Sunday, May 15, 2011

Waihou Dressage - 15.05.2011 (First placings)

Having had a dreadful week riding Sampson, I almost chickened out of taking him.

Basically, as I was still feeling vulnerable, I was allowing him to bully me to some extent, which made me more tentative, enabling him to play around yet more.

My WONDERFUL instructor Wendy, came with us, and the difference having her there was amazing. She worked me through some disengaging first, then flexing him which softened him through the neck and shoulder, taking his power away, and putting me back in the driver's seat.

She then warmed me up for his first test, and we only had a couple of baby skedaddles, which I was onto pretty quick. The key was also I think being told to push myself (and him) out of our comfort zones - dare him a little.....basically start RIDING him!

Unfortunately I think we were about the only ones to get rain for our test, but all in all it wasnt too bad. I started to feel more confident as I went along, which then meant I rode less tentatively, and he went better.

Actually better than I had thought, for 69.58% and 4th place!!

Some good comments and 4 x 8's.
Only really lost marks on one movement getting a 5 for an early transition to walk.

7 for Paces, Impulsion, Submission and Rider.

Second Test
Again Wendy helped me warm up (and again I struck the rain).

He was far more relaxed to start, and I really felt like I was starting to ride him a little, and asking for more forward etc.

I was really pleased with how he went, and apart from a couple of parts where he slipped, and on one fell back to trot as a result, I felt he had done a reasonable test.

Yay: scored just over 68% for 3rd (less than 1% off 2nd and First was on 71%)

So I have had my first dressage placings on Sammie.

All thanks to Wendy!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Woodhill Sands May 2011 - Training

OK: This was supposed to be an easy run to finish off Sammie's first season on a good note, after his fall at Te Rapa.

However, going into a competition somewhat 'expecting' to do really well is probably not the best attitude. Because when it turns to custard (and it's a when, not an if with that kind of attitude), it leaves one feeling a little flat.

So, having thought I had this dressage malarky sussed, I was expecting to do a good test, and get a good mark. Unfortunately, nobody told my horse the plan. He just thought it would be a great day to display his sense of humour and take the mickey out of his rider. The fact that said rider was still sporting a damaged shoulder and was feeling rather vulnerable made his mission that much more fun.

At one stage I was spinning round in small circles at the canter, having lost my stirrup, sitting perched and panicking as I was SO scared I was going to fall off and do more damage to my shoulder. (When all the time I should have sat up, stopped flapping around and actually given him a kick in the guts and told him to behave)

A million thanks to Donna Smith who was kind enough to help me and warm me up - I think I was just about on the verge of calling it a day if it wasnt for her intervention. VERY much appreciated!!

I am pleased that I did actually do my test, and it FELT dreadful....he felt on edge the whole time and did do the odd skeddadle, but I did do all the movements kind of at the right time and in the right place. Some movements he actually did do well, and got some good marks. Of course he came last but the mark wasnt nearly as low as I had expected.

Funny enough when I watched the video, I was surprised that the test didnt look anything like as bad as it felt, and there were indeed some good bits. What really hit home to me is that I could see that I simply needed to start RIDING him, and not allow him to play on my insecurities and feeling of vulnerability.

I had walked the show jumping and cross country, and thought it was very small. The SJ would probably have been a good chance to practice riding it well - lines, the right canter, etc etc, but I do wonder if there would have been anything to gain from doing the XC - except give him a run.

And also interestingly enough, looking at the results, had he finished on his dressage score he would have placed....ha ha...just goes to show.

Lesson learned - have the RIGHT attitude to start with (and don't allow your horse to dictate how you ride - just keep RIDING!)