Soap and I made the short 20min drive to do some local dressage yesterday and entered Prelim 7 and 10. This month I am trying to do as much dressage and sjing as poss so that when we enter another BE event in Sept we will have made some progress in the coloured pole department as that is what’s keeping us out of the BE ribbons!
The warm up went well and I was happy after half an hour that he was sufficiently soft and attentive and ready for his test. We walked to the indoor and waited by the door as the horse before us finished its last movements. As we were stood a horse in the field next to the school suddenly exploded and came bucking and galloping towards us and the gate, it skidded to a halt and I could feel Soap’s heart beat shoot through the roof.
I did my best to try and salvage some calmness and get him focused but sadly he did do a rather tense and distracted test, which was a real shame. I walked him back via the warm up, got him soft and calm again, and went back to the trailer to learn prelim 10.
Despite being tense and not working through he got 65.5% for prelim 7 and 6th place so I was pleased as I thought that was a fair mark for what was a below par test for Soap. I warmed up again for prelim 10 and he was much more focused as the initial excitement had faded and he went in to do a lovely really calm and obedient test, and I was very happy with him because he was really ride-able and correct. We went back to the trailer where we realised the camera had run out of space just as I entered at A, typical! but the difference from the first test was so marked that I was happy with that knowledge even if I couldn’t watch it back.
I watched a few of the other tests in my class and I could hear the judge making her comments and marks and I couldn’t help but think that some of her marking was a little odd. When I went to look at the results for prelim 10 my thoughts were confirmed, we scored 64.5% for prelim 10 1% less than our first test which was a considerably poorer test for the tension. I thought that it felt like a high 60’s test but hey ho….we managed another 6th place with that score and irrelevant of the placings I was very pleased with Soap’s second performance.
Dustry has also been brushing up on his dressage lately now that he has come back into work as his dental work is all healed. I took him for a lesson with my instructor and she really liked him (it seems everyone really likes him which is making having to sell him even harder!) and he made great progress in the large arena we box to for our lessons and has really learnt how to go forwards. I was extra pleased because when I put my lesson into practise back at home in our 20×40 he still had the right idea about being forwards even in the smaller space.