Well, I have now done my first dressage test at Badminton! After the monumental stress of the trot up, Jeans’s dressage test seemed positively relaxed and chilled.

Jeans is rather prone to getting over excited and tense, which shows in his tests. With this in mind, I decided to work him first thing in the morning in the indoor school where there were less distractions so we could both concentrate on his rhythm and his test movements. For the test itself, Jane Gregory very kindly made it up to help me warm up. Then, time was up and in we trotted onto the hallowed turf that is the main arena.

Jeans was a really good boy. He stayed relaxed and rhythmical and so really allowed me to ride the movements without him being over sensitive. We did make a couple of small errors; I let him get a little flat into his first flying change and so he was late behind. Otherwise, however, it was the nicest test we’ve done all year. For our efforts, we were awarded a 53pen score. Not a bad start!

On Friday night, we were all very kindly invited to a champagne reception in Badminton House by the Duke of Beaufort. Although all of the reception rooms were open to mingle, the house was absolutely packed with competitors, owners, officials and guests. It was a great way to let everyone have a chance to meet and chat in respectable surroundings!

As I mentioned in my blog a few weeks ago, World Horse Welfare made a trip up to meet me back home. Here is the video for everyone to view! Please, if anyone who reads this is visiting Badminton and has a few minutes to spare, do go and visit the World Horse Welfare team at their stand. They will be delighted to talk to you.