This past Sunday, Eva did her very first dressage test as part of the Beginner Novice class at the Santa Rosa Equestrian Center's Combined Test. There's a bumper sticker I saw on Facebook that states: "Ride an OTTB, and finish your dressage test faster!". I actually thought about that while riding the test and couldn't help but smile as I was kicking Eva along as she obviously was enjoying being in the spotlight and did not need to speed through the proceedings. In all seriousness, I am thrilled with having an OTTB who I HAVE TO KICK! For TB's in general, their downfall with the dressage court is that they get tense and when they do, their performance suffers. Classic Eva (who still maintains that she is retired from racing doesn't need to do ANYTHING fast) just gracefully flowed around the arena, practically half-asleep so was so relaxed. Our upward canter transitions are still quite "expressive" as she is still learning what exactly to do with her feet during the transition but she comes right back and got her best scores on the canter work.
A fairly good score put after dressage put us in 2nd going into show jumping and she kept her place with a stellar double clear round. I am especially proud of her as the fences were up to height at 2'7", which is quite a bit bigger than anything we had done previously. She actually seemed to enjoy having a bit more to jump and knew exactly what she needed to do to negotiate the twisting course and keep all the rails up. I have started quite a few young horses over the years to say the least, and I have never found one to be so game and straightforward to the fences (of course without being fast!). This is a really special horse and am very much looking forward to showing some more this fall.