I’ve just got back off my holiday – I spent a week walking through the Lake District with Tom, meaning Dan got a well-deserved week off. It was a great time to recharge my batteries after the area festivals and also let Dan chill out a bit and just be a horse.
After a week off I thought I’d ease him back into work gently, especially as he tends to lose fitness fairly quickly and I’m conscious that he’s a little on the older side, so I need to look after his joints and muscles even more carefully. I decided that hacking would be best, just to give him a quick go round the block. This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but even 6 months ago I would never have even considered being able to take him out for a hack alone, let alone after a week of no work! It made me think that actually the past year has been great in terms of how much we’ve achieved. We can now hack in company and alone with no problems whatsoever, and clearly our schooling has been improving over the summer as you’ll have read in my previous posts. My two goals for winter are to sort out his weight and energy (Dan is a good eater but a poor doer, and getting worse as he ages!), and also carry on training and competing E-Dressage over the winter, ready for Elementary next spring/summer, if we can hitch a lift at some point again that is! Feeding wise I’ve just started him on some feed called Pavo – I’ll do a little review after a couple of weeks to see how we’re getting on.
I’ve also reflected on our competitive achievements, as I initially felt a bit disappointed with my area festival score but later realised how far we’ve come. We managed to qualify in just two outings, with 2 Novices at 68% and 1 at 74% (and the Elementary at 69%), and then to achieve a respectable score of 65% despite some setbacks at the festival is something I’m really proud of. We don’t have the ring experience (me in particular – I was unbelievably nervous beforehand), competing at an unfamiliar venue and in a really competitive class alongside some excellent riders and horses. I also had a few last minute transport issues the night before that really didn’t help with the nerves! But Dan listened to me, we were accurate, he wasn’t spooky, and I had a lovely day out with my friends and family at a really welcoming, but atmospheric, competition.
Thanks for all your support along the way too – all the texts, tweets and Facebook posts really did make me feel a little bit more confident 🙂 please do like my Facebook page if you haven’t already: Facebook – Diary of a Dressage Diva
Til next time,
Nic & Dan