I watched all morning.
Well, until noon. When I made the HUGE mistake of leaving RIGHT BEFORE Michael Pollard's test....and, of course, he's the overnight leader.
BUT I got to see William Fox-Pitt on Seacookie put in a good test. He was consistent: fluid changes (a lot of sticky changes still here), and I noticed that WFP's substantial body was fluid as well. I wish I could move my hips like that. His horse didn't "wow" us, but he mirrored his rider's suppleness.
I enjoyed Will Faudree's test--once again, it wasn't spectacular, but he was consistent and workmanlike. Will, too, seemed to have the fluid body that translated to his horse. I need to learn to do that. Can an arthritic old woman learn to be that supple?
Marilyn Little had a great test, too. Her horse came the closest of those I watched to having "presence"....well, maybe "Tate", too (Manoir De Carneville, Sinead Halpin's horse). He had a few tense moments that marred an otherwise lovely test.
Several horses were obviously "wound up", and the applause pretty much made them lose it. Several horses had a solid first half of the test, then lost it a little at the end.
So things I'm taking away from today:
- Your horse mirrors you. If you are tense, so your horse will be tense.
- You need to ride the WHOLE TEST as if it were the only thing.
- You need to practice the boring/hard stuff. A lot.
- A horse doesn't HAVE to be a big mover to score well.
- ALL these horses have their hind legs underneath themselves. The difference in who scores well/not so well seems to come from suppleness/relaxation and channeled energy.
And lastly, women today outnumbered the men in wearing helmets. Are men more vain? Are women more concerned with their brains? Hmmmmm.....
I "missed" the second half of the dressage tests because...well, I felt a need to acquaint myself with the free markets available at the horse park. I bought some Animals to Wear, ordered a LOVELY brow band from Crown Jewel Designs, and had a lovely chat with the Stackhouse folks. :)
I ran into some old friends--Stacy Curwood, Tre and Janet Book, and I got to meet Ellen Doughty's parents (who were delightful!). I'll be attending her wedding reception tomorrow after the fence judge briefing!