At the start of this month I entered Eva and I in a dressage competition. Our last dressage competition was back in June, there wasn’t a particular reason for it being so long since we entered a competition it was just how it had worked out.
This competition wasn’t our finest dressage performance by far.
Should I of tried to do dressage tests after clipping Eva the night before ?
Should I of listened more to Eva and retired during the second test ?
Have I learnt my lesson ?
Lets start with the second test.
By this point Eva was making it clear she had had enough, she was kicking out, bucking and ignoring my aids – you name it, her message was loud and clear “You can’t make me“.
Not exactly the mood that you need a chestnut mare to be in when you are trying to impress people with your riding skills unless it is to show off how good your seat is.
I thought that I could push her through it and convince her that it was a good idea.
When Eva tells me no, especially during dressage, I need to accept it and not try harder because we will both be stubborn and end up bickering like an old married couple.
I thought I could convince her because in jumping – because she loves her jumping – I can approach in the attitude of “lets go jumping!” and Eva can easily be cheered up to the idea of going jumping.
This, as I found out, does not work for dressage.
Now the first test. The only major hiccup with this test was that when I asked for canter, the canter I got was far too big, doing the most shall we say. Therefore in order to actually make it round a 20m circle without me flying out the side door I needed to bring it back down a little.
What I ended up doing is over correcting and we broke in to trot therefore gaining quite low marks for the canter.
Plus, in the test in general, I didn’t really have Eva’s attention at all times…
Overall the judges comments were actually quite encouraging because in-between all the chaos there were quite good moments. I feel like both judges picked up on that it just wasn’t our day.
For next time we will be working on our canter transitions and adjusting the canter, so I’ll be thinking about which exercises I can use to implement that.
It wasn’t our day for dressage, to be honest it never really is.
I think we are much more show jumpers than I think we are.
But that’s ok not every competition you will come home with a rosette, sometimes you are just glad you stayed on.