Today I did something I thought was going to be impossible 18 months ago.
Today I rode a dressage test.
This was no ordinary test though, this was a test on an ex racer whome I have only ridden 3 times, and who has never seen a dressage arena. Barton grey, or masie to her friends is a 9 year old dapple grey thoroughbred, and is owned by miss Gaby Reeves.
I began teaching this pair a few weeks ago, along with the rest of the yard, and masies talent shon through. Although she has had some good re education via someone previous, masie was still 'raw'. I had a quick sit on her during our 1st lesson, and in that short space of time she tried so hard to work out what I asked and gave me 100% of her capabilities. Something every trainer seeks in a horse.
On the 2nd lesson, Gaby asked if I could school masie, and during this session, wow, did that mare perform. During the time spent in the saddle I mentioned that masie ought to be having a go at some low key events, a passing comment that Gaby picked up on and ran with!!
From there we spent time drinking tea (something I am extremely good at!) And discussing what we should do next. There was a competition coming up at Sparsholt college, and Penny, one of my other ladies I teach, was entering her horse.
You guessed the next bit!
We decided that masie should go too. But Gaby was only wanting to do an intro class, so I was, well, given a chance to do more. So, we decided that it was for masies benefit that we should aim her at an easy test to allow her to build confidence in her new job. So prelim 12 was the chosen one.
As I had only sat on masie for approx 45 minutes in total, it was decided that perhaps I ought to have another sit on her before the test, so yesterday I rode her again. Once again masie was on form, leaving me feeling comfortable about the big day.
Being in a new situation we were unsure how masie was going to behave, after all, she was not used to collecting rings or the whole atmosphere. We needn't worry though, she didn't bat an eyelid at anything.
Gaby rode the first test, a lovely smooth intro, and gained a very respectable 64.35% and 5th place.
Then it was my turn, having seen how chilled she was with Gaby, I had no worries that she would be any different and she wasn't.
Masie warmed up like a pro and worked just as well as she had done at home, relaxed and giving me 100%.
Our test time arrived.
We entered and gave it our best shot. Some movements felt better than others but all in all I was so proud of her.
Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8yAZ4IJM1w
So how did we do? Well, we came home with 64.40% and 3rd place, plus automatic qualification to the championships next year!
Something else that I wasn't expecting was to find myself having part share of this gorgeous girl! Gaby has 2 horses and was looking for a sharer, and purely on todays performance, I feel it is too good an opportunity to pass on. So not only did we have an exceptional day in the arena, I managed to get myself half a horse!
Our future looks very promising and I am happy to say that my next few blogs will all be allocated to a 16.1hh grey mare!
Watch this space.....