Wednesday 3rd was the second show in the Evenlode Riding Club summer dressage series. If you’ve read June Dressage – “Needs more work!” you’ll know that the first show wasn’t particularly successful for me. The second show started out even worse!
Last time the panic was all about the ground conditions but this time I barely had time to panic. I was too busy applying for and being interviewed for a new job (which I got, by the way!) I was completely unprepared, having only learnt one of my two tests, and I wasn’t able to leave Pea in during the day so although I had bathed her the night before, she wasn’t going to be clean by the time dressage rolled around. I was also majorly lacking time – I got to the yard at about half 5 and needed to be warming up by 6.. not great. As I was rushing down from the field dragging Pea behind me, I seriously considered forgetting the whole thing. My brain rolled so far down the “don’t do it” train I was right down to “don’t even do dressage anymore”. But I did it.
Quite honestly, I didn’t warm up properly. I walked my way though the test trying desperately to remember it and didn’t give Pea enough chance to soften. Prelim 1 was tense and resistant. There were a fair few times when I put my leg on and she tried to canter. It was a bit all over the place and the actual canter was a bit of a mess too. Hollow, overbent, there was a bit of it all.
I had nearly an hour to wait after my first test before my second one. It was a good job too, I spent the time watching everyone else do Prelim 14 and just about managed to learn it!
I went into the test feeling much more relaxed and although it still didn’t feel great, it was marginally better than the first!
I was relieved that it was all over after all the stress and rushing. I always feel better afterwards and while I waited for my sheets I reflected on my achievements to that point. I showed up, I got on, I warmed up, I remember both tests and we came out of the other side unharmed. I know that isn’t what it is all about but I do think sometimes you have to credit yourself with taking part when the easiest thing would be to not bother.
I got 60.26% on my Prelim 1 with 5s for my canter work (“sufficient” is an improvement on “insufficient”) and 66.54% on my Prelim 14 with a 5 and 3 6s on my canter work (“satisfactory!”) A standard “sweet pony” comment and a token 6th of 6 rosette (for my Prelim 1) tied up my test sheets.
I feel much better about the whole thing now that I’ve had some time to reflect. I am pleased that I got a better percentage and that my instructor told me my canter work had got better. If I can sort myself out so that I’m not so stressed out next time, I might be able to improve AND enjoy the process!