Donner Girl is settling into her job as a dressage horse, and a show horse.

Cantering down the long side. May 2010 – photo by Cindy Cooke

After a few schooling shows over the winter, I ventured out to two recognized dressage shows this spring. Trust is developing between the two of us. The first ride out at a new venue is full of looking, stopping, whinnying, some spookiness, and overt tension in her back leading to less than ideal balance in all gaits.

Training level Trot circle, May 2010 – photo by Cindy Cooke

But, over time, this gives in to more listening, improved posture, and good performance. We’ve stayed at Training Level so far, but most scores have been over 70%! Donner Girl is getting more and more rideable during each test, so I can work on quality of gaits and transitions, not just going from point to point.

Donner Girl at L’Aperitif, May 2010, photo by Jan Loesche
Pretty square and balanced for Training level, eh? May 2010 – photo by Cindy Cooke

Thanks for the photos Cindy and Jan!

Braving new territory, next show – First Level! Watch out!