I feel like so much has happened since the show and my last post, yet it still seems like it was only a couple of days ago at the same time. I did buy the saddle! I’m very happy with it too, it’s really helped Dawn and I and has really improved my riding.
The past few weeks have been busy and jam packed with fun adventures. First to happen was Dawn and I’s first off property cross country schooling. Last year I had taken Tribute out off property and was so pleasantly surprised with how level headed he was. Dawn I was not so sure would follow his lead. She is either a rockstar or a nightmare, and I wasn’t sure which one I would be getting.
Luckily I got the rockstar Dawn! We went out to Bronte Creek, and the moment she touched her toes on the ground she was an absolute angel. The cross country course from where we parked was a mission to get to- up hills and down hills. I felt awful for my coach who was walking it, it had to be a workout and a half. Once we got to the course it was quite level, so not much terrain to deal with in addition to jumping.
First we warmed up around the jumps, Dawn had no issues leaving the other horses as I worked circles and serpentines in trot and canter. Then we schooled up and down a small hill, practicing on getting off their backs uphill and helping the horses sit back on their haunches going downhill.
From there we found a nice small log, and everyone had a jump over it. We moved to a slightly bigger log and jumped that. Dawn decided this one needed a ton of respect and over jumped it. She actually over jumped mostly everything and was quite keen to everything, which I am not complaining about. She’ll settle in the more we get her exposed to things. We also popped over a small house, a little baby ditch, and another log. The final step was playing in the water. At first Dawn was a hard no on the water, but our coach gave us a lead in by hand and after a few exuberant leaps in, she was perfectly happy in the water. She even drank from it, so hopefully no more water issues!
The next day we had a riding lesson with grand prix dressage rider Justin Ridgewell. I won’t lie, I was absolutely intimidated going into it. I didn’t need to be though, because Justin was awesome. I explained how transitions are a big issue still with us, so he gave me some great tools to work on our transitions and improving them. One of the biggest take aways I got was that in practice, we don’t need to worry about things being immediate and precise, they have to be quality. I can get the downward transition at A, but if it’s a bad transition I am actually training that. If I waited and got the great transition at E then I am training the right thing. precision will come.
This week we had a lesson with Kate Farrell, which was fantastic. I love being able to ride with her, especially now that we ave a few times because it’s good to check in with our progress. Kate also helped me with my transitions, which are improving thankfully! She also helped me with my canter, which is improving but again, I need more transitions. She wants me to school transitions to help strengthen the gaits, so guess what I’ll be focusing on in training now?
This Saturday is our second dressage show and we’re doing all training level tests. I’m excited to see how we do, and if we can improve our scores from last time.