Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Side Saddle Dressage, what test?

We've had a spate of bad weather here in the UK for the past month which has meant I have not been able to ride since December 12 as I don't have an indoor school and the field has been too icy and hard to ride safely in it. Everything has thawed out now this week (hopefully for good!) and was going to borrow my friend's outdoor school to try and get some riding and schooling done for the spring dressage shows.

I'm looking at the show schedule now and there is an Intro A (walk/trot) test on February 7th that we can do and then there is a Intro B (walk trot) test on March 7th that we can do as well. The March 7th show, also has an easy Prelim 1 test but this requires left lead cantering. Hattie's left lead canter isn't her best lead and it's iffy when riding astride and non-existent when side saddling. It is something that I had wanted to practice over the winter but with the rubbish weather and work, I've not been able to get the riding in that I wanted.

We have done the Intro A test three times side saddle before (I've gotten 7th, 6th and 8th places for that test) so I already know that test (I need to work on my circles and not letting Hattie get strung out and sluggish at the walk) so I reckon we could do that as a season opener so to speak. Then it leaves what to do in March....

A) Do the Intro B test side saddle and then switch tack and do the Prelim 1 test astride?

B) Just do the Intro B test side saddle to keep Hattie and my brain from getting fried learning too many things at once (I don't know the Intro B test and it has more circles and bends which I suck at anyways) but still keep practicing cantering when schooling?

C) Only do the Prelim 1 test (and forget about the Intro B) in March astride?

At first I was going to do "Option C" but thinking about it now, with the lack of riding I've been doing because of the weather, maybe we should just do walk/trot tests for now and just keep practicing left lead canters and aim to do a Prelim test with cantering in the summer.

Sounds like a plan?

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