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March 2, 2012

Palm Beach Dressage Derby, Day 1

This weekend is the Palm Beach Dressage Derby, one of my absolute favorite shows. I love it for a few reasons, First, it is BIG, like 40 in the CDI Grand Prix and oodles more in the national division big. Second, it is an airy and beautiful facility. And last but not least, it is a mile down the road.

Midge shows on Saturday and Sunday, and while he's been so well-behaved at the shows I just want to squeal, I still don't trust him enough to not at least SEE the rings before show day, so my friends Justin and Jovanna were kind enough to hook up the trailer and drag us over for a look-see. Naturally, after all that, Midge was perfect, only mildly boogering once at a tent, and then proceeding to hack around on a long rein like an old lesson pony. What a guy.

This is the first of his qualifiers for the USEF National Championships for Developing (8-10 year old) Grand Prix horses, a new division at the Young Horse Championships, held at the stunning Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Ill., in August. It's the same test I rode at the schooling show a few weeks back, and I like it. There's pieces of the old I2 - a 4-8-8-4 zigzag, pirouettes on the diagonal - but some tight turns in passage that aren't for the faint of heart and a weird walk line that will keep people on their toes.

This will also be the first show where it will be REALLY hot out - they're calling for a high of 90* on Saturday. He's a pretty tough guy, I think we'll be OK, but that 1:18 ride time on Saturday is looking like a bit of a bummer! Lots of electrolytes in both our futures, I think.

Not one to be left out, Fender's got two lessons with Scott Hassler as part of the USEF Young Horse Training Sessions on his dance card. With the high temps and his anhydrous we may not get much done tomorrow, but it'll be nice to have Scott see the progress that I think we've made since he saw us last a few weeks ago.

Today I watched a good chunk of the Grand Prix (under beautiful sunny skies with a light breeze; life's tough, let me tell you.), and kept thinking that Midge wouldn't have been out of place. I hope I can help him live up to it tomorrow!