Today, all of the kids from Silver Lining Equestrian Center went to Poplar Place for their first Dressage tests. I was so proud of all of them!!! Everyone was on time (ie-pre-sun-up) this morning to the barn and did a beautiful job of bathing and grooming their horses. We made it to Poplar in plenty of time to relax and watch a few tests to see how it's done.
Madison and Autumn went first for the group and had a *super* test. Madison accomplished all of the goals that we had for today and did a great job with all of the little things we have been working on. Ivy and Duncan went immediately after Madison and also had a awesome test. Very accurate and lovely! Then after a 20 min break, Lindsey was next on Jessie. I am so very proud of Lindsey for her judgement today and her mature decisions (she is only 10 after all!). Jessie has been a little "cranky" lately and Lindsey decided in warm-up that she thought riding her test wouldn't be a good idea. So she was given permission to pull up at any point if she felt uncomfortable and after a lovely center line and a good trot circle, she waved happily to the judge and exited the arena with a smile on her face. What a trooper! Lauren was next (also on Jessie) and that kid was determined to make it through her test. She put her 'ninja game face' on (hey, she's only 9) and she rode her little legs off! Unfortunately, Jessie's crankiness caused her to step out of the arena... but that didnt' slow Lauren down! She immediately went right back in and finished her test. lol! The judge allowed her to finish...who would ring the bell on such a gutsy little rider?! She did get an "E" on the scoreboard, but I have never been so impressed with the determination of one single person. She wins the "Determined Rider of the Year" award! :)
I was the last ride of the day on Lindsey's Haflinger pony, Wiseman. He has never done anything even resembling dressage but, as the judge put it on his test, he's a "happy worker." So after 2 prep rides, I took him and just did an Intro test on him and darn if he didn't blow us all away! He had a lovely and very obedient test to finish 3rd in a class of 9 horses!!! Not bad for a first-timer!
After the show was over, I took my main man Jelly cross country schooling with Mary Kate and Duncan (first xc school for both MK and D). We had so much fun! Jelly was..... strong.... to say the least. lol He was very excited. But he jumped amazingly, and schooled all of the Novice and most of the Training courses really well. MK had a great time and did a beautiful job over the Ameoba and Tadpole courses. She also had the most lovely up/down banks and water schooling for a first-timer I've ever seen! Duncan loved it and they took it all in stride. Maybe next time we'll throw in a few BN fences. :)
So it's not even 7pm and I'm SO sleepy and totally sunburnt. But it was worth it. I have a really exceptional group of kids and parents who are all so supportive of each other. We had a really great day together! I'm going to go play for a minute with my new Laptop and probably head to bed early. Everyone say a prayer for my parents this week. As I am typing this, they are on a plane to Venezuela for a mission trip. They will be putting roofs on churches down there as well as spending a good bit of time in the communities with the people.