Wanneroo Combined Training

After our positive experience in Saturday I was looking forward to applying what I learnt to a different competition in a new place. We had a very civilised dressage time, so we had a relaxing start to our morning and arrived with plenty of time for me to ride Henry and gauge how he was feeling before actually needing to warm up.

Henry came out and he was completely different from the day before, much more like the horse I have at home. He felt a little bit tired so after a quick walk, trot and canter on both reins I put him away and let him chill out. I got on again about half an hour before my test and slowly warmed him up.
Unrelated picture of our chickens on a wall

Henry felt amazing. He was soft and swinging, in front of the leg and in self carriage. It was the most incredible feeling! I was also remembering to use my outside leg in the canter and we were getting all our transitions. We were ready to go at our ride time and I felt like I was sitting on the winning horse.

Instead of going when we were ready, they were running about 40 minutes late. I tried my very best to not over cook Henry, but by the time we went in he was done and there wasn't a lot I could do about it. He just wanted to canter everywhere and wasn't very open to any suggestions I was making.
How Henry felt in the warm up

I came out of that test so disappointed and angry. I wasn't angry at my horse, but at the injustice of it all even though I know these things happen. I felt like my horse had a bad experience because of poor organisation and communication, and another rider being sent before me out of order. I was also a bit worried that this negative experience will translate over the next time we compete.

After I cooled off a bit I realised that it's more than likely Henry wont care next time we are competing and that shit happens. I know that my horse only needs at the most 30 minutes to warm up and in the future we will check if they are running late before we start getting ready.
Accurate representation of Henry on our test

We waited for ages to jump and I was so tempted to just go home, I wasn't feeling it at all. I stuck around though and eventually got ready and headed back out. Henry felt tired but he had forgiven me for earlier, I was relieved and kept our warm up short.

I felt very nervous before I went into the ring, and I didn't ride as well as I could have as a result. The jumps were all tiny, which was good but we just had one rail where Henry was a bit lazy with his hind leg. It was a pretty cute round, fairly polished and I remembered to give with my hands much better. It felt easy and I think that's the main thing!
Small, boring, easy jump

Henry felt confident through our round, and he feels more than ready to start jumping bigger jumps out and about. We didn't win anything because of our crappy dressage but I learnt quite a lot.

First and foremost, Henry is ready to go eventing. Everything feels very easy for him now and things will start to fall into place more the more we go out and do it. Secondly, I need to jump at home way more. I went into the arena and didn't feel super secure because we have been putting out effort into flat work. It's great that it's been paying off, but I have to keep jumping too. Henry needs to be worked before a show, and ideally needs lunging or riding before we compete. He isn't afraid of warm ups, and would prefer a busy space where he can see whats going on to a quiet space that he can't see everything from. I also know that our ideal warm up is about 20-25 minutes.

It ended up being a much longer day than I had anticipated and overall I was disappointed in the outcome. I had entered this show to help boost our confidence before Gidge and I feel less confident now. However I need to move on from there and focus on the positives and trust my training. Henry proved to me this weekend that the training is solid, even when he was feeling reactive and fresh. He was throwing himself about on Saturday but listened to me when I told him to knock it off. He was grown up enough to settle down and work properly and that's a really big deal.

I did find some dressage and jumping the weekend before Gidge because I was feeling concerned about Henry's reaction to dressage at Gidge. However we have a clinic this week and then Jonna coming back out in 2 weeks, so I know my confidence will be boosted from those lessons. I think I will just do my homework and prepare at home, and come out at Gidge fresh and ready to put our best work forward. We are ready, we have done all the work and now we just have to put it to the test!
We are ready for this!


  1. sorry it didn't all go to plan, but he definitely looks good and ready for more!

  2. i hate when time messups happen (I am fine when it is 15-20 minutes any longer and there is an issue with show management) glad you found some positives and you guys have this!! you will do great!!

  3. Delays can be so frustrating. Riders time the warm up so precisely that 40 minutes is a big deal. I’m glad you were able to go out and have a good jump round though


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