Its been almost four months since we last competed in dressage. The horizontal sleet and rain wasn’t exactly an encouraging first attempt back! Safe to say there was quite a few withdrawals.
As dressage is my weaker phase I always feel I need to put some extra prep into practicing the tests, unfortunately the week before the competition I only managed to ride once which wasn’t great but I had other things that took priority that week.
Our first test was the Prelim 15, due to the weather outside I chose not to spend too long in the warm up. Even with that said she was feeling great and I was ready to get in and crush the test. As soon as we stepped in the indoor she went completely behind the leg and I spent the whole time trying to wake her up again. It had me flustered as it was such a contrast from the warm up, we had so much energy that I had to manage in the outdoor to suddenly having the hand break on during the test.
The result was 62% which landed us in forth (the winner only 2% way on 64%). Overall the test could of had more energy so that I didn’t have to work so hard and our canter definitely needs work but I am still pleased to with my score.
Our comments from the judge were; “Obedient test but she lacks sufficient activity & engagement to maintain correct way of going. More to come when energy levels increase”. Firstly I think thats the first ever time she has been called obedient in her life! I completely agree with the energy comment, considering Eva felt completely switched off during the test.
It wasn’t long before the next class, the Prelim 13, in short we had the wind up our arses which actually made us move. I am much happier with how this test went however I did make a mistake where I forgot to walk so I had to go back and do the movement again – cut that out of the video – we also had a very small half hearted buck when asking for the second canter, even so I didn’t feel like I had to work as hard for what I got and therefore it felt better to ride.
The result of our second test was 61.54% which landed us forth again! The top three were also the top three in my previous test and they placed in the exact same order! However this time there was a much bigger gap between myself and the top.
The judges comments were ” Lovely horse but needs to respect your leg & work harder behind. Not ideal condition today, still needs impulsion & better connection“. I struggled to keep her focused in the conditions and therefore the connection just wasn’t there but it is something that we need to work on in general even without the conditions we had.
Overall Im very pleased with how the day went and I have a few things I need to focus on, I also need to work a little bit on my plaiting as the plaits I did were pretty terrible! But I remembered my tests, achieved in the 60s for both tests despite weather conditions and only riding Eva once that week so overall a positive day.