Well, Octoberfest has come and gone with postive and negative experiences.
We ran into an issue right away when I ended up being stabled in an entirely different barn from my trailer buddy and my tack stall. Even though we both put who we wanted to stable with, and I put that my friend was doing dressage only so she was on a seperate showbill I guess that wasn't enough. Eventually we got it all fixed up.
Dressage warm up was fantastic, Annie works better in an arena full of horses and just goes to work. I'm really learning how to enforce the "pay attention" button and I'm thinking several strides ahead and not taking no for an answer.
Annie shows her green when you expect her to work right away in a strange arena. She wants to gawk and stare and drop behind the leg. If you give her a lap to settle in she's fine, but this really doesn't work for a dressage test. I used some very strong half halts and a few boots to the side while in the ring to really remind her that she knew better about yanking the reins loose and being gawky. I didn't feel like it was our best test but I felt like its the test where I've ridden the strongest in and fought for a good ride and not just settled for staying in the ring. I ended up with a 40 which included an 8 on gaits and a couple 7s so I guess it was a better test then I thought it was!
I had asked the organizer if I could add in schooling rounds via email and was told yes so I added in a crossrails round. I had the same issues in the dressage ring in the stadium ring, Annie wanting to gawk and look. I made it over all my fences just fine but ended up with a refusual for a squiggly balky thing in a corner.
I asked in the office for clarity and decided to ask for more clarity on COTH since I've never had the issue come up before. The CT was run by HJ people and since each discipline has different rules I wondered if they were reading from different rules. It's not that I'm fighting the judge or that I'm angry, I'd just really like to know. I got a ton of different answers from different people, so I was even more confused. I understand that I'm at a schooling show and I certainly appreciate lenient judges who let me school, but I'd like to know if I got a pass on something that I wouldn't otherwise so I know for the future. My answer is that yes it was a refusual, but many judges would ignore it but some wouldn't, and I should be glad that the judge was paying attention enough to notice it.
So now that's clear.
I asked for a second schooling round, was told no because I hadn't prepaid. Which is fine, and is again something I've never had come up. I'd asked for and added schooling rounds and brought a check by plenty of times. So I take Annie back to the barn, untack her, and head back to watch the rest of the rounds.
Then someone comes up to us and says that we can add a schooling round in anyway and I needed to get in there. So I run back to the barn, tack Annie back up, and hustle back over. To find them taking the course apart.
They put the course back together, it's a good thing they did because the ring was supposed to be open for another 40 minutes and there were still people over in dressage. I school again with much better results, and then they let another 7 or 8 people school.
The starter course being put together was maxed out, flames, panels, gates, and several of the fences were over 2' 3" So I backed out. After my bad lesson I wasn't feeling very positive.
It turns out that several trainers lodged a complaint with the course designer and he ended up taking out most of the filler and lowering the fences to 2' 3" but oh well.
I guess I just confirmed to people that I'm a wishy washy chicken who is probably never going to get above Starter level.