kept us at 2-1 because 2-2 and 2-3 still felt too wobbly. It's hard for me to feel totally satisfied with our rides because I know what we are capable of on good days at home, and we just did not deliver that in the show ring, but at the same time I am proud of us for advancing to Second and receiving respectable scores.
I think next year we'll be able to rock all of Second Level, and I'm not going to stress about being show-ready for Third by next summer because I want to make sure we are SOLID on some of the really important elements before moving up.
I told Clay that after this show we would just trail ride and hack around for the rest of the summer, because we haven't had any "fun" rides in a long time. I'm looking forward to chilling out on the shoulder-ins and the counter canter and just enjoying my sassy pone and what's left of this sweet summer weather. He deserves to just relax for a while. I love this dressage thing, but you can make a horse hate their job real fast if the hard work isn't balanced out with some fun. ;)