Well, sort of. A schooling day, really. But if it’s including a judged dressage test that’s kind of like a show, right?
It occurs to me that Riley has never been to a competition before, and his off-property experience is limited to random/minimal stints in training and trail riding. And judging by how bug eyed he was when he first came to me and experienced a busy boarding barn (not that he acted out of sorts in any way, shape or form), I imagine a show environment may knock his socks off.
So when I noticed a schooling day before a horse trials at the Carolina Horse Park that includes $15 jumping rounds, and a $25 ride-a-test for dressage, I got excited. This is the perfect low-key event to dip Riley’s hooves in the world of showing.
I’m thinking right now that I may sign up for Beginner Novice A for our dressage test, but that may even be ambitious given that it includes canter departs. Riley canters, and he’s coming along, but it’s where his lack of fitness and strength are weakest, and so getting it in the small sized dressage court may be tricky. I assume that Riley will give zero craps about the dressage arena himself, as long as I’m clear that it is not a jumping obstacle. But hey, for $25, it will be a learning experience.
As for jumping, since we have yet to put a whole course together, I may just stick to 18″. I have no idea how the atmosphere of lots of ponies/flags/people etc will affect him, and that with the heat of mid-July, it could be the safest way to go.
On the whole, I expect for a greenie learning experience, perhaps nothing as glorious as a full blown horse trial or recognized dressage show. But given that I haven’t ridden into a dressage ring since February of 2015, it’s hella exciting to me.