So the mini-adventure didn’t happen, I’ve learnt the wrong dressage test for Saturday, Abbey’s had 3 days off in a row this week and while my new funky gadget held the phone to record my schooling session, my phone keeps crashed resulting in a 4 minute video of me getting on and walking.

That makes me sound miserable, I’m not, these things happen.

It’s winter so the day we were going for a mini-adventure it was freezing cold and rained hard all day – call me a fair weather rider if you want, but this is my hobby and it’s supposed to be fun.

The weather dried up and the next week we did well on the fitness and schooling – we stuck to the plan of tues/wed/thurs/sat/sun work and mon/fri off routine. Inspired by the first Horse and Hound e-learning session, we practiced riding accurate circles. We even did the pole exercise.

Having (thought I’d) booked in to do prelim 19, I adapted the advice of the e-learning a little and practiced our 15m circles. We had a lesson on Wednesday where we went through the test, broke it down to practice some of the movements and did it again.

Horse and Hound have set up a Facebook group where we can post about our progress and realising that I can’t film and ride at the same time I ordered this tripod from Amazon.  It’s cool and I can wrap the legs around the arena fence.

It arrived on Sunday there are no videos yet because Abbey had Monday off as planned, but then I was late leaving work on Tuesday and got to the yard at 7pm…..by which point I’d lost my motivation.  Wednesday…well a mis-communication with RI meant that at 7pm I was still waiting with Abbey who was fast loosing her patience.

That bring us to today…..

At lunchtime I checked my times for stressage on Saturday and realised that I entered to do Prelim 17, not 19…whooops! So tonight’s schooling session was mainly about us learning this new test.

The combination of Abbey having had 3 days off, it being -1C and windy plus new stuff around the outside of the arena meant we got off to a tense start.

Still I perservered and with lots of transitions, changes of rein and some lateral work, Abbey eventually settled a little.

We ran through the test once and identified that our weakest part is the canter-trot transitions on the diaganols.  It was a little frustrating, if not surprising, because these transitions have really improved since last summer….but we’ve only done them on circles.  Doing them on straight lines is much harder.

So I took it back a stage and practiced transitions on a circle, ensuring I asked Abbey to collect a little beforehand and then went back to doing them on diaganols.  They improved a little.

We did have a flying change on one but I’ve found this article , which says that I should keep the bend.  Abbey also ‘fell out’ of the canter a couple of times rather than doing a proper transition so I must remember to keep my leg on until I want her to trot.

Overall I was pleased with the session, even thought Abbey was more distracted  than she’s been for quite some time. I was hoping to have some video footage to critique but my phone crashed after 4mins of footage so I’ve a video of the beginning of our warm-up.

Hopefully I can work out why my phone is crashing and Abbey will be more chilled tomorrow when I want to practice halts…the second in the Horse and Hound e-learning series.