There has been a grab bag of activity in my life this last week. I got a glimpse of ‘the other side’ last night in a scribe clinic. I have always envisioned the life of a judge as very exotic. They travel all over the world, viewing some of the most amazing horses and riders. They get to sit in the mysterious covered booths and as a vague outlined form render judgment and insight into our performance. Every show I rush to the window to pick up my test form and read their comments. We have all had a few laughs at their humor and a few awakenings at their insight. So I decided to get a peek behind the curtain and train to sit beside the judges’ seat. Perhaps this would be a way to see inside the covered booth. Well three and a half hours spent learning abbreviations for terms on tests and ‘judging’ lost its aura. This is detailed work. This is hard, work. After hours of training level test practice from videos I was ready to pull a harry-carry. How do they do it? How do they stay so cheerful, helpful, and calm? How can they still love dressage? I have gained a new respect and understanding of the hardships of judging after that. I did hone my skills however, and I hope to get to volunteer soon to sit in the co-pilot seat.
I got my freestyle mapped out; all on my own. No one has even seen it on paper. I will spend this week practicing the moves so when Jeremy gets back from New Zealand he can check it out. Sjapoer already loves the music. Some of you may remember how he was doing some piaffe at the end of the victory laps at NAJYRC last year. He seems to want to ‘boogie’ as my mom calls it. Did you ever wonder what type of dancer your horse would be? When I saw an episode of ‘so you think you can dance’ I tried to imagine Sjapoer. Would he be modern contemporary? Would he be ballet? I think with his attitude he is a waltzer all the way, but only because there is not some type of blues dancing.
I found some notes from the Robert Dover lessons at EDAP. I thought that I would share them now even though it has been over a month since Florida. Some are the simple dressage realities that we ‘know’ in our minds but sometimes forget. First, breathe! Breathing is key. Relax. Also remember that there are 3 natural driving aids; two legs and one seat. But that in dressage 80% of the control is from the seat and only 20% from the hand and leg. Half halts are the calling of a horse through balance and attention. You should never go more than 2-4 strides without a half-halt.
Finally, I am counting the days until my two upcoming trips. I am off to L.A. in two weeks and then to visit Genay the week after. I am so excited. I miss her so much and can’t wait to see her facility. What is it about horse girls that we dream about seeing barns, tack and developing horses! I am sure we will learn a lot and enjoy the clinic with Jan but I am really looking forward to the giggles until wee hours and Genay’s sense of humor! I can’t wait to meet her boy. And like most dressage queens that means the horse not the boyfriend! ;D