This month I learnt a lot. We had great success last month winning our Limited Prelim 2 class with our personal best score of 66% so I was eager to keep the momentum going. This month we entered Prelim 7 and we also entered Prelim 1 as it was a special Christmas fancy dress class.
We had already done Prelim 1 as our first ever entry to online dressage in September, so the test was familiar. It is a straight forward test and I remembered the feedback that we received from the last test. But I must admit the tinsel and Santa hood made it a bit harder to see where I was going & hear Katie calling the test than I expected! Although despite that we managed to film a nice test. I knew it wouldn’t be a 66% scoring test but certainly not a bad one.
Then came Prelim 7. Now I had picked Prelim 7 as it looked very straight forward. All you really have to do is change the rein in trot and canter large. When I choose this test in my head I had visions of Mya and I doing a wonderful test as the movements were very simple. WRONG! In fact this test did not suit Mya at all! Mya quite frankly found the test very dull and when cantering large really didn’t want to stop. She tried to do some medium trot paces every time we came down the centre line and each walk to trot transition, she thought would be more fun to do walk to canter. It was frustrating. It made me tense and that made her worse. I was feeling more and more aware of how much of Katie’s time we were taking up as she had kindly said she would film us. We actually filmed this test about 3 times on the Friday and were not happy with any of them. We reconvened on the Monday and filmed a nice Prelim 1 straight away. Then had exactly the same problems with Prelim 7. We filmed it another 4 times and I just could not hold her back from doing all of the same mistakes. I must admit it was tough as I sooo wanted to do a good test but just didn’t seem capable of it. I felt like I had ridden like a sack of potatoes on the Friday. I seemed to just become a passenger every time the camera came out, for fear of being marked down if I looked like I was having to ride her. I felt much more confident on the Monday, but even then I just couldn’t get her to not anticipate the movements. In the end the more wired Mya got, the more impossible a good test seemed and we had to settle with an OK test. It was really frustrating as I felt like I firstly had picked a test that really did not suit us and felt silly that I hadn’t thought of that and secondly felt like we had made such progress recently to then be incapable of doing a good dressage was flat out annoying!
Katie did remind me that we are doing this for fun and I realised that perhaps my competitive edge was getting the better of me. This did also make me think that we only did start doing online dressage in September only 3 months earlier so to expect brilliant results straight away may not be that realistic in a very strong field of competitors.
However we got our results on December 1st and to my utter surprise we came 3rd in Prelim 1 with a respectable 64.74%. For Prelim 7 we came 12th with a score of 61.14%. I was very pleased with that score as honestly I thought it would definitely be a sub 60% test. In fact the class was spilt into 2 groups and if I had been in the other group I would have come 10th with that score, which bizarrely made it the best we have come so far in the restricted Prelim classes.
So, a lot was learnt this month. On a positive note hard work pays off! The hours of riding paid off and in fact I may well have been being a bit hard on myself. However, I knew we could do better than the tests we did this month, but reality is with any horse they are not machines. I will not get an amazing test out of Mya every time particularly if I ride like a sack of potatoes!!