Whats been going on this month ?
Well one exciting thing happened which was we entered a dressage competition!!
I had pretty much vowed off doing dressage at home, for several reasons, but mostly because Eva’s concentration is not the best during normal schooling never mind when there is music playing, lorries in the car park and strangers in the school! As a result I’ve not entered one since March 2019 but as we’ve had nothing to look forward to recently I thought I may as well!
They had eventing tests along with pure dressage tests. Originally I wanted to enter a prelim and the British eventing 90 test but because of the bubble system I needed to enter two tests at the same level therefore either only British eventing tests or only prelim tests. In the end I decided to go for the British eventing tests which were the BE90 and BE 100 tests (BE92 and BE102 respectively). The BE90 test I have previously done at events in 2019, however the BE100 would essentially be a step up so I was curious to see how we would get on.
In short, we need more energy!
A combination of being at home, Eva on her spring time fast (more on that at the end) and perhaps spending too much time in the warm up. That lack of energy lead to me really fighting to keep her together and moving forward in the BE100 test.
There are so many things I could nit pick and pull apart in the below videos but I wanted to share for transparency.
Before getting into this test, during the warm up I had a lovely brow band on. But unfortunately Eva disagreed with wearing it and in protest wouldn’t stop shaking her head! So much so that right before my test I ended up quickly running up to the yard and change it. After taking it off I went back to the warm up and had a quick walk, trot, canter to confirm that she was now much happier with with the plain old non glamorous brow band.
Mostly 7s and 6.5s across the board and two 5.5s, all of which I agree with. Part from on the first canter transition I had a 6.5, I thought it was quite a smart transition maybe deserving a slightly higher mark, not that I would dispute it with the judge! The two 5.5s came from the break in the first canter and the rather failed attempt at the free walk on the long rein. The last time we did this test we had a 7 for the free walk but this time I just couldn’t get her to take the rein forward and down.
The judges comments were: “Nice partnership. Would like to see more purpose & energy & suppleness for higher marks”
Result: 64.5% (35.5 in eventing)
This is probably the most advanced dressage test we’ve done. I guess its not exactly novice level but its a little more than prelim. She was definitely more tired in this test and I was having to fight to keep going never mind that increase of energy we were hoping for after the BE90 test!
In this test we mostly had 6.5s, with most of the comments being “more forward” and “more purpose”. Before having the test sheets back I knew the comments would be along these lines as throughout the whole test I was fighting to get forward but when Eva resists she locks up her neck and pushes back meaning I was unable to ride quietly.
The give and retake the rein in the canter needed … well to exist ?! I attempted to give the rein in the first canter but we lost energy and the canter fell apart a bit so in the second canter I tried to give the rein again but not as much, as a result I had a “no give” comment. However on the other hand I felt that our free walk in this test was better than the first.
The judges comments were: “3 correct paces & accurate test. Now needs more energy & purpose for higher marks”
Result: 62.5% (37.5 in eventing)
Overall watching back the test I really wish we just had more spring so that I could ride quieter in the second test. Although in that the BE100 was a step up so I’m happy with the score for our first time at that level. We were third in both classes, with six competitors in the BE90 and four competitors in the BE100 so we were middle of the pack which I’m happy with!
Both the comments covered it, more energy.
The main issue with that is getting the energy into her. But every spring Eva has her spring time fast in which she decides not to eat her feed. She’ll eat her hay fine but her feed is suddenly something she isn’t interest in (even although it hasn’t changed). In previous years I’d be worried about her but after having owned her for a few years now I know she will come round to eating it again soon. I’ve tried changing it or only giving a small portion but the only time she will eat is after some hard work and that isn’t every day. Even the yard manager says its such a weird thing to do! Eventually she will start eating again but while she remains stubbornly on her diet getting any form of energy in her with daily feeds is difficult.
What is coming up for us next ? Well it might involve having our own set of wheels! Watch this space!