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Sunday, 14 October 2018

#Blogtober Day 14: What did I do today?

So, I’ve cheated a little bit with this post… From the title, I should be writing it at the end of the day to let you all know what I’ve been up to. Well, I’ve been to Morris Equestrian in Kilmarnock for our Area Festival Final so this is a pre-written post, but I’m sure we’ll do a full competition report as soon as we are back!

As I sit here on a Thursday evening writing this post in preparation, here’s how I hope our day will go. As it is a three hour drive to Morris Equestrian, I decided to stable on the Saturday evening to avoid a crazily early departure should we get a time in the morning. Last year, we stabled at Bishop Burton & Louie was excellently behaved and I found it really easy to get him ready the morning of the competition.

This morning (Thursday) I found out my time for Sunday would be 10.59am – it literally couldn’t be a better time. Prelim Silver showed as the second to last class of the day, so I was slightly anxious we’d end up with a time like we did at Northallerton (8pm!) with then the thought of a 3-hour drive home afterwards.

Andrew and I have booked into a hotel just a short 5-10 minute drive down the road – it looks quite fancy, but there was no way I was staying in my non-living horsebox in the middle of October! It means I’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep, a good shower in the morning and a lovely breakfast to set me up for the day

Checking with the venue, there is an arena walk at 8am available for up to 1 hour. So my plan is to head into there for 30 minutes at the start of the day. I’ll have already given Louie’s socks and tail a good wash before leaving on the Saturday, so hopefully it will just be a case of combating a few stable stains from overnight on the Sunday morning. Then we can just plait as normal.

If you saw our dressage competition report from last week, you’ll know we’ve tried to adapt Louie’s way of going & the way that I ride. Couple that with a session with Cathy on Monday working on becoming more flexible through the contact, I’m planning to warm up for around 25 minutes – I have to also consider he isn’t clipped.

What do I want to achieve in my warm up? NOT to become fixated on this elastic contact thing. If I start trying too hard, this will happen - it will become a mess and we won’t ride a relaxed test. I’m going to use my warm up to get Louie & I as loose and relaxed as possible, getting him sharp off the leg and driving from behind. Fingers crossed it all goes to plan!

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