Well, was due to go to Badminton to watch XC today so when that got cancelled wondered what else we could get up to. Our dressage has been slowly improving but still needs lots of work so elected for some unaffiliated dressage at Merrist Wood. We did N35 last week there at the BD and came =2nd on 66.92% under List 2 judge so feeling more confident about what we're producing in tests these days. Looked at the tests on offer for today - thought about the prelims as that is what we have to do eventing but they're a bit boring so looked at the novices. N27 fine - good practice for RC Champs in a few wks time. N28 - boring test. Feeling brave looked at the Elementaries. E42 - looks a lot more interesting than N28 and no harder than N39 which we've done before so put my entry in! Then this week discovered I had to teach the orange one how to halt half way down the first centre line and how to do walk to canter right as not really done either before.
So, we started with N27. This seemed to go quite well. Haven't really got a medium trot yet and our final halt was skewiff but otherwise not too bad. Amazed to find out we came equal first out of 20 with 65%. Judge is List 5 and not renowned for being over-generous so very pleased with that score from her. She said "A lot to like and work with. Just losing balance at time and some transitions could be smoother"
First centre line:
Non-existant medium trot:
Bit of canter:
So, then onto E42. A week of trot to halt, halt to trot and walk to canter had improved these elements but nowhere near established yet. First halt he stepped one way and the other before managing a lovely square halt, then failed to do a medium across the diagonal but it picked up after that. Walk to canter right happened albeit a bit stickily. He went a bit wild in the first medium canter but otherwise all went well. Slightly tired by the end - not ridden an Elem since Dan 6yrs ago - forgot how much harder they were! We had a List 3 judge who said "Fair test showing some nice work. Needs to take more weight behind for the medium work". We scored 64.1% which I was gobsmacked with. Just got 5's for first medium and walk to canter right. Plenty of 7's though - all of his canter left work, both his half 10m circles followed by counter canter, FWLR, 6second halt etc. 7677 collectives. We were 3rd out of the 10 people doing the Elem. It was a mixed class with Novices and Mediums too and we came 6th out of 15 altogether so very happy with that. He has come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of months - really pleased with him :biggrin:
Will have to put our success today down to our fun jumping lesson with Richard Waygood yesterday - always puts him in a good mood. Have got some direct links to the photographer's website. Please excuse the severe lack of matchy matchy - will never make a show-jumper out of me. I do appear to have learnt to control my arms/legs/head etc over a jump these days though - god what a difference from a few yrs back!
Jumping largeish upright on a circle:
Jumping largeish upright again but turning the opposite way afterwards:
This is my fave one - attacking the oxer:
Jumping angles - this is 2 fences on acute angles with 3 strides between them taken on a straight line down the centre of the school. quite a challenge but Monts has done this exercise before so it's just fun for him.
First one - love the way he's got his toes touching!
2nd one - interesting jumping style from the orange one but we let him jump the way he likes coz it works for him!