last couple of months with Anna Jesty
April consisted of the NAF 5* Winter National Championships for Gleavo and I. We wear competing in the Medium Restricted class which took place on the Thursday in the main arena. We traveled up there on the Wednesday to give him time to settle in and get time to relax in the stable which is normally the thing that he struggles with the most. He settled in amazingly well, and whilst still a touch not himself he was so much better which is a real break through for us.
The Thursday consisted of a very early wake up to do the arena walk before all the classes started. He took a little while to settle in as there is so much going on around the arenas but he soon acted like he had been training there all his life. I wasn’t on until about 10:30am and the arena walk finished at 7am so Gleavo went back to his stable to be plaited up whilst I got ready and went to watch a couple of tests, as well as helping my trainer Bruce King with another client of his – Louise Downing – in the warm up.
Gleavo warmed up for his test really, really well and went into the arena full of confidence. We did a mistake free test (with the exception of one simple change where he slightly lost his balance on the transition into it) and the whole team was very pleased with it. Unfortunately the judges took a dislike to us and gave us what we felt was a harsh mark of 62.66%. It may not have been the mark we wanted but Gleavo was so much better in himself which we are really pleased about and hope to continue with as the summer progresses.
Our next goal after the Nationals was the BYRDS inter-county challenge. I had never done a BYRDS (British Young Riders Dressage Scheme) so to go into it as an A Squad rider was a very big jump. I was entered for both A Squad classes (the two scores were joined together and an overall winner decided at the end) which are run very differently to a normal dressage competition. They give 3 marks throughout the test:
- Rider’s seat and Effectiveness of Aids
- Relaxation and suppleness
- Lower back and hips going with the movement
- Rider’s straightness
- Position of head, shoulders, elbows, arms, hands and legs
- Harmony with rhythm of the horse, especially in transitions
- Effectiveness of the aids
- Rider’s Influence on the way of going
- Self carriage
- Rider’s Control of Movements in the Test
- Correctness of movements
The Sunday consisted of my first of the two A Squad tests. Gleavo went superbly, scoring 90.9% with the marks of;
We also did the music Gala that night and did our first run through of our new music. Again Gleavo was on fine form, scoring 67.67% from one judge, 72.67% from the other and 70.17% overall putting us into the lead.
Monday was just the second BYRDS A Squad test. Gleavo wasn’t as good this day and was a bit tired and flat. He tried his hardest though and with a couple of minor errors scored straight 8.5’s (85%) leaving us in the lead in both tests and overall with 20 points. Due to this I got invited to perform in the BYRDS Gala Evening at the Badminton Dressage Championships but unfortunately we will be unable to attend.
I have also secured a lovely new sponsor this month – Dolly’s Diamond’s. Please visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/DollysDiamondsFollow us Share this