Between my blog post about the LV Jump X win (which you can read by clicking here), Tobias had to be officially retired from ridden work – no hacking, just a field ornament.
This led to us having a major tack sale including his saddle…and my mum very kindly let buy a dressage saddle with the money (see the Facebook post by clicking here).
After numerous lessons, and lots of preparation, we were ready to hit the Laurel View Charity
stressage dressage raising money for Aware NI on July 16th, 2017.
Me being me, I couldn’t make this a simple outing and enter one test – instead I had to enter both and fry my brain all at once. This led to frantic cantering (by myself with no horse) around the garden at midnight to ensure I knew both tests and lying in bed reciting them before sleep – I would NOT forget those tests!! (which, if you’re interested, I didn’t!).
We got there early and I ensured I had sufficient time to warm up and do the exercises my instructor had discussed with me to get her supple. The day was what seemed to be doomed from the start – there was a panic after I hadn’t made the start lists, which I then did so that was sorted, and then of course I forgot to lift my black free jump stirrups and ended up riding in flexi stirrups (which I cannot ride in – never have been able to). All being said, I ditched the schooling whip before the test which was a bad move.
Riding our first test, Prelim 18, she felt extremely sluggish but watching back the video she couldn’t possibly have been moving any faster. I was not happy at all with the test, she was tense and it just didn’t ride smoothly at all – certainly half the standard at least of what she had ridden the exact same test the day before. This was however her first ever Prelim test, and only her second ever (that I am aware of) dressage test in general – it is only natural she would be tense.
Putting all that aside, the judge loved her and scored her 61.54% including an 8.0 for her trot down the centre line – a score I was gobsmacked by!
We had a 45 minute wait before our next class, the Prelim 7. I had felt a lot more prepared for this test having ran through it more in my lesson, and this time followed my instructors advice of taking in the schooling whip. Despite what the scores said, I felt this test rode a lot better – it was more fluent (although still a lot to be desired for) and it felt more rhythmic and not as patchy as the previous. We ended up with 60% in the Prelim 7.
Not bad for her first two prelim tests, but certainly a lot of room for improvement. But hey, the only way is up! I really had a great day and can’t wait to attend more at this venue over the winter. Always a great atmosphere and the two indoor schools come in handy in the N.I weather too!
Until next time…
Watch my Prelim 18.
Watch my Prelim 7.
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