A weekend of dressage - Part 2
Sunday was a training and protocol day at the club! Our first outing that wasn't a lesson since March and I was looking forward to it to see how our training was progressing. I entered to do two novice tests, one protocol and one training test right after.
Henry spent the morning relaxing in a yard while I helped out. I did a little bit of shopping and then got tacked up and ready to go. Henry was pretty chill but slightly more on edge than the day before. He was listening and willing but I felt like I wasn't being the most effective, I kept my warm up focussed on transitions and exercises I have been doing in lessons to work on suppling and changing the bend and flexion.
Our first test was really tense. Really tense. And you know who made it that way?! ME. Dammit. I think as soon as I headed around the arena I froze and it showed. Our marks reflected the tension and the only feedback the just had for us was that Henry had to be rounder and I needed to allow him to come round and move.
We had one rider between our two tests, so I spent the time calming the fuck down. I relaxed my body and I felt Henry go thank god she's realised we are fine. I think I am the thoroughbred in this partnership haha!
The second test was so much better! Obviously there is heaps to improve still but relaxing meant all my marks showed a significant improvement. I focussed on relaxing my body but still demanding Henry stay on my aides. However the difference was as soon as he did as I asked, I released and let things happen.
The judge didn't hold back in her marking, and it the tests were a vert realistic reflection on what we are capable of at both ends of the spectrum. I now have definitive evidence that I freeze up before we do in to do a test, and I've felt the difference. For future tests I will remember the difference and chill the fuck out a bit more. Ah dressage, you never get any easier!