Since our rather lack lustre and disappointing performance at the Area Festivals I have been on a ‘feeding offensive’ to provide D with more energy and it seems to be working. On Saturday we went for a lesson to ‘tune up’ in time for Saturday’s tests, and Amanda as always knew exactly how to pitch the lesson. The day before I was frustrated by the disappointing schooling session we had at home, so Amanda helped me concentrate on balancing him, and prepping him before each and every movement to give him the best possible opportunity to do quality work. Feeling much more relaxed and on target for the competition after that we set off to Sparsholt (again!) on Saturday morning.
From the moment we arrived Dustry was so chilled, this was his 5th competitive outing and he seems to be really settling into the life of a competition horse. He behaved impeccably in the warm up, no squeaks, squeals or ‘freak outs’, just the odd backwards ear flicker when a grey pony came past us (he isn’t keen on ‘non-bays’ 😉 ). His first test was polite and accurate, but he did get a little distracted when during the last portion of the test a group of students walked down the side of the arena to access their lockers!!! We halted and totally without thinking I saluted with my right hand, which had my whip in it!!! The judge reminded me that I wasn’t to salute with my whip hand and I apologised but the damage was done so we incurred a 4 for our halt as a result. Bad case of rider letting horse down, oooops!
Then back out into the warm up for 10mins then into our 2nd test. This test was more forwards, but also contained a little ‘spooking at a rubbish bin in the F corner’ and as a result we were late on the right canter transition. Apart from that it was an accurate and soft test, and earned us the lovely judge’s comment ‘a happy partnership together’ naaaaaaaaaaaaawww
So the scores went up and we gained 63% in Prelim 19 and 66% in Prelim 15 placing us 4th in both tests! (I like to think we were technically 3rd in Prelim 15 as there were 2x people tied in 2nd place on 66.96%) I am so pleased with him this was his first affiliated BD in the registered section (not counting Area Festivals) and he held his own against the stiffer competition. He has been placed in 4 of his 5 outings now, what a super star! He seemed totally unimpressed with his rosettes, and preoccupied with a packet of polos instead 🙂
So onwards and hopefully upwards as we look for another dressage competition to go to in the next few weeks….