This week, Evenlode Riding Club held the first show of their summer dressage series in my yard’s front field. I have been taking part in these since the first summer I was riding Pea (with the exception of last year when I had to attend on crutches!) so although I’ve done a few competitions this year, this was the show I was really looking forward to.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that the few days before the show had me in a bit of a panic! It had been raining solidly for days and I was really worried about little barefoot Pea slipping over!
The morning of the show was no different and I got Pea in at 6 to wash her legs before work. She was actually shivering, bless her!
She stayed in during the day in an attempt to stay clean but I did have a few messages through the day telling me she was feeling a bit “bright!” Another bad omen!
After work, a quick groom and a speedy warm up, a thankfully quite calm Pea and I trotted in for our Prelim 7. I have to say that the only thing I thought about as I went round was “what do I have to do next?” and “which way am I going?” My brain couldn’t cope with the arena being the other way round from our arena on the yard (as in A was north east rather than south west!) Does anyone else have perspective issues?
Anyway the first canter kept breaking (because it was meant to be a right canter but was actually a left canter) and the second one didn’t so I was feeling quite chuffed (until I realised that was a right canter when it was meant to be a left canter!) At the time I was really pleased that I had got through the test without falling over or forgetting it (though I did nearly forget to salute!)
I had to quickly get my head in the game for the slightly more complicated Prelim 12 which seemed to go pretty well until the right canter which broke, turned into a left canter and ultimately ended up as a trot. By that point we were both a bit tired and we just about kept her going to the end.
I didn’t place. I wasn’t bothered about not getting a rosette but I was pretty bothered when I realised about that whole canter on the wrong leg in my Prelim 7 which, until that point, I had thought was better!
I got 58.41% in my Prelim 7 and 60.74% in my Prelim 12. Naturally I had a “lovely pony” comment (how could anyone not like Pea!?) but the comment that stuck in my brain was “needs more work” about my canter in the Prelim 7. Yes. Obviously it needs more work. Maybe I took it personally because I’ve been “working on it” for years. I know I need to “work on it”. I had a hip replacement so I could “work on it”. Being there and doing it was “working on it”!
After reading my sheets I then had a look through the pictures Alex took. All I could focus on was my left leg; knee very bent, heel up, foot stuck in stirrup. This was my second wobble of the evening. Something else I need to “work on”!
Then I kicked myself. A year ago I couldn’t move my left leg, I should be able to forgive it for moving in the wrong way for a bit longer! I am happy I didn’t wimp out and I’m glad that my parents were able to see a less spooky dressage test after the one they saw in April. I am pleased I managed to remember two tests and ride some “satisfactory” and even “fairly good” movements. Certainly a start to the series I can “work on”!