Have I mentioned yet that I'm planning on taking Ben to his very first dressage show on June 30th? As it turns out, my barn manager has offered to haul 8 horses down (thats 2 round trip trips for her) to a local saddle club. I've been to this place a handful of times, and the shows are always quiet and perfect for first time outings.
Nevertheless, I have found ways in which to psyche myself out. In consultation with the trainer, I am (right now) going to ride Training 1 & 2. Of course that means I've found a reason to completely obsess over memorizing both tests, and have gone so far as to lay out a dressage court in my living room.
In addition to walking the tests over, and over (and over and over and over), I've also begun watching an endless number of Training 1 & 2 videos on youtube. Watching other beautiful, or not so beautiful tests prompted a few questions - of which I started researching on USDF and USEF. Then, it happened. I somehow stumbled upon USDF's new site, E-trak. Chock full of free materials on how to make correct geometry, 50 ways to get eliminated in your test, and most importantly, judged rides WITH commentary.
Listening to a judge commentate a ride was probably not the right thing for me to hear. Suddenly, I started comparing my own riding skills (or lack thereof) to those riders in the video, and somehow have deduced that I completely suck. All I can picture is the judge shaking her head and saying "well here is one that should've stayed back in Intro." Okay, Little Voice In my Head- you win. I'm not worthy of Training Level. I won't let you down, we'll do it your way - Intro power!
It has taken approximately, oh, all day, for my friend and riding partner to convince me otherwise. She made very valid points - the main one being that our trainer, also a judge, would likely have told me to enter into Intro if she believed that I belonged there. Hmm, pesky details.