Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Dressage Report!

We finally had a show that didn't get cancelled due to bad weather! It was the Hinckley Dressage show held this past Sunday at Blaby Mill Stables where we FINALLY got to do our Prelim 1 test.

We had been schooling regular since my last lesson with Lili and we have been working OK but not brilliantly. I'm still struggling with the right rein and my right shoulder back and it's not helping that Hattie is moulting and coming into season which causes her to not concentrate!! We had one episode during schooling where she tried to gallop around the school because the a goose flapped it's wings in the goose run next to the school despite her seeing it EVERYDAY. I was side saddle and had to pull her up quick as she slipped and went to go down with me on top of her. Grrrr...

I booked the indoor school at Blaby Mill on the Saturday to get one practise there in before the show but Hattie's mind wasn't on the job (ears pricked forward, looking for her boyfriend Charlie who was left at home) and my right shoulder wasn't co-operating either so things didn't bode well for Sunday.

Things didn't get much better on Sunday as Hattie wasn't playing ball that day. We hacked to the show and Hattie wasn't even forward out hacking. I was frustrated so my position went to pot during my test but we managed to get through it without mishap with the exception of Hattie not wanting to pick up the canter on the right rein at H. In the warm up, all she wanted to do was race around in a trot with her head up and ears forward looking at everything and this spilled over into the test.

I HATE it when she gets into that mood as I usually take her for a gallop around the fields near me to get it out of her system so she can concentrate. No one has been able to ride on those fields at the moment due to gypsies keeping their stallions and mares on there illegally. There has already been two accidents with the herd charging at people who have tried to ride in there so for now, it's off limits until the council gets them removed.

Our marks weren't too bad, got a 7 ("fairly good"), five 6's ("good") and three 5's ("sufficient")for an overall score of 58%.

Our collective comments were "A nice partnership! Just needs to be more supple in the bend and have cleaner canter transitions (these are things Lili and I working on). Well tried."

Here is our test:

There are also some photos taken by the show photographer here (I am in the second row from the bottom) and some candids here (second, third and fourth row from the top). It looks like I am looking at the camera in some but I'm not, I was watching the tests after me, lol!!

Despite everything, we didn't actually do to badly. We came 7th out of about 10 or 11 riders which surprised me as I thought we'd come last (I was first in our section) as with each horse and rider combo that came after me, my heart sank a little lower as there were some seriously nice horses and riding going on! There were also quite a few riders using our class as a warm up for the higher tests so Hattie and I proved we can hold our own against the big guns with only one leg on the side, lol!

I am pleased how we did and the comments reflected the things that Lili has been working with me on so we shall continue to work on them (I need to strap my right shoulder back!!). It's good that I've had a lesson once a month and Lili has been drilling these things into me as we probably would not have done that well on Sunday if she hadn't so we'll get there one day!

On our way back home, I let Hattie gallop for a bit along the grass verge as she tried really hard today. Unfortunately, our rosette went flying off of the bridle so we had to stop and have a dog walker pick it up for us!!

Hattie back at home with the rosette safely back on her bridle...

I think that is it for dressage for us until the fall though as the showing shows start in March and the family that own the stables were Hattie is kept, generously said that they would bring me to some shows this spring and summer depending on their schedules. We are hoping to get to the Burbage Riding Club show on March 25 all being well, so fingers crossed!

Hattie and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE showing shows and plan on doing Best Turned Out, Style and Appearance, Best Riding Club Horse / Pony (this class has one jump in it so best start working on our jumping again), Best Senior Rider -over 14yrs old (this may have a jump in it and I will have to check to see if I can enter this class side saddle), In Hand Best Condition and In Hand Best Veteran 15+ (Hattie is 16).

I only had one bridle that I used for shows and side saddle schooling but on Friday, I decided to treat myself to a new show bridle for Sunday's dressage show (and for the shows this summer) and got myself a new Jeffries flat hunter bridle for a BARGOON price! The tack shop near me, sells "factory seconds" components for Jeffries bridles so I sat down and pieced together a bridle for Hattie as she needs a full size crown and browband, cob noseband and pony sized cheek pieces. It took me an hour and a half to make up a bridle as not all the size and color combos were available but managed to luck out with getting all mine to match eventually so basically got a customized £100 bridle for less than half price just because some of the stitching *may* be crooked or there is a tiny scratch somewhere. Just need to save up and get some nice extra long show reins now.

Looks nice, doesn't it?

With the pelham...

With our show snaffle...


  1. Great job Lei! I can definitely feel for what you're going through, my new horse has her ADD moments where I'm just not sure where her brain has gone! It's frustrating!
    The new bridle looks good!

  2. Forgot to say, I LOVE the candid shots of you & Hattie!

  3. Thanks Michelle :) LOL @ the ADD moments :) Darn mare kept trying to RACE everyone in the warm up too!!