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!)