Sometimes it’s not about the ribbons or the score.

Don’t get me wrong…it’s wonderful to get a great score or a first place ribbon. But sometimes it is about something else.

Biasini and I were off to White Fences for a show this past weekend. Biasini into the trailer and away we go.

We did a nice schooling session, Biasini knows this show ground and is quite relaxed about the whole thing.

Saturday we were competing. We had one of those tests where the things we have been struggling with in training went quite well and the things that we normally can ace with ease had mistakes. But we got a reasonable score, good comments from the judge and placed 4th in the Adult Amateur division.

Sunday we were in the ring again. In our warm up my coach Lou Denizard told me that I had to get Biasini “off the bit”. By this he means light in the connection and not pulling downward and taking over which is what he likes to do. This phrase has something about it that translated very clearly into a feel for the connection. Lou told me that I had to use the short side of the arena and the corners to accomplish this so I would be ready for the next movement. We did this several times in the warm up and it worked well.

When I went into the arena and started my test my goal was to remember this “off the bit” and use it. And I did! And Biasini responded beautifully.

This was the 10th time I have ridden the Intermediare 1 test in competition. It was the 1st time I truly felt I was riding the horse and not riding the test. After the final halt and salute I leaned forward and gave Biasini a pat and a rub on his withers. “Thank you,” I said to him. “Thank you.” As we left the arena I felt that it was the best ride I have had at this level. Not a perfect test, there were struggles and there were mistakes. It would not be the winning ride nor the high point score. But for me it was the best. It was the best because I have so often struggled with Biasini when he has morphed into the Brigadier General Bully Biasini in the competition ring. But this time he was ‘listening’ to me and we were working together. The score wasn’t great, we placed 3rd in the Amateurs. But it was my feeling about how we had connected in the ring that made it the ‘best’ for me. This ride is now my rock upon which I will build toward our next time in the ring.

When I was walking him around the warm up arenas to cool Biasini out after our test I saw a lovely small horse with a young rider starting their warm up. The horse was a palomino, beautifully groomed and turned out for the the show. ” I love the color of your horse,” I said to her. The girl looked at me and smiled a smile that could light up the darkest of places. “Oh! Thank you!” she said. We chatted a bit and then went our separate ways. This young girl so clearly loved her horse. She was so happy to be there to show him off. Keeping a palomino sparkling clean, mane and tail bright and dapples showing on the flanks is not easy. It is right up there with grey and white horses. My hat was off to this young girl. And more than that….her love of her horse(whose name is Obi) and her pride in her horse was so heartening to see. My husband took a photo with my phone after asking her permission.

At shows I see riders of all ages and stages, professional and amateur but this young girl and her little palomino were the highlight for me. In the end this is what it is all about; the love of the horse and the joy of sharing time with them.

Here are a few photos of some of the amazing spring blooms around the show ground. The show organizer and owner of the property Adam Pollock is an avid horticulturalist and I enjoyed seeing the remarkable plants.

A close up of the remarkable blooms on the tree pictured above.

Blooms beside one of the warm up rings. More orange
blooms can be seen on the trees in the background.

And, of course, I came home after the show and spent the evening sipping Dom Perignon and relaxing. NOT! #reallife. What comes after horse shows? Laundry!

Biasini’s laundry on the left and the second half of the human laundry on the right!

I will have some professional photos of Biasini and me taken by the official show photographer Joanna Jodko later this week.

32 Comments Add yours

  1. David says:

    On Day One when my daughters began training to be hunter/jumpers, Trish, their instructor, said it’s not about scores, ribbons or winning, it’s about having a good ride. You’ll know it at the finish.

    Palomino, my daughter Elizabeth, has one. And, my daughter Tara is a proud owner of a grey/white. And, yes, both horses know when they’re clean because they’re looking for place to roll in some dust. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I had a white horse once and i spent a lot of time in the wash stalls at shows!

      Like

  2. I totally agree! It’s about the love and connection with your horse. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. It can sometimes be discouraging to get a poor score but the bottom line is how you feel about your horse and the effort that they make for us.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff Rab says:

    Love the “love” you talk about in this post! And I “love” the brilliant pictures too! What a fantastic place to be!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Jeff๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. iScriblr says:

    Absolutely beautiful! Makes my heart happy!โค๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. I am happy that this post makes you happy too.๐ŸŒท

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Megala says:

    Interesting post! Nice to know about the relationship you share with Biasini and also about the young girl’s love & care for Obi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Megala for reading and for leaving this nice comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Irene says:

    Congrats on your best ride! Great job on Biasiniโ€™s part for listening to you. Still smiling after reading your post. Feeling happy for you. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a wonderful read, I was imagining about the whole thing while reading (thanks for the photos). There’s some busy and beautiful world running with so much of passion and hard work beyond where I couldn’t see. I am happy at least I am learning through these posts its existence. Thanks for sharing ma’am. You and Biasini make my life beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Subbashini for taking the time to read and to write this nice comment. I always enjoy hearing from you.

      Like

  8. sscribner07 says:

    This is beautiful. Everything about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. I’m so glad you found this post resonated with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. We are completely clueless about the life we do not live, the places we have not been, and the experiences we have not had. Even if we think we know the fabric that these are made of, the texture is quintessentially lacking.
    When I saw Biasini”s laundry picture, it occurred to me, for the first time, that laundry for a horse is a thing.
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for this marvelous comment!๐Ÿคฃ Horses have lots of laundry especially in hot weather: saddle pads, leg wraps, fly masks used when they are in the stable etc. For the shows the leg wraps are white and the saddle pads are also white. Well…as you can imagine….they are only used once and then need to be washed. I’m glad this post informed you of the realities of horse ownership and competition. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿด

      Like

  10. Ink 'em Down says:

    Beautiful! I totally agree: the heartfelt connection with your horse is an overwhelming emotion. And congrats on securing a place on the test!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you! It is a wonderful feeling. I appreciate your comment very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I so love your relationship, and getting a place/win is a bonus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Susie. I am so lucky to have this horse. He has so much talent and although he can sometimes get strong he never makes me feel there is any danger.

      Like

      1. That’s wonderful to hear.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. This is such a beautiful post to read!! I love when riders like you and the little girl are not looking for glory, just pure harmony with horses. You must be tough on yourself, sounds to me like you placed wellโค๐Ÿด

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for this kind comment. I think that in dressage, which is a subjectively judged sport, I find I must set my own standards and have my own opinions. Otherwise I can be really let down by a judge who just does not like my horses way of going or my rider position etc. Thanks again its great to get encouraging comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Austen says:

    I always find tests I enjoyed riding the most were never the highest scoring. A friend watching my young horse said our harmonious rides lack the flash of brilliance that sometimes comes from the more difficult rides. That may be, but I enjoy the harmonious tests much more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I agree with you Austen! Thanks for commenting.

      Like

    2. Austen says:

      (and congratulations by the way! Such an achievement to feel you are riding the Intermediare, rather than it riding you! ๐Ÿ˜‰)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. anne leueen says:

        Thank you! It is a bit of a test for sure and it has taken me awhile to get comfortable enough with it to think about how my horse is going and what needs to be done and not be thinking entirely about the next move. Also I have finally learned that I can ride in the test and not just feel that I have to sit and look like it is all perfect.

        Like

  14. dprastka says:

    What a heartfelt post and congratulations for having that BEST ride. I have had those rides where I did not win the class but my horse and I were in sync, the harmony is hard to describe. I’m so glad he listened and gave you this wonderful ride. Something to build on, perfect! And to be there with like minded horse owners, wow, so special. The girl with the palomino is so beautiful both horse and rider. This just puts a huge smile on my face. ๐Ÿ˜ Lovely photos, lovely post! โค๏ธ๐Ÿดโค๏ธ๐Ÿดโค๏ธ

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Diana. You would have loved the palomino and his rider as well!

      Liked by 1 person

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