Saturday, 11 June 2016

First step to Area Festivals

Buddy has been working so well recently I needed to get out and test that I could do it outside of my comfort zone and without someone reminding me of what I need to do. So, I put my brave pants on and entered my first Novice BD test. My single objective was to get over 62% which is an area festivals qualifying score.

We had a lesson the day before and we focused on keeping the hindlegs sharp, practised our counter canter and ran through the test. B tried so hard, especially as the conditions were incredibly warm so I was very pleased with him. I felt very confident going in to the competition.

We arrived and it was very, very warm but reasonably quiet which really helped as I could ficus on my warm up. As it was so hot I spent the majority of my time in walk, making sure he was working over the back and that I had control of his shoulders. Lots of 10m circles, walk to halt, on and back in the walk. He was working so sweetly and I had him as much as I do at home. I was looking forward to getting down the centre line which is unheard of!

I know I get tense when going into the arena so I need to do some extra work on this and this time was no exception, although not as bad as it is usually. As a result B got a bit tense and I lost him a bit but managed to get him back before the first centre line. On the whole I was pleased with the test - I was delighted with Buddy but I made a few silly mistakes which cost us marks. I didn't push for the medium work as I was conscious the heat was having an effect and B's response would be to go down and I wanted to keep him up which meant we got 5's across the board and I made some accuracy mistakes in the 15m and 1/2 10m circles. 

Not looking that impressed with his first frilly of 2016 
I was confident it was a 62%+ test and so was delighted when I collected my sheet to see that we had got 1st place and 65%. Those silly mistakes cost us a serious score but as I'm only in Bronze I don't really want 66%+ scores as those are regional qualifying scores and I'm in the wrong section! I'll see what happens over our next few outings but if things go well I may try to aim for winter regionals but who knows.

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