Yesterday Galahad and I were at another dressage competition. As it was a small, friendly event we had a go at doing two Prelim level tests – we normally do one Intro and one Prelim.
Cantering is not our strong point – Galahad’s weaker hindquarters makes it hard for him, especially picking up the correct lead on the right rein. However, it is good to push yourselves a bit and I thought we were up to it.
Galahad felt pretty relaxed in the warm up which was a good sign after our last outing. Something spooked him just as we were entering the indoor arena though so we shot in at ninety miles an hour and it took him a while to settle again. I did for a minute think we would have a repeat of last time but once we got going he went really nicely.
It only took two attempts to get the correct lead on the right rein but I was so focused on that I muddled myself a little and cantered our circle in the wrong place. Other than that it was a nice test though. We scored 62% – which for us is good at Prelim level – and came in fourth.
Our second test was better navigationally and felt really good to ride too. It took us three goes to get the right canter lead but otherwise I was very pleased with it. Our score was 64.8% which gave us sixth place. Both tests got us some nice comments from the judge but as ever we need to work on getting Galahad responding better to my leg and covering the ground more. We seem to have managed to crack the straightness issues we had so I’m sure this will come in time as well.
Mainly though, I was pleased with how relaxed and calm he was. It made for a lovely day overall and the dressage classes were almost incidental.
It was an odd thing for us though to be competing later in the day. Most of the time I am hanging about after my classes but this time Galahad was loaded back onto the lorry almost as soon as we finished.
Partly that was to keep the ponies warm – the wind was a little chilly – but it was also the end of the day. Once the ponies were loaded there was only one test left to watch. It made me feel very grown up!
It was a great day which has given me a lot of confidence that if we work hard we can improve and do even better in the future. Definitely something to work towards!