It seems to have been on the calendar for months but now were only a few weeks away from the Winter Championships at Hartpury! This week I’ve switched my attention from the PSG level work back to the Medium level work and focusing on the ease of movements.
Juggling University and Training has been a little bit more challenging this week, as were coming up to the end of my second year, this was my last week of teaching lectures and seminars. Luckily, my coach, Emilie rides West once a week as I have full days on a Monday and Tuesday. Being an event rider Emilie’s a lot braver than I am and does a lot of pole work and jumping mixed in with some flatwork. Surprisingly West has really taken to it and is very keen (if not a little too keen at times!)
On Wednesday we went for a lesson with Jane Peberdy. Last time I saw Jane we really focused on slowing everything down and getting West to focus her attention on me especially in spooky situations, even if it means staying in walk for 30 minutes. It was really nice that Jane could see the progress we’ve made and both West and I have slowed down mentally. In my lesson we focused on being in a ‘test riding’ state of mind and how best to present movements to the judge. As I normally train on my own it was good to get lots of feedback and compare what I was feeling to how it looked from C. I took away lots from the lesson but Jane and I narrowed it down to 3 things; Corners, Curb (less of it) and Finish each of the movements properly – remembering that the judge gives you a mark after you finish the movement not while you’re in it!
So it was back home for a couple of days training before competing on Sunday. For the moment I’ve been focusing purely on submission and suppleness in the work. West, as a mare, can come into the school with her own agenda rather than mine so I start every session with the walk work and getting her with me very quietly, then she’s much better in all the other work and I can focus correcting and improving each step rather than trying to be in control!
The warm up at Vale View was probably the best she’s been in the warm up with the only spooking being at a pigeon flying off the fence right by her head. We went to ride through the test for the Winter Champs (M69) and the summer regional qualifier (M73). This calm energy stayed with us though the tests, perhaps losing a little bit of ‘sparkle’ compared to normal but gave me the chance to concentrate on the quality of the movements. Achieving ‘clear round’ tests with West has been a long time coming so to get two in one day was amazing. In a very low scoring class I was delighted with 71% and 70%! There’s still bits to correct technically and little things to think about tactically over the next few weeks so I’m the best prepared I could be.
Next week is a bit quieter with no competitions so instead I’ve booked a test riding lesson with Em at Aylesford to correct some little problems. I’m sure she’ll find plenty of thinks to pick on - someone remind me to keep my chin up and look where I’m going!!
Posted by CMS Admin at 11:23