Trailblazers Dressage @ Kingswood EC

Venue: Kingswood Equestrian Centre
Discipline: Dressage – Trailblazers 2014 Qualifier
Test: Prelim 1 Judge Jane Ratcliffe
Percentage: 69.47% Place: 3rd (Qualified)
Discipline: Dressage – Trailblazers 2014 Qualifier
Test: Prelim 13 Judge: Trish Wright
Percentage: 69.17% Place: 3rd (Qualified)
Finn was pretty relaxed and happy when we arrived today, she seemed quite laid back and stood quietly at the back of the trailer whilst she was tacked up – she is getting so much better!

Both tests were 2014 Trailblazers qualifiers, we had already qualified in May at Field House, but I didn’t register my win, so we had to re-qualify.   She warmed up well in the indoor school for the first test (Prelim 1), but in the outdoor she was distracted by the stack of show jumps outside the arena; I rode her forward and managed to maintain her attention.  The test was ok – I didn’t feel that she went as well as she has been going at home the last couple of days – but this is the first time she has had the drop noseband on since riding her in the hackamore – I have been riding her in the flash and maybe it suits her better?  Will have a play at home.

The test was going fairly well until movement 8 – the free walk on a long rein.  The movement is to ride a ‘V’ shape on a long rein through K-B-H, Finn decided that there were gremlins in the flower pot at B and spooked, disrupting the rhythm.  the judge’s comment for that movement was “slight spook at B, but good over-track and stretch”.  I was pleased with how she recovered and regained her attention after that.  The Judge’s comments were: “Active test all on correct scales so far.  Now needs to work more thru the back and neck to develop suppleness and lightness of forehand.  A nicely presented test”.  I was really pleased with the marks – straight 7’s except for the spook which gained us a 6, and 69.47% overall – the highest mark I have had from this judge.  We must be improving!

I am still a little bit cross about the second test: felt we were sabotaged (again)?!  As we started our test, a random person was walking up and down alongside the arena talking (shouting) on the phone in a very loud voice and gesticulating wildly.  Finn was very distracted by this and consequently was a bit tense and spooky.  I managed to keep her clam until movement 9: the free walk on a long rein where she spooked by the F marker at the woman on the phone waving her arms about!!!  After I had finished my test (the woman conveniently finished her phone call at the same time), I called to her and was about to let her know my thoughts on her behaviour.  However, the judge got out of her car and gave the woman a telling off!!  The judge said that it was not a level playing field, it was unfair to me and that no-one else had to contend with this (she seemed as cross as I was).  She told Lynsey that she was considering stopping the test – sending the woman away – and asking me to re-start.  I was furious after I had put Finn away when I saw who this woman was with – mentioning no names, but this is not the first time this person has done this to me……….

Again, I was so proud of Finn for coming back to me and listening after her fright, we got a 5 for the FWLR (worth double points of course!!), but got back up into the 7’s and even had an 8 for the following movements; clever girl.  The judge’s comments were: “Lovely test, very well ridden!”

At the end of the class I approached the judge to thank her for her support, she made some very nice comments about Finn and the way I handled the situation and my positive riding, she also said that it was a shame we weren’t doing the Novice test as she would have enjoyed judging us again.  I made some comment about not being able to do a Medium trot and she commented that some of the trot in my Prelim test was getting on for Medium – there is hope for us yet.

We qualified in both tests today – just need to get my act together and register now!