Another Dressage Competition...

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Another Dressage outing  and another ribbon!


Following our last outing to Sparsholt college with new horse Masie, the plan was to get some extra training in and crack on!

So following a lesson from Anna Ross Davies, we had our homework set and a plan was concocted.

However, you know what they say about all the best laid plans?

Well, true to form, those plans got somewhat lost!

I entered us for Sparsholt for today, and had a well made plan for our training, aiming for steady progress each training session. 

The run up to today consisted of 1 lunge session Wednesday and a short schooling session last night! Like I said, the best laid plans...

To be honest I thought of withdrawing, after all, not only was our plan not going to plan, but my new saddle still hadn’t arrived (that’s another story!), as hadn’t the new noseband. But I did still have the old ones.

But, following what was a, for want of a better phrase, “lively”, session under the schools new lights, (monsters lurked EVERYWHERE), Masie knuckled down and cracked on with the work, minus the odd spook at said monsters!

So, we decided to give it a whirl, after all, what else could go wrong....

I had a lesson to teach prior to getting to the yard to sort Masie out, so 8am freezing cold, I am teaching. The lesson went really well, although towards the end of the session the clouds turned black, the air turned damp and then... yes, the heavens opened!

OK, I am certainly no fair weather rider, so after checking for stable stains (bloomin greys!) and checking all plaits are in place, we loaded up and off we went.

On arrival, it was dry, but threatening clouds were on the horizon, and almost as soon as i was legged up into the saddle, the heavens opened again.

The collecting ring was a hive of activity, but Masie was focussed on her work (apart from the odd lurking monster!) something I find ex racers are good at is working around others.

By the time our number was called, we were drenched, but it had now stopped raining. Our first test was Prelim 4, in the box park arena (for those who know Sparsholt), an arena unfamiliar to Masie and I, but I needn’t worry, the monsters stayed in the collecting ring! Click Here to view the video.

The bell rang, and at that point, it didn’t just rain, it was coming down in biblical amounts, seriously I don’t ever remember riding in rain that heavy!

We managed to get through our test, and the judge commented “well done” as she looked to the sky, yes we had got wet, but more importantly, the test flowed and it felt good.

We retreated to the trailer for some dry rugs and a quick recap of the next test.

It was now not raining, hallelujah.

No time for drying out, we had to prepare for our 2nd test, Prelim 13. Click Here to view the video.

Back to the collecting ring to run through some of the moves, and by this point, Masie felt amazing, even better than before, she was working correctly over her back reaching into the rein and so responsive. Long and low work which is sometimes a difficult exercise for Masie, was suddenly easy, I was working with a huge grin!

Our time came, we were in the Office arena, our more familiar one.

The bell went and away we trotted.

This test strangely didn’t feel as good as the first, even though Masie had worked so well in the warm up, but on no account did it feel bad, just not quite as good.

Back to the trailer for a well earned cup of tea and a haynet and warm rug for Masie.

My wonderful other half provided me with his coat as mine was wetter than if it had just come out a river, and I began to warm up and dry out. Meanwhile Penny, my great friend who came along to help today, had gone to get the results....

On Penny’s return, there was a ribbon attached to one of the sheets, yes, we had claimed another 3rd place. That was for Prelim 4, with a score of 66.82% and qualification for the Championships. For a long time we led the scoreboard, but alas, a red rosette was not to be today.

Our score for Prelim 13 was 66.25%, a very good score, but no ribbons for that one.

Both Judges gave very good feedback, and I feel very positive about the next competition, because if we can pull those scores off with a seriously bad run up to it, lord only knows where we can go when the plan actually comes together!

Meanwhile I am still drying out tack, boots, numnahs.......


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