When We Grow Up…

Ike Dec 2012

Ike and I want to be like Charlotte and Valegro.  They again have blown away the competition in London http://www1.skysports.com/olympics/story/15234/8340462 with a Grand Prix score of 84.447%.  WT…??!!  Amazing.  Simply amazing.  They ride in such harmony with a fluidity in the movement that is like moving poetry.  No herky-jerky Elaine-dancing moments, snotty noses, or awkwardness.  I may be 44 and she is just a babe at 27 years of age, but I feel like a star-struck, gawky teenager when I watch her ride.

My greatest accomplishment in dressage was with Ike’s brother Cigar; we earned a 78% for an Intro Level test.  Pathetic huh?  It is okay to snicker and point.  Ike and I achieved at 70.8% in an Intro Test and then moved on to Training Level and unfortunately didn’t cross the 70th percentile mark at Training Level this year.  I cannot even imagine getting a score sheet back with a number that started with an 8.  I think I would scream like a banshee, scare Ike, and then wreak havoc on the show grounds as Ike cavorted around without his rider who fainted after screaming.

Well we certainly aren’t going to earn an 80% numbers in the show ring with our work the past few days.  We have had flashes of 8’s in our free walk, fleeting moments of 7’s with our medium walk and trot, and solid 6’s with our canter work.  I won’t mention the disobedient moment on Saturday that would have gotten us excused by any judge worth his or her salt.

Our best ride of the past five days was today.  Maybe having yesterday off helped both Ike and I, because today there was no rein yanking, bolting, or sucking back.  Ike was nicely forward, responsive, and to my estimation, about 75-80% through and over his back (that is about as close to an 80% mark we will probably ever come).  Ike’s canter was slower and more rhythmic without any leaning on my inside leg.  It is days like this that I wish I set up the video camera.  You will just have to trust me when I say it was nice.  It was also nice to not have to fight to maintain a trot rhythm.  When Ike sets his mind to it, you could set a metronome to his trot.  Today we floated along effortlessly tracking in either direction.  And yes, he seems to have that power to decide how much or how little I will need to work.  Stinker.

Ike still has a lot of growing to do.  He won’t be 5 until the end of April.  Perhaps I need to plaster the walls of his stall with pictures of Valegro and Ravel, the recent “rock stars” of the dressage world.  They can be his inspiration as we continue on our centerline adventure.


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