Thursday, 1 June 2017

RDA Regionals 2017

This year's regional show has now been and gone and it was a fantastic day. The sun shone brightly all day, everyone rode amazingly and it was a lovely friendly atmosphere. Plus, I got some good results!
The shield, blue qualifier rosette and one of the red rosettes are all for showjumping.
I'm writing a report on the whole event which will be available on the RDA East website as soon as possible (as soon as I'm sent all the results...) and I've already written about it on my more 'professional' website (https://lambequo.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/may-news-round-up/) so this version will be a bit briefer because there's only so much time I can spend writing about one event!
First off for me was the canter test on Boysie. He's sometimes a bit behind the leg so I carried my whip for about the first minute of the warm-up, but it soon became apparent that this wasn't necessary - he was very excited by the presence of all these new horses and people and lorries so he didn't need anything else to wind him up any further! After a few jumpy moments he settled into a nice warm-up with a lovely relaxed canter feel.
The test itself went OK, although the indoor arena was already incredibly hot even though it wasn't yet 10am. The only major mistake was that we broke canter on the right rein but we did get it back so it wasn't a disaster. Boysie was quite above the bit so we didn't get the nice relaxed posture that he is technically capable of, but I was happy just to join the dots and not make a hash of it! In the end we came first. It's the first time in three years of trying that I've won this class and I knew that this year was my best bet (a far more willing horse!) so I'm pleased we made it work.
After that I got on Rolo pretty much straight away for my trot test. He was feeling good in the warm-up - not silly, and he was really working hard to respond to me in the downward transitions and was moving away from the leg nicely in the corners and on the turns.
The first part of the test was an entry in walk down the centre line and I just stared at myself in the mirror above the judge's head making sure we were staying as straight as possible and that I was sitting as straight in the saddle as I could. It wasn't perfect but we got a 9/10 so I was pleased with that bit!
Our worst part was the halt near the beginning of the test, where Rolo clearly felt that he'd only just got going and wasn't interested in stopping. It included some unintentional reinback and we only got a 4. Apart from leaning on the bit somewhat during the trot, however, he was pretty good apart from that and we won that test too! Our score of 70.8% was enough to win the cup for the best senior dressage score of the day too.
 
Since my two tests were out of the way early I was able to spend the rest of the day watching and cheering on my friends. Absolutely everybody made me proud and I spent the whole day (even before discovering my results!) going around in a happy, contented frame of mind.
With Jodie :)
From Claire having her first ever canter (unintentional, and off the lead rein, AND she sat it like a pro) and Rebecca and Jodie doing their first unled tests to seeing the creativity displayed by Chris and Aynsley in freestyle dressage tests to music, it was just a lovely celebration of all that the RDA can do for people, and all that RDA riders can achieve.
Aynsley with Ruby - who is pulling a silly face!
Now I just need to work out which test to do at Hartpury - I can only choose one, but I'm pretty sure I'll do the trot one with Rolo - and start practising it! The accommodation is now booked and work has agreed to let me have the Thursday off so I can travel up in good time for the showjumping on Friday. I'm very excited and looking forward to what should be another memorable event, not least because there will be a huge contingent of qualified Cambs College RDA riders heading west!
I do love this little horse.

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