She got what I think was her first full bath, although I wasn't able to scrub her rear socks, something I need to work on more in the future. I was considering putting boots on her behind to help desensitise her, thoughts?
I made sure it was a show we could ship in the night before, I wanted to be able to hack her around outside, get her into the rings, and deal with strange horses. I was really happy with her, she looked at a few things but didn't get "stuck" and only really spooked once or twice. I've always found that it's a different atmosphere the night before (quieter) so I was prepared to have a different horse the next morning.
I was happy to see that Stella ate all of her hay and emptied her bucket, and I discovered that she grabs a bite of hay, then runs it through her water, slightly disgusting, but it would explain her dirty water buckets at home. I don't think she laid down at night, but I'm hoping to see evidence of that in the future even if it means a dirty horse.
I entered her in Intro A and Intro B, I have not really gotten around to cantering her conssitently at home and I wanted to make her first dressage tests low key, especially since I didn't know how she'd react to being in the arena alone, the letters, or the judge. Intro A is a pretty laughable test, almost 90% walk but it was great for being a low pressure way of getting her into the ring. I already know that when she's not feeling confident she's hard to get to trot.
I chose to avoid warming up in the indoor arena, she doesn't seem to do well being penned in with other horses and I wanted her to deal with all the distractions of being outside. She dealt with everything MUCH better than I thought, there were horses everywhere, people jumping, three warm up areas, people in lawn chairs. I started my warm up by just hacking her all over the show grounds. Into each arena, through the jumping warm up, into and out of the three other fields being used for the dressage warm up. I walked her up to anything she looked at, then went back and asked her to ignore it. Once I felt she was settled I started asking for trot work, then I had to insist a bit. She'd trot slowly, because she couldn't trot and look at the same time.
Then we went into the ring. I wasn't concerned about her being very forward, or straight, or bending, because those are things we don't have at home. All I wanted was to show her that there wasn't anything to fuss or worry about.
This is Intro A
This is Intro B. I entered two tests because I don't want her to learn she can rush through a dressage test and get it over with and out of the ring for good. I also wanted to be able to continue to let her settle if she had a hard time in the first test. Since she was so good in the first test I asked her for more forward in this one, to start to teach her to be more brave. She did get stuck at X, I asked, I told, then I yelled!
Overall I was pretty pleased with her performance, you couldn't ask for a better performance out of a horse that has had real little formal fancy training and hasn't really done a whole lot of going places.