Yesterday Myself and Pea (and the rents) ventured out to Houghton Hall near Huntingdon to do their unaffiliated dressage seeing as now I work at the weekends I cannot compete. We did the Intro A and the Prelim 14 even though he hasn't cantered properly in the last few weeks due to various reasons (slightly lame, frozen arena's) but I didn't want to travel all the way just for one test, well I hate doing one test anywhere to be honest!
61.3% - 6th. Judges comments: "Attractive pony showing some pleasing moments now needing to work with more impulsion especially in the walk and more suppleness. Well done."
Overall I was reasonably happy with this test. Yes it was afar cry from what he could produce and he was rather forward going, spooky and didn't bend correctly but considering he hasn't been out since August and there was a lot of building work still going on and it was a much different arena to what he has been used to, I think it went okay. He found the corner between M & C rather scary where the sunlight shone and his attention was elsewhere, but hopefully if I can try to get him out more often again then he'll soon settle again and produce nice tests!
66.66% - 1st. Judges comments: "Attractive pony with active trot. Not really co-operating in canter today! Canter needing more impulsion and less bucking! Well ridden."
Wow. I was so surprised when I saw that we had come first! This is the horse who finds it so hard to canter, and at home we have endless battles where he can't canter more than 10 strides easily! Obviously we still have lots to work on in getting him more comfy to canter and therefore straighter and able to bend better but I am so proud of this little horse for his ability to come first and qualify for second round trailblazers which is something I had on my list of plans for 2013! There were so many other nice horses in the class and I even started from last place when I was trying to find my score sheet and was beginning to think they hadn't put mine out!
Paddy is honestly such a superstar of a horse and it just shows that a lot of perseverance can pay off! I have had people tell me to sell him as he won't achieve what I want, and maybe he won't but I've revised my plans and now make ones each year that are more achievable and hopefully in the next couple of years we'll have plenty more firsts (this one was his first win!) and I aim to affiliate him with British Dressage in a few years time!
Laura & Pea x
Ps. There will be video's of these tests on my youtube within the next couple of days so I will post links when they are both up :)