You either add more leg or more bling
You either add more leg or more bling
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The First Championship Show of the Season!

It has been a massive couple of weekends for Astro and I! It was very exciting to head to our first Championship show of the season, Central Districts Dressage Champs, on the 17th and 18th of October.

Friday was spent packing, having a final schooling ride, bathing and plaiting Astro, and then driving down to the Manawatu! We are very lucky to have a place to stay only 15 minutes from Manfield showgrounds, with a nice safe paddock for Astro and a warm house and bed for me. I do find it much more comfortable to sleep in a bed rather than camping haha.

Saturday Morning - Pre-Show
Our first test on Saturday morning was at the very respectable time of 11:30am. Lucky me, I got a sleep in! Unfortunately, before Astro and I left our weekend home to head to the show, someone else turned up to take their horse (kept on the same property) out to an arena for a ride. This other horse wasn't very keen to get on the float. They were trying to load right next to Astros paddock. My poor boy got very stressed by the crashing and banging of the other horse refusing to get on the float and proceeded to gallop laps around the paddock at full speed *facepalm*.

I ended up going and catching him and bringing him in to calm down. I also needed some calming down. Astro galloping around the paddock and getting worked up before we were about to head to dressage did not do my show nerves any good! 

He did settle as I groomed him and checked his plaits. I settled a little (but was still quite stressed - much more so than Astro!), and off we headed to the show!

Show Day Saturday
We arrived at the show and had a couple of friends arrive to cheer us on from the sidelines which was nice! We went in and did our first test without any big mistakes - it didn't feel spectacular but it was alright. 

While I was unsaddling and talking to my friends I received an email with my score - 66.6%! I was over the moon with that! Our first test at the first premier show of the season and we qualified for Horse of the Year! We also managed to get a third placing in a very large field. Very exciting!

Our second test was at 1:30pm. It was so ideal getting them all done early in the afternoon and being able to head back to our weekend home and rest. I thought this test felt a little better than the morning one, however the score was a bit lower. But that's ok, it happens!

Show Day Sunday
Sundays tests also went well. The first test of the day we got 65.18% which I was very happy with as we had a couple of dodgy transitions haha. I also caught up with another friend I hadn't seen for a long time - so good to see some of my friends again.

We had a big wait for our second test of the day, but I decided to hang around and give it a go. I'm so glad I did!

The absolute best thing about that weekend was our very last dressage test. Based on feeling, it was hands down our best test ever. After our final halt and salute I got all choked up and was holding back tears of joy as we left the arena. That test felt absolutely beautiful. It was like we were as one. I wish I had it on video.
And that my friends, is why I battle through the bad scores, lack of placings, mountains of self doubt, tears of frustration, $$$ troubles and all the other sh*t storms this horsey life seems to throw at me. That feeling I got today made it all worth it. Astro is such a star!
We also got another third placing!
What a great weekend it was. A big thanks to the Central Districts Dressage group and all of their volunteers for running such a great show!

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