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I’m finding preparing my dressage to music rather more difficult that I expected. I thought it was going to be quite easy — after all you just make up your own test, put it to some music and away you go, don’t you?

Of course in reality it’s not quite that simple and I’ve realised that to do it really well takes up a lot of time. I’ve come to this conclusion since taking Miners Frolic (Henry) and First Flight II (Brendon) down to see Dane Rawlings last Friday.

Thank goodness I did — I never would have managed to get this far without his help. Dane is so experienced and fun to work with, a genius! At one point he got slightly over ambitious with the movements and I had to remind him that I was riding an event horse, not a grand prix dressage horse, but we managed to work out a test that suits Henry particularly well.

I still haven’t decided which of the horses I am going to take and probably won’t until the last minute, but if I do take Brendon I’ll tweak the test slightly to emphasis his strengths and avoid his weaker areas. Suppleness isn’t his strong point, but he is 17!

Once we had agreed on the test, we videoed it and it was exactly four mins in length — I wouldn’t have managed that on my own! Then we headed into the office to put the music with it. I’d brought some music with me that I thought would be really good, but when we put it with the test it didn’t quite work, so it’s back to the drawing board.

Dane is away this week so I’ll be going back next week to finalise the music. In the meantime I’m watching the DVD as often as I can to get the test clear in my mind and come up with some new music. It’s a bit of a ‘Challenge Anika’ trying to watch the DVD while the children are around, as they tend to help themselves to the remote, so I’m watching it in the evening after they go to bed.

Between riding out for my brother and looking after the children, finding time to devote to my preparation isn’t easy. Luckily the horses are both well and things are on schedule, but the event is now creeping up rather quickly. It would be lovely if I didn’t have anything else to do but work towards the big day. This is going to be such an exciting competition, I can’t wait!

Tina

Read Tina’s other Express Eventing diaries