I wouldn't categorize the show this weekend as a huge success, but I did somehow manage to accomplish one goal. I won the USDF/Dover Adult Amateur Medal for riding Second Level, Test 1. I got a really nice medal and a $20 Dover gift certificate. I have no idea how I got this. The test was one of the worst ones I have ridden. I went off course twice! But the judge was very encouraging, especially when I suggested I should just be excused. She wouldn't let me! She said I was riding a nice test so far and to just think for a moment about the test to get back on track. It worked. And I just barely scraped by with a score good enough to qualify for the medal. I was shocked when I found I had won. Somehow I had achieved that goal. All the rest of my tests were judged by another judge who didn't like Jimmy, so she never gave us a qualifying score. I still think I rode better than I did in June, so while it sucks that my scores were lower, she was seeing some issues with Jimmy that weren't present in June. J was extremely tense on Saturday and jumping out of his skin basically. I had problems with him breaking into the canter when he was supposed to trot, or flying like a bat out of hell for the medium canter. In other words, he was strong and tense. So I can't argue with my scores, but I still rode better overall. I even rode second two for the very first time without a reader. I had one second when I forgot what was next and Jimmy messed up at that point, switched canter leads and I got 3s for changing rein and counter canter because I decided not to correct it. I was mad at myself for that one. I should have corrected it immediately and saved the counter canter score.
For me, the Dover Adult Amateur Medal signifies never giving up in a dressage test.