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Last month we were finally back competing at Prelim! We filmed Prelim 12 for our first test of the year with our fantastic sponsors EquiMind. Scottie has been going really nicely recently, but with the horrible and unpredictable weather we have been having, we have only really been riding at the weekends in the daylight. This meant that in typical me style, filming our test was left until Sunday afternoon, the last possible time I could film it!
Also in true EquiPepper style, leaving it to last minute meant that fate was not on our side. On the way to the yard I was told that Scottie was going stupid in his field – never a good sign! And while he was fine when I arrived, he was incredibly spooky and I knew he would be difficult to settle… and I was worried that our test would resemble a worried giraffe!
SO to distract myself and give Scottie plenty of time to chill, I whacked out the matchy gear – because you get extra points for that right? By the time I had rolled up the bandages I had casually thrown back into the packet Boxing Day and managed to bandage Scottie’s legs, we were both a tad calmer.
Although once I was on, Scottie did still take a long time to settle. I could feel him looking for something to spook at and he wasn’t really listening to me at all. So I quietly worked on warming him up on a long rein and he started to feel really nice. Since he was actually relaxing and listening to me, I decided to just go for it and film our test, despite not have worked in quite the way I had planned.
Our test felt nice too. He was forward and rhythmical and he was listening! We had an unlucky trip on a nice change of rein and picked up the wrong canter lead at first. But it all felt very relaxed and fairly accurate, so I was happy.
Watching it back, I could see that he really wasn’t round at all, despite giving me a nice contact. I think I just needed to shorten my reins a bit as he was working into the rein I had given him, but because he had finally relaxed I didn’t want to change anything! But despite my long reins and his nose pointing, he did drop down into the contact a few times throughout the test, although most of them seem to be when we turn away from the camera!
And despite not being round, for the majority of the test he hasn’t got high head carriage and he looks very comfortable, our canter also looked the most relaxed I think I have ever seen it. So while it isn’t our best work, I think it is a really nice benchmark for our first Prelim after our setbacks last year. So all in all, riding it and watching it back was fantastic to do before going to our first proper show of the year this weekend!
We scored 60%, which along with our tests at our first show the following weekend, seems like a good benchmark for returning to Prelim after Scottie’s time off! The judges comments were also fair. Although our collectives were maybe a tad mean, I feel a few extra 0.5s were needed here and there, but that might just be me.
Our Collectives Were:
Rhythm: 6 (12)
Suppleness: 5.5 (11)
Contact: 5 (10)
Rider’s Position: 5.5 (11)
Rider’s Results: 5.5 (11)
“A lovely horse with potential!”
You can watch our test below: