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And breathe ….
Ah! So in one of my previous posts I mentioned we had entered a dressage test (Prelim 15 Unaffiliated)! And this morning we did it !

I brought her in nice and early.. or so I though at the time. Plaiting up took longer than I thought meaning I was rushing a little to finish cleaning her. But I still got down to the warm up with about 25mins to go before the test.

In the warm up it is difficult to keep out the way of everyone. It was very much in my mind that some of the other riders are hoping to qualify for the championships therefore I was trying to keep out their way as best I could so that I didnt interfer with their warm up.

During the whole test I think I breathed once! As soon as we stepped in the areana we spooked. “uh oh we’ve only taken five steps in the arena and we are already diving out the way of some scary flowers! Here goes!” 😂 We then spooked again at the photographer clicking away as we went past and therefore getting into that corner proved difficult during the test.

We didn’t exactly do ourselves proud but it was our first ever dressage test so its an experience. I couldn’t keep the contact at all and looking at the video my reins were far too long which obviously lent to that. The judges comments consisted of quite a few “above the bit” which I completely agree on. We didnt have contact.  A comment that made me laugh was “Looking at everything” which we certainly were! I think she inexpected every letter on the way round!

To my surpise our highest marks were in the free walk on a long rein, this is were I was expecting the lowest marks as my mare has the nasty habit of snatching the rein when you realse it. Rather than taking it gentally from you and stretching she will grab the bit and shove her head down. While the end result is kind of want I want she doesnt have a very nice way of doing it.

The final comments from the judge was

” Active forward horse but inattentive today and not working over back to contact.  Keep at it some glimpses of fairly good work”

Im pretty pleased with these comments as we had quite a problem with moving forward. But even though I felt like I was working quite hard to get what I wanted, Im glad it came off to look like she is a “active forward” horse. 🙈
I think a lot of the above boils down to fittness. When we first went in the warm up ring she felt amazing. She was listening to me and moving off my leg. And we had a consistant contact however baring in mind I only warmed up for 20min and I didnt trot / canter the entire time.  She was already behind my leg by the time we went in. I dont think we warmed up too much maybe I didnt warm up enough ??

For next time

♦️ Shorten my reins!

♦️ Work on our fittness!

♦️ Contact!

♦️ Prepare a little earlier.