Combined Training – smiles all round

Today I booked the day off work to take Soap to West Wilts EC for some Eventers Combined Training. We got held up by slow moving traffic and what looked like a drugs bust going on with lots of police in the road so we arrived a little later than I had planned! With only 12 minutes to warm up for dressage Soap was going well but really needed another 15mins to be listening properly, and knock the edge off him. So after warming up to ‘tepid’ rather than ‘piping hot’ we had to start our test. All was going well nice and forward achieving mainly 7’s until Soap decided to throw in some freestyle movements! I’m not sure what test he had read but mine didn’t include buck to canter and 2 fidgety halts! His improvised segments gained him 4×5’s but the rest of the test where he manged to keep his creative urges under control meant we ended on 63.5% or 36.5 in eventer speak

SJing was in the dreaded tight and dark indoor school, and I think SJs look alot bigger when they are indoors! After some long prep to get him listening and not trying to XC the fences we went in for our round. I tried to let him feel free, forwards, and ride on through the corners, not look for a stride, and let him figure it out. 1 to 2 was a horrid 5 stride dog leg which I thought was a rather tricky way to start the round and we got in deep to 2 but he got himself over that clean, after that he settled into a nice flowing round, with one blip being the skinny at fence 6 which I fiddled into and so we had that down, but that was the only fence and he finished with ONLY 4 FAULTS!!!!!!!! This is his best result this year SJing in competition and I really think we have turned a corner. I am so pleased with him, and needless to say lots of pats, polos, and kisses ensued. The competition was very stiff dressage wise so we ended up 13th/20 but that’s irrelevant to me because I am over the moon with his improvement, long may it continue.

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