Crystals in Kellerberrin

This weekend just gone we headed into the Wheatbelt for a dressage competition in Kellerberrin. We left Perth on Friday arvo for a very pleasant drive with two dogs and Henry and arrived to some very warm weather and lots of flies!

Henry was his usual chilled self in a new place and we had a brief ride to see the sights before I gave him a bath and half plaited him ready for the morning. Then Andrew and I took the dogs to my Grandmas house where we would be staying. Rosie was thrilled to see Grandma and loved exploring a new place!

Saturday I had 3 tests all 50 minutes apart starting from 9am. I was a bit slow finishing plaiting but managed to pre ride and plait and get on for my actual warm up at the time I had wanted to. Henry was great for our pre ride but when we got down to the competition warm up he was quite over come by the atmosphere and got really tense.

We warmed up for our first test as best we could but he couldn't relax so our first test was about riding the horse I had on the day and just trying to do the best we could.  We did the right things in the right places and we even managed some good stretch in the walk but our transitions were all a little explosive! We scored a very fair 55% and came away with a positive experience.

After our test I took him out of the main arena and offered him a drink but he wasn't interested, and I got back on fairly quickly to see if I could convince him to relax a bit. We did some lateral work and he started to take a few deep breaths, and I could feel his body loosening up.

Our second test was so much better, still a lot of tension but a lot softer. Our stretchy walk and trot was great and it felt like an accurate test. We scored 62% and won the class! It amazes me that even when Henry is tense he still scores well, and our judge is a very renowned judge and part of why we came!

Before our last test I hopped off and let Henry graze near the warm up to try and get him to chill out. 20 minutes before our final test he  was looking relaxed and I went to remount when we spotted some trotters training in a neighbouring property. That tipped him over the edge and all the relaxation went out the window. I worked with him on the ground and he was happy to focus on me but when I tried to mount he couldn't stand. I persisted with the ground work and got him to the point where he was standing still enough I thought I could try and get on.

Our last test of the day actually felt the best, although it scored similarly to the first. We managed the right things in the right places and I rode forward and confidently.

It was one of those days where nothing went to plan but I just had to ride the horse I had on the day. It  was a great learning day for Henry to see new sights and I was so proud of him. He tried his absolute best and always listened to me and although the environment was really overwhelming he stayed with me the whole time. I also never once felt nervous and wasn't scared to push Henry forward when I needed to.

We ended the day placing better than I had anticipated, with 2 firsts and a second. We scored some great prizes and the whole competition was well run and everyone was so friendly. We will definitely be back, and hopefully next time Henry will be more relaxed!


  1. Nice!! Esp when Charlie was super green I loved doing multiple tests on him bc that first one was definitely kind of a throwaway score lol. Sounds like Henry settled in great!


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