Show Recap Dressage at Devon Recognized Show

When I wrote my first recap post of the weekend, I was planning on having part two follow about 2 days after my first post, but here we are 2 weeks later and just getting around to it. After the Amateur Show ended, I tucked Montego back in the barn and me back in my hotel for the night. My ride times for the recognized show were at 3:00 and 4:32 the next afternoon. Knowing that I would be waiting around most of the day, I really was already leaning towards scratching my second test Training 3. The morning came and again the typical routine of an away show, I took Montego out to stretch his legs, fed his breakfast, and cleaned his stall. Refilled hay and water and then set off to watch the upper level riders riding earlier in the day.

One of the most fun riders to watch was Silva Martin. She attends a lot of the local shows, but it was even more fun to see Boyd at the show watching her like just a normal horse husband. Dressed in shorts and slides, if you didn’t know he was an Olympic rider himself, you would think we was just another guy out supporting his wife with his kids. The morning and the afternoon seemed to drag on as I waited for my times. I rebraided Montego and took him for a couple more walks throughout the day before it finally got close enough to our time to tack him up.

Again I chose a short warm-up before our Training Test 2 class because I could tell he was very close to having no gas left in the tank. Our ride time finally came and again we strutted down center line in the Dixon Oval one more time. After having what felt like one of my best rides in Training 2 the day before, this ride felt very lackluster compared. Montego was much more against my hands and distracted with everything going on around him more so than the day before. I think he was just done with the tiny stall and missing his turnout time by then. He still managed to score a decent 64.14% which is better than the last time we did this test at a Recognized show in 2019.

Overall, I couldn’t ask for more from this horse in a weekend. I just didn’t feel like getting him to do another test because I signed up was worth it so we scratched our Training 3 test and headed home an hour early. Totally the right decision because by the time I got him off the trailer at home we would have just started our second test. I know we both would have been miserable if we had to wait around that long.

The whole weekend to me was such a fun experience. I got to check off a lot of items off my bucket list and completed a lot of firsts in my horse journey including our farthest solo trailer ride together, away showing by myself, and completing tests at Devon with great scores. Montego ended up getting a week off and then has just been slowly getting back to work as we begin to enter our final couple of shows for the season.

I was extremely appreciative of the amazing show that was put on at Devon this year and think it is a great event to bring more amateur and lower level dressage riders to this amazing venue. Looking forward to doing it again sometime in the future.

Show Recap Dressage at Devon Amateur Edition Day 1

Living only 30 min from the iconic Devon Show Grounds, I have been quite a few times every year to watch many of the shows that the venue holds. Of course every May I love watching the Jumping Grand Prix and Arena Eventing and every September I get to catch Dressage at Devon with all the upper level riders and breeders that travel in. This year I got the chance to actually ride in those very rings I had watched for so long. One of our local barns hosts an Amateur Dressage show every year, and it had been in the works for a couple of years now, but they finally got it to run at Devon. The entries for this show literally opened and closed in 8 hours. Very popular, and I was very excited to have signed up for both days of showing.

Devon Showgrounds is about an hour drive from my barn, so since I was showing for both days I ended up stabling Friday and Saturday night. I forgot how much work goes into packing for an away over-night show. I had lists upon lists of things to do before I pulled out of my barn Friday, thank goodness I took the day PTO or it would have never gotten done. The ground opened for stabling and schooling at 12. By the time I got the trailer packed, Montego bathed and loaded on the trailer it was about 2:30pm on one of the hottest days of the summer (Real Feel 99). He trailered beautifully, and I pulled into Devon at 3:30. Quickly unloaded him into his stall (one of the SMALLEST stalls I have ever seen) and checked in with the show registration. Got back to the barn, unloaded my trailer and truck into our grooming stall and set up both spaces for the weekend. We ended up being stalled in one of Devon’s more newly renovated barns which had a cross breeze that came in extremely helpful for the weekend.

After everything was unpacked, I got myself and Montego dressed to go school in the Dixon Oval and Wheeler Ring. Montego took it all in like an absolute champ. He strutted around those rings like he owned the place. He has had some anxiety in the past in crowded arenas with multiple horses, but seemed to have no issues this time around. We spent about 45 min schooling, catching up with some old friends in the warm-up rings, and walking around the show grounds before I got him all untacked hosed off and set-up for the night.

I was staying at a hotel super close to the show-grounds so I could do my own night check on him, but then also ended up paying the stable office to check on him 3 times during the night (10pm, 1am, and 4am). It definitely eased my mind a little bit knowing how small those stalls were that he would have eyes on him all throughout the night.

Saturday morning came bright and early for feeding and getting Montego ready for his rides. We had ride times of 10:30 and 11:00 for Training Level Tests 2 &3. The weather was actually surprisingly cooler after Fridays day from hell, so I was really happy that I was not going to over heat in my show coat. This was the first away shows that I did not have anyone in barn with me or a groom staying with me so most of the work and care of Montego was all me. I got Montego braided and cleaned-up right as my barn friends and parents started arriving to help me get ready for my rides.

I wanted to keep our warm-up short and sweet because Montego usually loses a lot of steam with too much schooling before his tests. Once he was quick off my aids I went in for our Tr2 Test in Dixon Oval and our Tr3 Test in the Wheeler Ring. I was extremely happy with both rides, but especially with our Tr2 test. I felt like he was really listening to what I was asking, and I felt like I rode my best dressage test to date. The judge clearly agreed because we won that class with a 70.12%. Our Tr3 class needed a little more suppling, but we finished 3rd with a 66.76%. Both were extremely big classes of 8, so I was really happy with both of our placings.

Show Recap: June Dressage Schooling Show

Montego and I finally made it to our first schooling dressage show of the season! A little later than I was hoping to because ideally I would love to show before the heat of the summer (me + heat = a disaster). Our plan was to enter in Training 2 and Training 3 to attempt at getting some qualifying scores for our GMO end of year championship show, and see where we are starting out this year. This was also the first time I was going to be trailering my own trailer and horse to the show rather than just riding passenger.

Our If the Bonnet Fits Mermaid Bonnet ❤

I got to the barn about 3 hours before I was planning to pull out to make sure I had everything in order. We are lucky the show is only a 7 minute drive from our barn so super low key drive to get there, a perfect maiden voyage to test everything out. I planned on just bathing Montego, cleaning my tack, loading up the trailer, and doing some other things around the barn before leaving. Probably over estimated how much time I needed, but it was nice to not feel rushed.

Got a little obsessed with these professional photos!

Montego has been on solo-turnout for a while 1. due to him mounting Luna and 2. he has been acting as a buddy for the horse currently on stall rest due to colic surgery. For some reason, he decided he no longer could stand not seeing any friends and continued to SCREAM while getting his bath which he never does. Decided braiding was really overkill for such a low-key show so we skipped that, but I did give him a nice 1/2 dose of Perfect Prep to make sure he was a chiller by the time we arrived at the show.

that stretch…

We were one of the last two scheduled riders for the day, but the lady in between us ended up being a no show so we brought the show home. Our warm-up was mediocre, but I am not a big fan of a long warm-up anyway so I was ready to just see what we were gonna get in the ring. Montego was feeling a little tight and resistant to bending through his back so I figured we might get some tension points in our tests. He is really due to get his hocks done which I think will make his overall demeanor much happier in the sandbox.

always matching!

Our Test 2 test definitely did not feel like our best ride, but he was clean and concise in his transitions and we got some great feedback from the judge. I am heavy on my inside rein to bend instead of pushing him with my inside leg to outside rein (something I am working on constantly in lessons). We still managed to score a 70% so on par with our previous tests.

Test 3, I was a bit scattered brain after a long day so far, he was tired from no break in between and I was chasing him around more this test to get any sort of energy we had left. My geometry for this test was WAYYY off… problem of riding in a shorter and wider ring than regulation. But the judge still loved Montego and we scored a 68.27%. I am really happy with both tests and it gives us a good list to work on for our show season this year.

could not love this horse more and the photo shows it

These two solid scores definitely put us on a great track for the rest of the year, now for planning the rest of our season and getting Luna started in the dressage world too!