I had a great lesson tonight and am feeling well prepared for our first dressage test on Saturday.

Tuesday’s lesson was postponed because the storm that caused chaos in the States came over and we had over 80km/hr winds and horizontal rain.  I shouldn’t have bothered because it was just as windy tonight….typical!

I seem to be getting the knack of keeping Abbey’s attention on me when when wants to spook.  The lateral work is really useful and really helps when I know Abbey is looking at something outside of the arena. There’s a really fine line with her between pushing and giving.  Push too much and she gets very argumentative, not enough and she’s spooking and all focus is lost.  Get it just right and she contains herself and her attention is back on me within a stride or two.

We’re doing Prelim 13 which has 3 centre lines where ‘forward’ is key. On all the right turns I need to remember to maintain the contact in the outside hand (something which I frequently forget on the right rein).

On the give and retake the reins, exaggeration is going to be key – on a 14hh pony even if I give a foot of rein, you still can’t see it. My instruction filmed it and showed because I didn’t believe her!

I must wait for the markers and actually do circles…especially at the ends of the arena where I am tempted to stick to the track and then turn, making 1/2 square,1/2 circle shape.

Shorten my reins – particularly from the free walk to medium walk – otherwise they are way too long for the trot.

So…you can guess how I will spend my Friday evening…learning the test and my instructions!