Novice 30 Riding Club Teams

February 24, 2018

Positivity Slump: A day of lots to like but also lots to not like !

The day started off so well. 5am Alarm and I sprung out of bed ready to go

It was cold but the sun was out and I wanted to give Alfie lots of time to stretch off any stiffness so we left a little extra time for hat tagging and passport handing in.

When we arrived no one was on site so I had to leave Dad in charge of getting hat tagged whilst I tacked up. Car park was frozen and tractor was harrowing the arenas so another delay. Luckily I had remembered the hot water bottle so we waited in the trailer.


I officially love my saddle. Once on and in the warm up we took an unexpected quick dash across the arena with loose girth but saddle hardly moved. Phew. Dad recalled for girth duty, every time I leant forward to do up we moved off as Alfie was on super sensitive alert to the cars/lorries arriving and going over the crackling ice puddles.

Secure and ready and after some attempted stretchy stretchy we started the active warm up and Alfie felt good. But then I had to stop as my left hand was so painful in the cold I started to feel a little sick from the pain. I have a fairly high pain threshold, so I know its time to stop when I am struggling.

Circulation back to all systems go and off into canter and into the squares with some leg yield to help activate the stride and even out the contact.


So, what went wrong between warm up and the walk to the arena. Considering recent issues, I thought it all went rather ok and finished with a decent halt and a smile. I am normally quite good at score predications, but I didn’t see the 62% coming. I have given us maybe a small 64%

I was kicking myself for a few silly rider errors considering all the work Cara has put into our recent training sessions, I should have known better. The Free to Med Walk was verging onto eggshells but I remembered to own it and we recovered it. Unfortunately, I made the silly mistake of allowing the walk to canter transitions to hollow as I tipped forward and threw away the contact.

I was pleased with the Med work. The trot didn’t completely die but I did forget the half halt and rebalance. The canter return to working was controlled without argument, but I had a mini panic on the second one where you have to quickly return to trot and down the centre line. Disappointed with myself for pulling back on the reins and using my body to control the pace.


So here we are in a bit of positive slump. I am competitive but hadn’t gone expecting any wins, although I thought we were possibly competition ready to at least pull off a small 64% with Novice 30

It is a lot to ask of Alfie to have all week off in the field this time of year and be expected to compete at the weekend, but he is such a dude, he has an amazing attitude to life that allows you to do just that.


We are both in a much better place with our new saddle but there were moments on the video were straightness failed us. A visit with Back 2it Chiropractic will help address that and we will review and carry on training 


It was nice to be out with the Riding Club and have the support of fellow riders and those on foot.

Team days = Warm Up Banter. Constructive Car Park Chat and Congratulations

Here is a video montage our day with Bicester RC. 



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By Gaelann East
The Wacky Racers Dressage Team
England UK

© 2017 Gaelann East

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