very belated BD Winters report!

Jango

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Our first 'big' stay over show was the BD Winter Nationals a couple of weeks ago, we had qualified for the Petplan Novice Restricted I was mega excited to a. have qualified in the first place and b. my horse had recovered from his unidentified lameness in time to get him fit and ready! I scraped through qualifying in 4th place (with a score that wouldn't have got a wildcard) so I was just hoping to ride a good test and not embarrass ourselves! The run up to the show had been a bit of a disaster, with a lesson from a list one judge leaving me feeling like the worst rider in the world, then a personal worst performance for us at a BD. But a lesson 2 days before from my fabulous regular instructor got me in the right frame of mind and convinced me we weren't that terrible!

Me and a lovely super groom friend drove down the day before, with the lorry absolutely full to bursting as neither of us had done a lorry sleepover so we had no idea what we would need!! Jang was super chilled when we arrived and got him checked in to the lovely permanent stables, bought Jang some holiday haylage so he was super happy and munching away! We watched the evening performance which was fantastic (apart from the Leaping Leprechauns which was just weird!) really enjoyed the Anna Ross-Davies demo and thought she would be a fab person to have a lesson from. With a test time of 8.35 we we're up pretty early, did the arena walk (no problems as expected) and got ourselves ready! I was pretty stressed out by the time I started warming up, I put so much pressure on myself to do well and tend to get it in my head that we're totally useless and should just go home! Luckily my super pony ignores my stressing and gets on with the job! With 10 minutes to go and a pep talk from super groom (including a list of 'things to remember' from our instructor) I realised Jango was going nicely and I was damn well going to enjoy the experience!

Into the test and I felt it went really well! Our main weakness is our medium paces, they are coming on slowly at home, but not on the button and ready for a test yet. But other than that I felt like I rode an accurate test and Jango tried his little heart out :)

Video here - it's in two parts as my mum was wrestling a new camera!
Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuCYkgLWDgc
Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytS2gKrdlKY

And a picture I bought - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?...0989409142115.409902.507712114&type=1&theater I love how uphill he is here!

Lots of carrots for Jang and took him back to his stable, went to check scores to find out we we're on 65.13%! Really happy to get that sort of score at this level! A longggg wait to see if we would qualify for the second round and we ended up in 8th in our section and I was over the moon! My mum was over the moon for us too and treated us to a gorgeous Le Mieux gel pad with sheepskin (after I pointed out all the posh horses in the indoor had them :D )

Left Jang to chill for a while and then got ready for the afternoon, I tried to have the attitude 'we never expected to get this far just enjoy it' but my competitive nature took over and I got stressed out again :( I need to get this under control so if anyone has any tips for relaxing whilst warming up (i'm fine in the actual test) Jango was a little tired so I popped my spurs on to wake him up a bit, which resulted in a bit of tension and rushing so worked on that in the warm up. The steward called my name 10 minutes early and I panicked, but it was still a test and a half to go before me so I had plenty of time to get him forward and listening.

Second test I felt wasn't quite as good as the first, but I was still pleased with most of the work. I honestly have the most fantastic little horse who is proof you don't need a warmblood to do well in dressage at the lower levels. Had a hop up to canter in the trot/walk/trot and the FLWR wasn't as good as the morning but I felt some of the trot work was slightly better.

Video here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxfDfu7O_OU

Scores went up and we got 65.48%, which I was really happy with! Yes it would have been lovely to improve in the second test but we weren't far off! After a while to wait it turned out we we're 17th :) not bad for our first 'big show' out of 60 starters! Attempted to pick up my sheets and they had lost them! Waited an hour to find out they had stapled them to the back of someone else's! I agreed with all the comments (needs to be more supple and needs more push/ground cover in mediums) apart from hurried in canter, which I got from 2 of the judges, I thought his canter was positive and energetic but obviously a bit too much! We got lovely comments at the end of the sheets, with 3 out of 4 judges commenting on our great partnership, with one saying 'you appear to be friends' which I thought was fab :) I loved the experience and a big goal for us would be to ride in the 'main' arena one day, a girl can dream!

I'm off to Arley Moss tomorrow to do a couple of Novices working towards Regional qualification, then in the new season (June) we will hopefully do some Elementaries and a couple of BE80Ts over the summer! eeek! Any advice/strategies how to be more chilled in the warmup would be greatly appreciated :)

Thanks for reading, dairy milk on offer today :)
 

Jango

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14 July 2010
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Thank you everyone!! I'm really looking forward to cracking on with the Elems actually, I'm enjoying the harder (37,38,39) Novices now and preferring the long arena too :) And well done star! It was such a fab experience!

We won our two Novices at Arley today so that's 10 points towards Regionals too :) I've got one more show I can make before the end of May so I need to keep everything crossed for a good score then!
 
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