When Plan A doesn't work, go with Plan B...

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When plan A doesn’t work, go for plan B….

 So, today we went to Woodington Training Centre dressage competition again, however our original plan didn’t quite go to plan, so I went with plan B…

We have been doing amazingly in our training sessions recently, and to keep competition a less “fun day out” and more “the norm”, we ventured out to do another Intro, this time it was Intro B, not one we have done for a while, but definitely “doable”.

Rocky was absolutely on fire in the warm up, even the stallion in the warm up didn’t cause a stir! We stuck rigidly to what we have been doing at home with Karen, (the best trainer I have come across by miles!) and Rocky was up, balanced, engaged and forward, in fact the feeling he was giving me was more of a horse about to do a novice rather than a simple Intro!!

Our time came, and that’ where it all went a bit wrong!!

The moment Rocky entered the arena he tried to take charge, (it wasn’t just me who saw this!) he thought he knew best (as always lol) and proceeded to mess about at any given opportunity, as if he was saying “I can do XYZ and you up there can do absolutely nothing about it for the next 4 minutes”, well, after an amazing warm up, I said to myself, actually NO, this is NOT how we do this, and rode him very forward and positively, throwing marks away on the way, but that was the least of my concerns, after all we are “competing” for training purposes and nothing more, to get good scores and experience under our belt! Part way through the test I actually felt Rocky say “oh alright then, I will behave” like a child would, and the 2nd part of the test was super, however the first half was a car crash!!! We did however pull 60% out the bag (lord knows from where, and it was a very low scoring class in all!) and a 7th place!

I should have been pleased with the score and placing yes? Well, yes, they were good, however as I mentioned, it is about getting experience under our belt and using it as a training aid, therefore the competition arena was the current problem. So this is where plan B came in to effect….

I asked the steward if there was any chance at all of being able to ride in the “arena” again, whether it be going HC in the Intro again or having to enter the prelim, anything at all just to get Rocky back into that “arena”!

So I found a space in the Prelim 1, having been a WD, and a baptism of fire was upon us!!!

I had absolutely no plans to do a Prelim for a good while yet, however it felt as if fate had dealt me a card that I had to play.

We had an hour and a half prior to the prelim so we went back to the box and rocky had a rest, while I studied the test!

The time approached, we warmed up again absolutely super, and off to the test arena we went….

Having had to ask for a caller (I am rubbish at remembering tests!!!) we had a bit longer in “that arena” to work in while Heather was dealing with something else before coming to our rescue.

The bell sounded, the CL was done and our very first Prelim was underway J

We had some superb moments in the test, although very sadly it wasn’t recorded (note to self, buy more memory cards!!!) but the work rocky gave was consistent with that of the work in the warm up, and that was all I was looking for.

Having now discussed the day with Karen and being told I did exactly the right thing, I feel that we have made huge progress, and am seriously excited about our future.

Rocky is a seriously intelligent horse with a good brain, but every now and again he thinks he knows best! But that’s what makes training him one of the best feelings ever.

Oh yes, our Prelim score, well I have no idea where we were as I had to go and teach, but the score was 65.47% I believe when we left, I have asked for the test sheet to be sent to me. Not bad for a plan B!!


All pictures can be viewed on my Facebook Page.

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