As the storm was brewing we made our way to Abbey Dressage today with Ali and Donovan for the Elementary and Medium respectively. In preparation yesterday I had to clip Donovan again for the 2nd time this autumn because he seems to insist on growing so much hair!! He is however a complete gentleman to do, which makes life easier although I still feel like I have hairs everywhere! It meant they were both looking very smart today though (with Ali having been clipped last weekend). Their preparation had not been ideal with some very busy extra long days at work for me but the expected schooling in the dark at both ends of the day for this time of year!
My mood was cheered on Friday evening when I got back from work and was flicking through the British Eventing Life magazine an spotted this picture of Ali and I from the Nick Gauntlett XC demo we did at Blenheim in September!!
Back to today… Ali was on first in the Elementary and despite the wind and a rather heavy shower warmed up rather well. I was really pleased with her test with just a small mistake at the end in her first test at this level. She scored 66.25% gaining 4 points with the judge commenting that she just requires a little more engagement – this will improve as she strengthens up.
Donovan started warming up well with me trying to get him really forward and in front of my leg. When we went across to the arena though he was so spooky, which meant I had to use more rein than i would have liked (otherwise we may have ended up facing the wrong way…) so he became a little unsteady in his mouth and short in his neck. I think I may also have pushed him a bit too forward so he lacked engagement (probably not help by him spooking so much!) I had a really useful chat to the judge afterwards who was very helpful in her comments and encouraging! I have also managed to find some videos and look back at some tests he did before his injury – I think I need to slow down and get him sitting more (as well as keeping the forwardness, impulsion etc etc…..) I’m sure we’ll get there!!