Bit late adding this but had busy week! My email doesn’t appear to be receiving emails at the moment = highly annoying and just spent 2 hours trying to work out how to solve it to no avail….. Anyhow… I took both Ali and Donovan to the British Dressage Competition at Hartpury last sunday – with Ali I am trying to get qualified for the Elementary regionals before the end of November deadline, Donovan came along too!
Ali was on first and it was her first time indoors since last winter! Her first test was in the old indoor school, which she finds a bit spooky (although much less so than this time last year when were shot away from the gallery at full speed before even starting the test!) – it is also only 20m wide so we were right up against the walls, which she isn’t so keen on. She started the test ok but a little tense and then to help matters I missed the leg yield, and ting-a-ling! I hadn’t even noticed that I had gone wrong, which I normally would as soon as I had passed the marker! However she continued to perform the leg yield and then medium trot in the correct places with me trying to get myself together… Unfortunately near the end of the test just before our serpentine of simple changes a few horses clopped by outside the indoor arena, a BIG distraction – head up and not the best to do a canter-walk transition out of. I just managed to get her through them not too badly and she came down the centre line well to score 65% – not bad considering and a qualifying result so 3 more points.
For her second test we were in the big Hartpury Arena and although the gallery is bigger with more people watching and a slight “buzz” of people talking, she prefers having the space around the marked out arena in the middle and actually “grew” with the slightly bigger atmosphere, which bodes well for the future! She did a lovely test and I was so happy to get 73% and 7 points towards qualification (annoyingly leaving us just 1 point off – so fingers crossed all goes well this weekend at Abbey to push us up over the 15 points required!)
I was trying Donovan back in the snaffle and although he is getting the hang of bending in the lateral work better, he is still trying to evade it partly because he does find it more difficult. Unfortunately after an initial good relaxed warm up, he was rather difficult once I asked him to perform the lateral movements, dropping onto his right shoulder and leaning. I don’t think I dealt with it the best I could but it is always easy to look back especially when you are about to go in for a test. I have worked him a couple of times since and also used the double bridle again and he is improving – he is not the quickest learner but is definitely finding he can perform half pass, shoulder-in and travers with more bend so more correctly, it is now a case of repeating until he is really happy with it so doesn’t try to rush or fall onto his shoulders and building his strength further so he “sits” and collects more. He is however very happy now we have started doing a bit of jumping and hopefully the variety will be good for him too!!