Sunday, 18 August 2013
[Competition Report] Vale View 10.8.13
Oops, this is a bit late! So last Saturday we headed off to Vale View for the dressage again and the classes were a lot bigger than we are used to with 30 in the first and 27 in the second! Yet, surprisingly, when we got there, there wasn't actually as many people around as we expected, especially considering there was show-jumping going on as well! With so many people in the classes, I obviously wasn't expecting to place but I was hoping to do some nice tests...I think Pea had other ideas!
Pea warmed up really nicely I felt, obviously his canter was a bit off as we are still trying to work on it but I went in feeling a bit confident and hoping he would perform okay. I felt that the start went nicely, not great but he was listening and starting to soften a bit. Then we hit canter and things went slightly downhill but he still cantered, although, unfortunately, we ended up doing the majority of right canter on the incorrect lead. I have mentioned before that when schooling, Pea often finds it really hard to pick up the correct canter lead on the right rein, and even when he is on the correct lead he can't sustain it and soon ends up falling back into trot or doing a really horrid, hardly moving, canter. At the end of the test the judge got out of her car and commented about our right canter and mentioned about needing to keep trying, which I totally understand, however, she then went on to call me ignorant for not coming back into trot and that it's dangerous for him to keep cantering on the incorrect lead as he will fall. Again, I completely understand that him being on the wrong leg is dangerous, however, it's easier said than done about bringing him back into trot and trying for canter again as he gets really worked up and just pulls. She then went on to say about how to work on it, which was nice, however she wasn't listening to me when I told her that we've tried poles, that I don't school in a field (let alone one with ridges which she continued to talk about!) and that my instructor and I are working on it. By the time she had finished, I was starting to get upset about how she had continued to go on and I was half thinking about her getting on him to see just how difficult he is for the correct canter lead. When I got our score sheet back there were a few comments about the first part of the test that I didn't agree on, saying he was tense and not bending properly, yet I felt that he was showing some correct bend and I'm sure he wasn't tense! We came away with 52.8%, yet surprisingly didn't come last..just second last!
I had an hour and a half to wait between my first test and my second test, and by the time I got on to warm up for my second test I had put the first one behind me. Again Pea warmed up nicely, but this time when we hit canter he went all silly and put in a small buck or two. When we went in for our test and started trotting around, Pea automatically stopped listening and I tried a few transitions from trot to walk but they didn't seem to do much good as he just shot his head in the air! I knew this wasn't going to go well! There are very few comments on our score sheet throughout the test, and he mainly got 6's for the first range of movements. We then hit right canter and again he struck off on the incorrect lead, so I came back to trot and tried again, he eventually got correct canter on the circle to then buck which I pushed him forward from but instead he decided to let out a bigger buck, unseating me a bit but luckily I stayed on and gathered ourselves up to try again. Unsurprisingly he only scored a 2 for the two canter movements, but then recovered himself to get 6's again before hitting left canter. This went slightly better, though he was tense which is normal for his canter so I'm working on getting him to relax more and realise that canter isn't so bad. He then finished nicely with a straight square halt, obviously making up for the rest of the test! The judge's comments were that he was "very tense - at times quite naughty and some irregular steps shown, need to relax more", all of which I completely agree with..but as usual, easier said than done to try and overcome! (This was a different judge by the way!) We score 52.9% so not great but considering he bucked through it, a reasonable score!
I have decided to have a break from competing and really work on his canter and this may take quite a few months but he's on a bit of a boot camp. He is fine cantering out hacking, and weirdly he will happily canter on the right rein round the whole of the arena a few times, yet the left rein he finds it hard to canter half the arena...therefore making it really difficult! He's getting better on the lunge and not falling his quarters in quite so much!
Thanks for reading,
Laura & Pea x