The Region 8 USDF recognised dressage competition seasons runs from mid August to mid August with the Champsionships in September.   If a rider starts trying to qualify after the long winter's snow melts, there's only 4 1/2 months in which to do so.   In New Hampshire, there are only 2 USDF recognised shows.   So for many of us, that means travelling to other states.   More miles on the road.   And sometimes overnight stays in hotels for the 2 and 3 day shows.
For those who start chasing qualifications in late August, they extend their show season by 2 1/2 months, making the whole show season 7 months long.   A far cry from the year round showing that other regions enjoy.   And a huge difference from what we enjoyed in England where there competitions ran year round and dressage competitors enjoyed Winter and Summer Championships.
Thanks to doing really well at the NEDA Fall Festival of Dressage last September, Jeddien is already half way to her qualification for 2009 at 3rd Level Open (Professional).   She needs one more score of 62% to finish.   However, aside from managing her competition calendar, our biggest challenge right now is her...   ehrm...   heftiness.   Yes, the old lady faired extremely well through the cold winter, grew a massive coat, and under it, laid down a pretty impressive layer of insulating fat.
Two months from now, Jeddien will be back in competition.   To be more precise, I mean the more slender & fit Jeddien hiding somewhere deep inside the fat fuzzy pasture pet.
So, training started today.   As always, mentally she is firing on all cylinders and knows all the work by heart.   Now we just need to lighten the load so she can dance in the dressage arena instead of plow through it.   :-)