Dressage ups & downs (and I don’t mean rising trot!)

2 weeks ago we went to Sparsholt for some BD action, but sadly things did not go very well! The great British weather decided that Saturday 16th March was probably the best day to unleash as much weather as possible on the south west! We arrived and it was one of those moments where you think ‘this could well be cancelled, I’ll just go to the secretary to check….’ but nope! it was going ahead.

To cut a long story short we were both drowned within moments of getting out of the lorry, had a horrid warm up in torrential freezing rain (it was a close run thing between which of us was enjoying it less), did one rather tense, grumpy test for a rubbish 58%!!! then called it a day in order to get home to get warm and dry again.

Yesterday (Easter Sunday, when by rights we should have been knee deep in chocolate and hot cross buns all day!) we set off for more BD (glutton for punishment!) and this time it was dry, but….temp gauge on the lorry read -6!!!!! Wrapped up warm we went off to Hunters Equestrian a local-ish venue I have never been to before. Dustry warmed up really well with only one slightly ASBO moment when a fellow competitor forgot about the ‘left to left’ rule and almost crashed into us, this Dustry DID NOT LIKE! and as a result a few strides later when I asked for canter the post and rail fence enjoyed a swift kick from him, little brat!

We went in for our first test in the indoor arena and he dried up a bit because it was very enclosed and small inside, but he was obedient just not going as well as he had done in the warm up. He got 62.9% and came 2nd so I was very chuffed with that!

Next we had a long arena test in the outdoor and he went much better in the open outside ring. He got 7’s for all his canter work which was really good as he normally looses marks for his canter transition quality but I have been working on that so it was nice to see the improvement in those marks. He was doing a fab free walk on a long rein when I just over egged the leg aid and he jogged forwards a couple of strides, argh! Such a shame as he normally gets 8’s for his stretch work and being double score I knew this would have cost us. The judge wrote ‘jogged, pity as has a good walk – 5’ for that movement but despite that one error he gained 64.34 and just missed out on 2nd place again by 0.5%.

On the whole I was very pleased with how he behaved and warmed up, and also pleased at myself for not making my usual mistakes and using my brain for once! I felt like yesterday was a good effort from both of us so pats on the back all round! 😉

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