2018 Show Season Wrap-UP

This was a great year for Cazador and myself. We successfully showed 2nd level freestyle, 3rd level technical and 3rd level freestyle. We qualified for both 2nd and 3rd level freestyle and 3rd level for Regional Championships in Scottsdale, Az. For all of my freestyles at regionals, the sound tech was not spot on so one I couldn’t hear the music, and one he started way before I was ready so that was rushed to catch up. We did ride our 3rd level technical test but we were a little tense. Good experience.

We also completed the requirements for my USDF Bronze Medal and our USDF Bronze Freestyle Bar! It was a lot of hard work but was excited when Jan Lawrence from Millbrook Farms came out with my last score! Cazador was my ride for all of the Freestyles and Master helped with my 2nd level scores and Cazador finished that up with my 3rd level scores. I so love these horses.

At year end, Cazador was Nationally ranked #1 for Andalusians in 3rd level Adult Ametuer Freestyle, #2 for Andalusians in 3rd level Open Freestyle, #1 for Andalusians in 2nd level Adult Ametuer and Open Freestyle.

For Utah Dressage Society, Cazador was ranked #4 for 3rd level technical Adult Amatuer, 1st for 2nd level freestyle, and 1st for 3rd level freestyle!

2018 Update

Here’s a quick summary of our showing progress for this year. We started the year with a show at Stolen Aces in Las Vegas showing our 2nd level freestyle. The first day Cazador was a little tense but the second day he was spot on. One freestyle score earned. It was great to visit with some old friends and restaurants. I do miss the food there.

We showed at all four of the Sage Creek shows. We finished getting our other 2nd level freestyle score and debuted our 3rd level technical. Which wasn’t too bad considering we hadn’t been working on flying changes very long together. We earned both of our 3rd level scores needed to complete our Bronze medal and the first of our 3rd level freestyle scores for the Bronze Freestyle Bar.

We also showed at both of the Millbrook Farms shows where we finished earning our Bronze Freestyle Bar! That was a bit harder as Caz started anticipating where he needed to do the flying changes. He’s such an overachiever. But mission accomplished.

We qualified to ride both 2nd level and 3rd level freestyles and 3rd level technical at the Region 5 Championships in Scottsdale. We are ranked 17th in the nation for 2nd level freestyles, 22nd for 3rd level freestyles and I’m real proud of Cazador as he is ranked #1 for both the 2nd and 3rd level freestyles for the International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association!! We are going to go the USEF Convention in November in Salt Lake City to accept our awards! Very Excited!!

We leave this week to show at the Region Championships in Scottsdale. Here’s to hoping that I will remember which test I am riding and that Caz will wait for me for his flying changes.

Our First Ever Freestyle

We went to the Millbrook show the first part of July and did fairly well at our second level test 3.  The Sage Creek III and IV shows were 2 weeks away and I had signed up for the First Level Freestyle with no music and a small idea on the choreography.  Jan Lawrence was nice enough to agree to help me with the music and we picked out some pieces that we thought Caz would agree to.  She has a HUGE selection of music broken down into beats per minutes  which makes it easier to find music to match footfalls of your horse.

The next day we rode to the pieces and found that Caz did well with a ragtime/charleston piece that was already cut and edited.  All we needed to do was add intro music.

Stacy Williams and I then worked on the choreography the next day.  I listened to the music all the time.  The next day we rode to the music on Jan's speaker system and Cazador about had a melt down!!  I'm thinking, crap the show's less than a week away and he doesn't like what we picked.  We keep riding to the music for another few days and by the time the show comes around he knows the music and what he's suppose to do where.  

The first official time up the centerline with the music turned up and Jan at the volume control he was business as usual.  The second day up centerline, he was amazing.  Our first score was 65.900% and the second day it was 68.167%, which was .16% shy of a first place score!  It was really cool to finally get to ride a freestyle and to do so well with less than a week and a half to get it all together.


Region 5 Championship Show

I know I'm a bit late getting this posted but better late than never??

We headed to Scottsdale on Oct 14 to Westworld for the Region 5 Championships.  Our goal was to equal our best score on our Training Level test 3.  We were scheduled to show Friday for the championship class, and then Saturday and Sunday were just ADA rated show classes.  Most of the judges I showed under were from Canada.  

Stacy and I had camp spots next to each other with water and electric plug-ins for my air conditioner.  The facility had great showers with on-demand hot water but no changing area within the shower so you had to change in the shower stall without getting your clothes wet - doable but glad I'm pretty limber.  I had my George Forman grill, my small refrig and plenty of chicken for dinners.  I'm glad I brought my bike to get back and forth from the stalls to the trailer.

The hottest day was to be Friday and then was to cool way down and even rain some.  This was unfortunate for our Friday ride.  When we arrived Wednesday afternoon, we unloaded, and got the tack stall all situated.  Then took a long stroll around the grounds with Stacy and Frisco.  Caz was an angle!!  I really love his demeanor.  Nothing bothered him all weekend, which was great!  We got our trailers set-up in the dark, which was interesting.  The spaces were REALLY thin - my rig was a tight fit. But it was nice - had my awing up, chairs out and my carpet down.  Nice place to hang after the day was over.

Thursday we hand walked several times and then rode in the warm-up arenas and walked in the show arena - one was closed so we had to skip that one.  Stacy's sound check was later that afternoon in the indoor, air conditioned arena.  We hand walked the horses in there for that.  They were checking all the freestyle music and one piece came on and Caz did not like it at all!  He got antsy and irritated.  Amazing how that affected him.  When Frisco's music came on, Frisco perked right up.

Cazador's 2016 Show Highlights

With the close of the 2016 show season, it's time to reflect on our progress.  While not always having the best rides due to tension from external stimuli, we had a very successful season.  We attended the USDF rated shows at Millbrook Farms in Fairfield and also the IALHA finals in SLC.  

 During the 'get to know the arena' at the IALHA show, they hadn't set up the judge's table but he was very good with all the other stuff in the indoor arena.  While we were making our way around the arena for our test, he noticed that there were people sitting at a raised table that hadn't been there before.  He FROZE!!  I thought he might be pooping, no such luck.  It took a while to get him moving again.  The test was accurate but there was a lot of tension to say the least.

We did qualify to go to USDF regionals but choose not to vender into the rocky mountains in September.  OVerall we finished quite respectable, we were ranked 5th for Adult Amatur 1st level All Breed - Andalusian, and Reserve Champion for Adult Amatur Vintage Rider 1st Level All Breed - Andalusian.  We finished 3rd for UDS 1st Level Amatur rider.  Not too bad for only 2 years of dressage training.

We're hoping to show 2nd level in 2017 and have a composed 1st level freestyle ready to go by the summer.

News Article

Stacy Williams, my trainer and I were interviewed by the local paper for our qualifying for Regional Championships.  Here's the link to the article:   http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2015/10/04/jjd-riding-st-george-dressage-regional-championships/

Millbrook Farms Dressage Show - July 11 & 12, 2015

This was Cazador's FIRST ever show.  We rode 4 tests - 2 Training Level test 2 and 2 Qualifying Training Level test 3.  

We drove up on Thursday to get him acquainted with the show grounds and to see exactly how he would respond to the show experience.   When we got there, Stacy Williams - our trainer - was already there and getting her horse settled in.  Cazador got off the trailer like a champ and looked around at the area.  It was over cast and threatened rain.  After we found his stall and got the trailer parked we tacked up for a lesson in the indoor arena since the rain had arrived, too.

He was such a good boy in the  new environment - no startles, no buck, no bolts, just chomping on the bit as we had a great lesson.  His trot rhythm still needs work, but he tries real hard to please.  Friday we went outside to ride in the morning and then went out into the show arenas when more people showed up.  He was good with the judge's booth at the end of the arena and had a great workmanlike attitude with everything that was asked of him.  We were to show all of out tests in the Willow Arena so we only worked there.

Across the street, the neighbor raises bulls for rodeo.  They are quite impressive and also quite noisy at times.  I was grateful that Cazador has been around cows before and they didn't seem to bother him too much - he just liked to look at them.

Saturday we showed Training Level Test 2 very early in the day - like 3rd rider in the morning.... He did quite well for his very first time up centerline.  We scored a 62.885 for a 3rd place finish.  He Training Level test 3 was later that afternoon.  The wind had picked up a bit and the judge's booth had a green shade screen on the side.  On our way around the outside of the arena, it was picked up by the wind right as we got to it.  That scared Caz a bit, he didn't know which way to exit the area so he piaffed forward.  So love this horse.  The scary shade was still there during the test so he wasn't too convinced that it was safe to go all the way to the end of the arena.  All things considered, he did pretty good.  We scored a 65.000% with a 2nd place ribbon.  This is one of the two qualifying scores needed for Regionals in Oct!!

Sunday's show was a bit better in the far end of the arena, but he wasn't totally convinced yet that it was a safe place to be.  We scored a 64.231% on our Training Level test 2 with a 2nd place ribbon and a 61.818% with a 3rd place ribbon (not a qualifying score for Regionals).  Which is not bad for his first show.

I must say, Cazador acted like he had done this his whole life.  The startle stuff at the judges booth was so minor and he trusted enough to get thru it.  I so love this horse!