April 13, 2009

Onslow Lubrisyn Dressage

Had a massive sleep-in this morning (which was very much needed and appreciated by both rider and photographer... and probably by the horses too - I reckon they were getting rather sick of being woken up by the glare of torchlight and the jingle of halters a few hours before sparrows fart each weekend). We were off down to Ohariu Valley for the Onslow PC Lubrisyn dressage tournie. It's a really fantastic event spanning from PC blue book tests right up to Medium.
Xev did a couple of Novice tests and I was stoked with how she went. She came 3rd in her 2.2 and 4th in her 2.4, with scores of 55 & 57% which I thought was great for her first time doing a dressage test. She even picked up 7's for her leg yielding and got some lovely comments. I need to do some work on finding her buttons for the lengthened strides though! That should up our percentages to make her very competitive. Xev got big cuddles at the end of her tests as I was so proud of her.
Dani did prelim 1.2 and actually went very kindly. There are some real moments of a lovely easy horse, but again it's that lack of impulsion that is letting us down. As a rider I am often guilty of not riding horses forward enough - so hopefully working on Dani will give me a good opportunity to focus on that aspect of my riding and improve. I also got to meet Dani's owners, which was great, and have a good chat about our plans for him for the rest of the month (Dani is going to do some eventing! see if we can get him to bowl along on the XC).
Cutie-Anna just did one test, the novice 2.2 in the pipe arena. She was really calm about the whole thing and I had a lot of fun on her. Her leg yeilding was really tidy, as was her sitting trot work - and her regularity of paces really improved towards the end of the test (she must have been figuring out what it was all about). I got to meet Anna's breeder too, which was great! Anna came 4th with a score of just slightly over 50%, which I thought was a good starting point with lots of things to work on and only improve from here on! After her test (she was my first ride for the day) Anna spent the rest of the day tied to the truck, eating hay, and getting cuddles from everyone who passed!
Neo was actually really awesome in his first test (prelim 1.2) - quite relaxed and starting to get a bit lower in his frame. I was stoked and his mark was 55% which is a very respectable mark for him at prelim level. Then I thought I'd be fancy and put the dressage saddle on him for the next test - which turned out to be a pretty bad idea - my test sheet has the comment "buck not required" haha - yes, I thought so too! Next time I will stick to his jumping saddle and halfpad - they might not look the part, but what keeps Neo happy keeps me happy! I had a blast on him anyway, and it was good for him to have an outing with no jumping (even if he was quite confused to be loading at the end of the day without having jumped anything).
By the end of the day we had a 5th horse tied to the truck, who will be coming to spend some time at Odenhills. You'll see an update on 'Dixon' tomorrow after I have my first ride on him!