Dressage report - a good day for the cart horse


Well-Known Member
20 April 2011
The last outing of 2016 has been done! This season has generally not gone to plan with only 3 outings and several (very expensive) cancellations due to a self harming cart horse but given that this time last year we didn't know if he would ever be sound in trot I'll take it.
On Friday I got a text from my instructor letting me know she was the judge - cue a bit of a panic as BP hasn't been fit enough to have a lesson in about 3 months but she knows how well he can perform if I just ride him properly. So Friday night was spent getting a last practice in, bathing the enormous, hairy white stockings and plaiting up. For me this is unheard of - I own a cart horse so I have never really learnt how to plait but his mane is too short and patchy at the minute to leave down and look presentable. I got home at 10 pm to have my dinner and then, with a beer, set about tack cleaning...
The alarm went off at 6.30am and it was back to the yard. My plaits were still in, his legs were still pretty white and we were good to go.
I went to hitch up to the trailer and managed to crash the car into the hitch... It's hubby's car and he is quite particular about it. I swore LOUDLY and then burst into tears. I immediately rang OH and apologised profusely though tears - he was really good about it. I think he knew how much I just wanted to be out. Turned out there wasn't a mark on the car but it was not what I needed.
Hitching mishap overcome, I grabbed BP and headed to the trailer - BP historically doesn't load. IT can take quite a while and usually requires help. But I was flying solo and had left plenty of time... BP got to the bottom of the ramp, stopped, had a little think and walked straight up!!
The day had already been all the success I needed. BP was shiny and clean, sound and had loaded.
We arrived with tons of time so I unloaded and let the big man have a little walk and suss out the venue. Loads of liveries came to say hi and admire him. At 18.1 and fluffy footed he tends to stand out!
Then we found it was indoors... I know his whole life story and he's only been in an indoor twice in his life. He's not nervy or panicky but this isn't a bright indoor so I'd just have to see how we got on.
A great warm up, more compliments from other competitors and spectators and my support team arrived - hubby with the 3yo twins! I rode in and we were off. INTRO A. Not exactly the most exciting for a spectator but the big man felt good enough and we didn't make any major errors so I left the arena with the usual smile on my face that we'd had a go. Plus with only 6 entries I was guaranteed a rosette - always nice to know I'll have a souvenir at the end of the day.
30 minutes break and we were back in to do P7. Unfortunately with a lack of fitness his canter work has gone back to huge and plank like. But his trot work is ok and we no longer have lead leg issues so it was just do our best and crack on. Same as the last one, we got through it with a smile on our faces and went to untack. There were 7 in the class including some very nice horses and talented riders so I was just hoping to smidge a rosette if someone had a bit of a mistake.
I was blown away to discover the big man had won the intro with 65.75%! A red rosette for twin 2 - she was happy, I was happy. We decided to hang on for the rest of the Prelim as the organiser told me I was already ahead of another horse so definitely in the rosettes. My little boy was desperate for a rosette in a boy colour - blue, green or yellow - so I was busily persuading his sister if I got pink or purple she'd have to swap with him. I certainly didn't think I'd be getting a second red rosette! 65.87% this time! Wow, just wow!
Twin 1 wasn't happy - he wanted a blue or green or yellow one. There were a lot of tears!?! Eventually I agreed I would swap it with one of my old ones for him to have a green one and I'd keep the red one?! There is literally no way to please kids.
Then the real cherry on the top was that he just WALKED straight onto the trailer to go home!!! That's worth more than any percentage or rosette ever could.
Days like this don't happen to people like me. SO thank you for reading to the end, I'm just very chuffed with all that my boy did and had to share it somewhere.
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Well-Known Member
14 December 2009
well done what a brilliant day out and great results!

as a previous owner of a terrible loader, I can totally relate to your elation at the stress free loading !!!!
your post had me smiling all the way through, I do think we need some photos though .. :)


Well-Known Member
18 August 2016
Fab report - rosette drama really made me laugh. What great results, both comp-wise and loading, you must still be smiling now! He's very handsome too :)


Well-Known Member
14 August 2011
Goodness, he's a whopper! I can imagine you did stand out, but in a good way.

I def sympathise with the washing and plaiting malarkey. I have a grey poo monster. I never did long hair as a child, which is my excuse for being terrible and slow at plaiting. It takes me forever to prepare and I do wonder if it's worth it when the alarm goes off at some ungodly hour, earlier than I get up for work!

I love your report though and so many good points to take away, even before you got the awesome two red rosettes. Funny your son is less impressed, but we are ! Well done.


Well-Known Member
7 December 2008
I'm very much a lurker but I have to say, isn't he is gorgeous?! Very well done on your fillies too. Just goes to show cart horses can too!

I can also sympathise with Twin 1 - I'm hoping that if I compete again that I get second and then I'll have a blue to go with my red, yellow, green, orange and purple! "I need to come second", said no one ever!