I realised the other day that we haven’t been out to a competition for 9 months! Wow – that’s flown by, I didn’t realise it had been that long. My aim for Saturday was to really concentrate on my relaxation, breathing and position in the hope that this would also relax Saf and allow her to have a nice experience. We warmed up in two halves, first half was better than the last time, we came out for a minute when it got busier and Saf started to get worried about the other horses. Went back in and it was just like we were schooling, you can see in the photos after we went outside, she just went down and round – I was thrilled! Came out feeling really good and wandered calmly to the arena.
So intent was I on remaining relaxed, and Saf certainly felt more relaxed than 9 months ago, it was at the expense of some judge’s comments ‘could do with being more forward’ – argh! Do they prefer her to be loopy? Anyway, I was more than happy that I wasn’t going to forget the test so I felt like the first half went quite well. We got to the first canter and I lost the correct bend, which wasn’t entirely unexpected as we’ve only just cracked this at home. This put me off somewhat and the rest of the test was tenser with incorrect bend. I wasn’t sure at the time how to fix it as I would normally calmly circle at home to get her pointing the right way. But we did nail the halt and get a 7, which I was pleased about given our previous record.
Overall really pleased with myself and Saf. I got the whole relaxed thing sorted which definitely transfered to Saf. I also definitely recall breathing! Next time I will definitely monitor what my blinking inside leg is doing! I will ride her trot more forward but whilst keeping my relaxation. We got 58.75% which I think was deserving given the incorrect bend stuff. At least it was 3% higher than this time last year. There’s so much to work on, but given these issues seem to only really pop up at competitions, I’m going for maximum exposure and going to head out to BG every two weeks in the hoping of ‘curing’ us! – Emma