Last nights training session left a lot to be desired, at one point I was sat on Mr Oranges head after a buck to put any bronko to shame. No idea where this sudden cocky behaviour has come from - defo not pain - all checks been done. I think he is just feeling very well and loving life.
So we are plaited and ready so its time to pack the lorry - I've forgotten my jacket. This is not the first time either so i am really annoyed with myself.
So once the boy is loaded in the lorry with everything else we drive home and collect my jacket. Luckily we have a yard at home too so there's plenty of space to spin the lorry around and /Mr Orange the great traveller he is does not mind at all and waits patiently.
Everything now on-board and we are on our way - Arrive in good time and off he comes screaming his head off and grown to around 18.2 great!
Routine goes out the window but we are all tacked up. I give him to my faithful driver and pray he hangs on to him - no loose pony please.
I take a few deep breaths and begin to dress myself. Once ready I begin telling myself what ever happens keep smiling, its first time out and just a bench mark for what we need to work on.
I decide its safer to lead Mr Orange to the arena and get on inside rather than at the lorry and ride through the field to the warm up. He is looking fresh.
Time to practice what I preach as once on I need to abandon our normal warm up of stretching and keep a contact just in case, he feels hot and spooky - He does seems to be happier with me on board after a few laps so I allow him to stretch for a while before we begin our working in.
The last few weeks we have been having problems with the first ask of the trot button and once I ask he has been bronking and bouncing so I gentle ask and sit tight!
He picks up trot and is floaty and perfect! GREAT. GOODBOY.
We work in and he is lovely - attentive, forward and relaxed which considering their are 8 other riders in the warm up area of 20/40. After a while a couple of people leave so I take the space to push for a little medium trot and he falls apart - crap I think. This is not expected as our trot work has been great except the first transition. So I work on getting him more supple and swinging more with some long and low. I then prep our socks off in the corner and push across the long diagonal - That's better he pushes and opens up for a great medium.
I keep a keen eye on the time throughout our warm up and then its time - My lovely helper rubs him over with fly spray and takes all our boots off and we are ready. I let him stand and have a little pat and chat when we are approached by a lady who tells us how beautiful we look and how lovely Mr Orange is - oh and the trot she says wow!
Filled with such lovely comments and a good warm up confidence is up and its time to go in!
We make our way in and begin trotting down the long side and OMG there are a heap of show jumps piled by
the arena - I hear Mr Orange whisper - I'm a dressage diva what are they??? Poor boy is now tense beyond belief and feels tight and inconsistent to the contact.
I do my best to settle him and the bell goes - we are in the corner in walk and not ready but I circle round and push for trot - he obliges so we head down the centre line - he is speedy and strong! Still tense and eyeballing the jumps.
The test is nice as it has things at almost every marker so in a way this is good as it keeps us both occupied however there's not much time to prep such a tense boy.
The medium trots are good I'm pleased. Bits of the test are very accurate and our downward transitions are very uphill. He rears on the first canter ask and has his knickers in a knot but I push when the medium comes and this then allows for me to collect him back up and he settles somewhat.
We then come across for a simple change and the loudest alarm goes off - poor boy melts, I can feel him looking for comfort from me. We press on and bang out a rather abrupt but square halt to finish.
I am so pleased with him - he really did try and despite everything I am chuffed with our test and the way the day has been handle.
Back to the lorry for a good cuddle and change. He seems very pleased with himself too so I'm thrilled.
I send Ryan to collect my test sheet so I can continue telling the boy how pleased I am with him.
He comes wondering back with my sheet and I am eager to see my score and comments. I'm not at all fazed there is no rosette as I am more in for the training and comments.
I am absolutely knocked off my feet when from behind Ryan's back he pulls a lovely red rosette - We won. I can not believe it and shed a little tear in Mr Oranges mane. So proud of how far we have come in such a short time.
The sheet is excellent a couple of 8s and our lowest mark a 6 and only one of those.
The comments at the bottom "Many more marks to be had once he is more settle and consistent to the contact"
I could not be happier! First comp done and a win at 68.4%