Today we stepped up and did our first novice dressage test.  I couldn’t be more delighted with Abbey, the girl really tried and came home with a blue rosette for our efforts.

We warmed up with a prelim test – scoring 69.80% including an error of course (yes, I had a reader and still managed to go wrong!).  Interestingly the judge noted a lack of suppleness on the right rein as well as the left, as well as lack of suppleness through the transitions.

Similar comments can be found on the score sheet of the Novice test…at least we’re consistent. Having only just started to learn medium paces, those comments aren’t surprising. I only found out about the whip rule (last night a friend commented on it while I was practising). Shame to throw away some marks unnecessarily but never mind, Hopefully it will have sunk in and I won’t do it again!

In both tests Abbey’s ability to be distracted by absolutely anything and everything means she struggles with a free walk on a long rein in a new place. She also seems rather interested in her own reflection, I mean I know she’s pretty but that’s just vain.  I might try and find somewhere with mirrors to practice to see whether I can get her over herself!

But that wasn’t the only distraction, there was the judge, my OH filming and, of course, the gallery always needs checking for gremlins.  Interestingly she relaxed and stretched beautifully in trot.