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Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Dressage Competition

This Sunday gone was our first competitive outing since our first one day event. I decided just to enter a local dressage competition, and while still low key, quiet and good for a still fairly green horse, it had plenty to look at. Nice bright shiny boards, flowers and plants in raised planters in each corner. It also had a shed at C for the judges. All good for Louie's ring/arena experience & getting him to see more, do more and relax in new environments.

I was actually really pleased with how well Louie coped when we entered outside the arena. Yes, his trot became very elevated and he grew several inches, but he gave everything a go! The Louie of last year would have been terrified at everything going on around the arena.

We'd gone on a lovely 8 mile hack the afternoon before, and then with my times on the Sunday, I only needed to wash Louie's tail and legs - I could leave all the platting until the morning & thankfully, we didn't have too many stains to get rid of either thanks for my Shires lycra hood!!

We arrived at the venue in plenty of time and watched a few horses warm up and do their tests. After a quick change (it was a bit nippy!) and tacking Louie up, we headed to the warm up. We started outside, and Louie had a lovely rhythm to his paces, albeit a bit tense, but that soon went. With four to go, we headed inside, where he continued some nice warm up work before heading into the area.

Our first test was a little tense, but Louie was off the leg and obedient, doing a very straight centre line and riding an overall accurate test. Unfortunately, the memory on the phone ran out, so I only have parts of the test. We came out with 67.95% and within 1% of a placing - the standard was really high for unaffiliated with some lovely combinations warming up around us. So I was pleased with our score!

After a bit of a break (we filled it with bacon sandwiches, cups of tea and catching up with friends), we went back for our second test. Again, Louie warmed up lovely, and he went the nicest he probably has done across the Prelims that he's completed. Unfortunately, I was so concentrated on riding the perfect circle, going with the canter and using my outside aids, I started to go round on my circle twice (doh!!). But we soon were back on track to finish a nice test. Unfortunately, the judge didn't seem to agree, and we scored 58.7% which I think was quite harsh for the test we'd done, and in the context of other tests we watched also.

Overall, we had a great day out. I was thrilled with how Louie had behaved, his approach and how he had gone. The venue was a fantastic venue, one which we have hired for showjumping in the past. We're going to try to get out and about more over the winter, so watch this space to see how we get on in our training and the competitions that we take part in!

Hope you enjoyed reading this dressage report. If so, please give Team Tunnah Eventing a vote in the Equestrian Blog of the Year 2016 - just click the image below!

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