March 10, 2009

Solway ODE- Princess

Princess was the last one of my lot on in the dressage. After I'd saddled Alfie I set all the gear for the other horses in labelled piles to make sure I'd be organised for the rest of the day. Princess warmed up calmly, but her and Prince were calling to each other and so sometimes she would get distracted or try to nap towards him. Generally she was pretty good though, and no worries with going into the rope arena (she's not seen a dressage arena before).
She was soft for parts of the test, and stuck her head out a bit for other parts of the test. Overall I was quite happy, and we managed to get transitions in the right spots. We did have a sticky canter strikeoff which I had to bring her back to trot and try again. But I think she coped well with the situation while in the arena. Once she got out all she wanted to do was be near Prince again!
As she's not yet done a full course of showjumps I wasn't sure what to expect - but she was a little gem! She gave me a clear round and even got through the double without too much trouble (chipped in an extra stride, but hopped over the second element cleanly).
Of course Princess also hasn't seen solid fences - and was still a bit nappy towards Prince while I was warming up. But once we got to the start she was focused and on-task. She trotted confidently into the first fence and never looked back! Though she did do a wee leap off the little bank which I wasn't expecting which resulted in me landing on her neck most ungracefully! But we picked up the reins and continued on our way.
I was really pleased with how she didn't seem worried by the different types of jumps - even things like tyres she was fine with. And the little staircase at the end she didn't leap off like the earlier bank. I think she is a fairly quick learner. I was stoked to come through the flags with a clear round! A double-clear for the little mare who has never done a full round before. Certainly happy with that.
Princess has now finished her basic schooling, and will be heading back to her owner to get a bit more mileage and some time for everything she has learnt to sink in. She will do some CTR rides and outings with a young girl who will be taking the reins on her.


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