Perspective and Redemption.

FRIDAY

Biasini and I rode our first Intermediare 1 test. It was not as I had imagined it. But more of that later.

SATURDAY

I woke up and thought:  “Oh my….I’ve got to go out there and do it all again.”   It felt like I had a mountain to climb. Then I remembered.

Two days before the show we heard that a friend of my husband’s was back in hospital. He had spent four months in hospital and we had been happy to hear, a couple of weeks ago, that he was able to go home. But it did not last. Now he was back in hospital. They cannot get him stabilized.

I said to myself: “I am so lucky. I am healthy, well, able to get up in the Florida sunshine and ride.”  I said a prayer for our friend and sprang out of bed!

THE TEST ON FRIDAY

Recently Biasini has been going very well so I was optimistic. I knew there are always things that can crop up in the arena but I did not plan for what actually happened.  Brigadier General Bully Biasini turned up. Cripes! He has not made an appearance in almost a year! This is not about Biasini being nervous or spooky or me being nervous in the ring. The Brigadier Bully likes to take over. He likes to pull, not listen and tell me: “This is how we do the test!” So we had mistakes. I went off course. The  full pirouettes were a shambles. The five three tempis ( changes of canter lead every third stride) were good  but the two tempis ( change of lead every second stride) were a Heinz 57 of changes.

I had the debrief with my coach Lou after I finished.   He told me I had been too polite at the beginning of the test and Brigadier Bully had just filled that vacuum of authority.  We went over the test, the good and not so good.  I did not get a good score.  But the judge did reward the things we did right with good marks and marked down the things that were a mess. Fair enough!

THE TEST ON SATURDAY

Having put my  truly blessed life into perspective I arrived at White Fences Equestrian determined to do better.   Before tacking up I talked to Lou and we came up with some strategies.  First and foremost I had to ride the horse that turned up in the ring and not expect the horse that turns up in training at home.

We did a highly focused and rapid fire warm up.  Just after I had executed a line of 8 two tempi changes I saw my coach from home, Belinda Trussell, had arrived.  She knew I’d had a tough ride the day before and came to give me moral support.

I rode into the ring and we began the test. The trot work went well. The extended walk was good. Then the canter. We navigated the half pass zig zag . The extended canter.  Then the five three tempis. Clean! The two full pirouettes…..good! The seven  two tempis…clean! Yes! Transition to trot. Extended trot across the diagonal. He was springing off the ground like a gazelle.  Final halt and salute.  I gave Biasini a big pat.

This time I did my debrief with Belinda as Lou had another student to coach.  “This was redemption!” she said.  I agreed.

But dressage is a subjectively judged sport.  Sometimes a judge will not like something about a horse and rider combination and the marks will reflect that.  We got a poor score.  I was disappointed but I have learned that this is dressage.  This is how it goes sometimes.  I told Biasini in his stall that he had tried hard and  judging is what it is.

What matters most is we went in and rode through that Intermediare 1 test and we did it. We did it all.

Onwards ever onwards!  Thank you to Lou Denizard and to Belinda Trussell for your support .

Thank you to Kara Riley-King for the photos taken Saturday. It was a hot day and jackets were excused. I will have more photos soon.

40 Comments Add yours

  1. Loved this, and reading it a second time, it’s even more apparent – showing is a lot about gaining experience (and nerves) to actually “show.”
    Great job, and great job riding your boy in this difficult test!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks Elinor. It is quite a learning curve and in the next show we managed better. It’ll only take about a year to really be comfortable with it. Haha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re doing fantastic. I really hope to be able to ride at that level one day. Not sure I can train my girl on my own to get there, but it doesn’t hurt to have a vision of it at least 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          Yes you keep that vision. It is important to have visions and dreams and goals!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Avery says:

    Focus on the positive! You did it and came back and did it better!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Avery says:

    Good for you on redemption! I am proud! Progress not perfection and you did better than the day before. Might serve you well to go back and read what you wrote a year ago when the general arrived. 😉 These horses always have something to show us about ourselves

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I think it is a good idea to revisit where we were a year ago because then we realize how far we have come! Thanks for this comment Avery!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on your first Intermediare 1 test! Sounds to me like the judge made a mistake, but you took it all in stride. 🙂
    P.S. Would it be possible next time to get video of your tests?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      My husband takes video on my phone. If we get one that is reasonable I will post it. And the judge was just being a judge. C’est la vie in la dressage!! lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, I suppose you are right.
        Good luck for next time! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. (HorseLover4Ever) Elizabeth says:

    How wonderful!! ❤ I can't help but noticing how just majestic and perfect you and Biasini look together… ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Elizabeth. I very much appreciate your kind comment.

      Like

  6. Jeff Rab says:

    Always love your positive perspective!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Jeff! It is essential for the enjoyment of life I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Alli Farkas says:

    I’m so familiar with the “great ride feeling” accompanied by the pitiful score. Also too familiar with, in my case, the boss mare who decides she is the leader in our little herd of two. Feel for you, but I know with all your experience you can tell when it was really good, regardless of what some predisposed judge thinks. They’re supposed to judge what they see, but some of them seem to judge what they prefer. Which in dressage, is not always “correct”, shall we say?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Alli you have nailed it on the head!!! And yes after many years of dressage I am used to this. I was very pleased and proud with Biasini on the second day. Thanks so much for this supportive and understanding comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. jadeyandambey says:

    This is beautiful congrats 🤗😇

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you! I appreciate your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sometimes I think that the subjectivity is the hardest part of competing. That’s also why I’m very happy to be eventing now – only 1/3 of my competition is subjective now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I hear you! That’s what I used to like about eventing and jumping when I was a teenager. But I’m too old for that challenge now so i just have to accept the dressage judging and carry on.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good point. At any competition I like to focus on my own rides and compete against myself anyway. How well can I ride, knowing the context of what I have been working on with my horse? The judges and other competitors don’t matter. Of course that mindset can be easier said than done!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          Indeed! But i have found that with practice it gets easier!😀. Thanks !

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Anne, I am sure you and Biasini will do better next time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you! I’m used to dressage judging now. I was very happy with the second ride .

      Like

  11. IloHorse says:

    Congratulations! The only time I tried a dressage show was a total mess so I respect all the dressage riders!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Katrin says:

    Congrats on your first 2 tests!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Emma Cownie says:

    This all sounds like an emotional roller coaster! What a tough competition. A lot of success in sport is not just about training and preparation is about mental toughness, and being in the moment (like fighter pilots) (I’d be utterly use;less, it took me 3 goes to pass my driving test because I got so nervous on the day). I am glad that you managed to improve your performance. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for this supportive comment. It is tough but I’ve been doing this for several years now, working my way up the levels and I take the opinion of my coach more seriously that the opinion of the judge. They know me and my horse the best.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Tonia says:

    HUGE congrats and props on going out there and doing it! I totally know that feeling of thinking we nailed it and then the score comes as a disappointing jolt. :\ Through the struggle we become stronger and better, though, right?!? 😛 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Absolutely! Also I have learned to listen to what my coach says about the test ride as a better evaluation than the judge. We learned a lot this weekend. The first time out in a new test ( especially something like the Inter 1) is a steep learning curve. Thanks so much for your comment.

      Like

  15. Gymah says:

    Congratulations on surviving your first Intermediare tests! What a milestone to achieve.
    It’s frustrating when your horse decides to turn into an unreasonable critter at shows, isn’t it? I’m glad to hear that your second test was much improved, though!
    I always find it disappointing when I receive a low score for a test that was, for my horse and me, brilliant. It happens though. I’ve learned to not base my success at a show on the scores, but rather on our personal improvement. If we improved, then I call it a success.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Absolutely! The sense of achievement has to come from within as you say. And for me I know Biasini and I have made really considerable progress in the last year. I have, however, told the Brigadier Bully he need not reappear! thanks for your supportive and understanding comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Yes, getting up in Florida is a true blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

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