SALEM, OR- The 2015 Adult Team League Dressage Show was my first league show. It was so cool to see the team mentality at a dressage show, not to mention the fun stall decorations, fun team names, and the team's color coordinated outfits!
My team consisted of my wonderful student Mary Ann, her friend Jane Baer, and Jane's friend Jeannine. Jane and Jeannine I had not met before and it was a joy getting to know them and their horses. A big thank you to Jane for making our adorable "logos" for our saddle pads, the fun decorations on our tack stall, as well as all the coordinating she did with us through email before the show.
I had the pleasure of showing Mary Ann's lovely mare Lia. The judges absolutely LOVE her, as do I. As it was my first time showing Lia, spending the weekend with her in a show environment led us to really bond and build a deep partnership. I had a lovely time riding her and she was super, considering it was her first time in a show environment in several years. She and I scored a 69% and a 70% at Training Level test 3 to earn Reserve Champion for the Open Division. What a star! It really makes me excited to bring her along this winter and prepare her to go out and do some recognized shows. Mary Ann had her hands full with one of her other horses, Sport. This athletic, beautiful Arab has only gone to a handful of shows, most of them being years ago. He is just as cute as a button but really needs to build his confidence at the shows, as he excessively calls to his friends when he leaves the stall and puts himself into a mental tizzy. Mary Ann did an excellent job handling his antics and riding him through the tests. Her riding, especially on Sunday was remarkable, and did an fantastic job really guiding and comforting him through the rides. I am very proud of her! He just needs more exposure to melt away his insecurities at the shows. That being said it is a project that Mary Ann and I get to tackle this winter and is something that I am very much looking forward to.
But what was perhaps the best part of the weekend was having such an amazing support team. Mary Ann's good friend Vicki was there with us all weekend and was such a big help and an absolute pleasure to be with. I just started working with her very green Arab, Bentley and it is my goal to get this pair out at the shows next season! Another one of my young students, Kellyn and her mom, Deb also came to cheer us one and help us with whatever we needed on Sunday. What a great group of students to have, as well as friends. I was honored that they were sporting my Mercedes Andazola Dressage hats. I couldn't be more thankful for the awesome ladies that support M.A.D.!!