I got Packenham (Paddy for short) - an ex point-to-pointer in May of 2012, after having a break from riding of about 20 years. There have been some ups and downs (mostly downs) over the past 18 months & this is our journey together from Paddy being a racehorse to hopefully eventually a riding horse!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Dressage diva

Well off we went to the Balsham & District Riding Club dressage competition last Sunday. It was the first competition that BDRC had run & I had a major part in organising it, so not only was I riding my daft thoroughbred, but I was meant to be running the day also - must be mad!!

I plaited him up the evening before so that he did not anticipate a party!

Got there in plenty if time & put everything where it needed to go & sorted out the judge, writer & stewards. Then had a cup of coffee & then got tacked up & ready to go - the only drawback was that I had got my time wrong & ended up with about 10 minutes to warm up - he then napped all the way to the arena & we had to be led there.....slightly embarrassing!! He was the calling for all his new best friends - he only has to pass another horse & they become his new best friend!! Consequently his first test (intro b) was tense, but not too awful considering. We got 60.43% for 4th place out of 5 - the judges comments were 'lovely horse & rider combination, sympathetically ridden, a little tight today, but shows huge potential - well done. 

Had more time to warm up for the next test, which was a classical riding club walk trot test, where the rider is marked in their riding far more than in a british dressage test - he was better in this test and he got all 6s & 7s, but I managed to get all 8s & 9s for my riding, which I was over the moon with - for a final score of 84.39% and first place out of 10 - Whoo hoo!!! Judges comments were 'professionally presented test, now needs to show more engagement and suppleness in the back & hind leg - well done'.

Then onto the third test which was prelim 4 - the first prelim he has done in a competition (mind you he's only done one other proper dressage competition!). We got mostly 6s & 7s, a couple of 5s and a 4 for his second canter because he struck off on the wrong leg. He felt ok in this test, though again he was paying more attention to his new best friends than concentrating on what he was meant to be doing - got 60.90% for 4th place out of 9, so pretty good for a first prelim. The judges comments were 'some loss of balance at canter today, but a pleasing test throughout. Now needs to improve strength and engagement behind'.

So overall I was really pleased with Paddy - he behaved himself.....apart from being very vocal! So for a first outing since he went lame (other than the few in hand classes last summer) I could not have asked for more. 

I know I need to work on Paddy's engagement & get him using his hind end & back more, but as he gets stronger through schooling, pole work & hill work, this should improve.

Apart from being chuffed with my boy, I was really pleased with myself, as I got all 8s & 9s throughout all the tests for my riding, and was the only rider to have got these marks.....having Sarah nag me is obviously slowly sinking in!!

Paddy showing off his frillies :)

Everyone had a good day & it was a very successful first competition for BDRC :)

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