A picture says a thousand words, and certainly the one attached to this post does! We had a fab day at Bluegate, beautiful weather for a hack again and I’m feeling more relaxed every time we do this. Arrived in good time, but got chatting to a few people which caused me to be late getting back on, so only about 20 minutes warm up. Saf was feeling even more chilled in the warm up so I concentrated on getting her bending and really thinking, so lots of serpentines and circles. Oddly she got more tense as time went on (I think this happened last time), and as we headed to the test (joined by Phil – Upperlochton Fergus – The Hot Blooded Highland) despite me feeling totally relaxed (!) Saf wound herself up as we go into the arena.

The horn went pretty quickly so I didn’t have any time to calm her down, so the first part of the test felt very quick! As I mentioned previously we were doing P13 this time, and as I don’t have a lot of experience getting 20m canter circles right, they did all go some odd shapes! Good points were, despite the tension, I felt I had Saf’s attention more than previously; the free walk was much better, no looking around; and we nailed the halt! Third time lucky! Things to work on: again, relaxation, and canter circles.

I wasn’t sure what to expect as it was a different judge this time, though Claire informed me that judge was smiling as we left the arena – I wasn’t sure what to think of that, though I was grinning like an idiot after we got the halt. Suffice to say I was gobsmacked and very chuffed to discover we posted 62.5% and 1st (out of 2, but not first by default!) I think the judge was a very generous one, but it really made my day and I had some lovely comments. I’m not sure ‘pleasing harmony between horse and rider’ was how it seemed from my viewpoint, as I was desperately trying to stop Saf leaving the arena as we cantered down the long side towards the gate!

Interestingly, later today I got my Dressage Anywhere result for the same test, performed at home, and we posted 62.08% so a consistent day!

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