Henry's very first dressage test (and mine!)
Well, my dear friends, I joined this board 2 years 8 months ago. We had just taken delivery of a virtually unbroken 13.2hh pony, Benny, for my grand-daughter, and I hadn't handled a horse in 30 years. I got back into the saddle myself in February 2001, and finally bought Henry in May 2002. Those who have followed my fortunes will know that this has been a difficult journey. Henry was scared stiff of the school, spooked at his shadow, looked like a cross between a giraffe and a sewing machine and had NO idea of self-carriage. But, yesterday, we went to Forest Edge Equestrian Centre, in affiliated dressage, and did Prelim 7 and 18. I'd never actually competed before and at the grand age of 51, Henry won his first rosette with me (and my first ever, of course!), a 4th, in Prelim 7. Prelim 18 we did about the same (57% I think) but there were much classier horses in that class. My stated aim for the day had been to get him into the arena past the HUGE plastic flower displays either side of the A marker, and in front of the hugely scary caravan but actually seeing my beloved Henry behave so well and get left lead canter correct first time in Prelim 7, I was actually sobbing with pride and relief as we came out of the arena. My trainer thought I was going to be sick when we arrived, I was so nervous. Guess what, the schedules are out and we are going again on May 21st.
So, for all you out there who lack confidence (ME!), or self-belief (ME!), or don't dare canter (ME! for MONTHS), who can't work out their diagonals (ME! still occasionally now), who can't do sitting trot (still me, a bit, I can do a few strides at a time now, on Henry) you CAN DO IT.
Oh and by the way, my 9 yr old grandson Luke rode Benny the pony tonight - he has been riding for just over a year and was practising things like (I kid you not) rising trot with no stirrups around poles set about 5 m apart in the indoor school. I'm not sure which has given me more pleasure, to be truthful.
Last edited by Cathy Reynolds; 24th Apr 2003 at 07:14 PM.