Last weekend I felt we really turned a corner in our training... it is very early days and we are still getting to know each other but - despite the hideous weather - we definitely took it to a new level. We are all very excited for the future!!
With Hartpury looming, I entered Pyecombe 2 day dressage competition this weekend - virtually 3 months to the day since I got Skye! I opted for a couple of Elementaries in the unaffiliated sections each day to relieve any pressure of the results going on Skye's BD record... (O ye of little faith!) On Friday I was really pleased with his overall attitude going to a new venue & dealing with the ever present windy conditions. The first test went well... I deliberately kept it low key to gauge whether he would stay relaxed in the arena. His only 'moment' came when the judge beeped her horn to start the test & he leapt into the air but when we entered the arena he got on with the job! With only a few minutes between tests I was concerned I would go wrong in the next.. a negative mindset - big mistake! I did go wrong!! A few mis-signals but there was lots to like and I was very pleased with him.
To my amazement we won both sections! It was a complete shock - I saw others having difficulty with their horses in the blustery conditions - so that was a double gold star for Skye!
Saturday - forecast was meant to be fine... and it was to start with. My plan was to step up a gear and put a bit more "chilli in the mix"... Andrew's well known phrase! To that end I had a friend read the tests so I had no worries about losing my way (pathetic I know but I am a bit ring rusty after 9 months!!). The first test went so well... more power and very accurate. We had over an hour between tests this time so Skye went back in the lorry to chill. And then the rain came! It was really blustery weather when we got him back out and he was a bit wired with the horses in the lorry next to us creating merry havoc kicking their box to pieces! Getting on was tricky but thanks to Angela and Rachel we got him away from the commotion and once I was on he was fine. The second test was even better so I left the arena very pleased, regardless of the results. Imagine my utter surprise when we got another 2 red rosettes! The object of the day was primarily to improve on the day before (one different test and one a repeat) and that we well and truly did!
To ride four tests with four different judges - all giving constructive criticism and positive comments - is hugely appreciated - full marks to the organisers at Brendon Pyecombe!
BUT this only happens in your dreams... right??
Such a positive start!! Hartpury is now only 2 weeks away and it will be a big ask for this little chap but feel it will be a good experience for him and help to cement our partnership! We have lots to work on going forward - there is so much more to come - no pressure just little steps...