Learning from your dressage tests... - Your Competition Success

Wednesday 26/09/2012

Loes and I competed on the weekend!

She and I both had a kick in the butt as far as training experiences go!!!!

Loes is competing Elementary dressage, and has never been at this level before. She is doing exercises like travers, renvers, walk-canter transitions and canter-walk transitions, and any slight mistake is a huge loss of marks. She can go into a Novice test and make mistakes and still win with over 70%, whereas in Elementary, she is doing similar work but scoring 55-60%. This is because the expectations are higher – and so they should be!!!! Loes is learning how to live up to those expectations and deliver, so the judges can start to reward her with the higher marks. However, on Saturday she didn’t quite deliver – making a lot of mistakes. Good! πŸ™‚ At least she was learning! The frustrating thing … or the funny thing about it… is that she doesn’t need to learn anything new, she just needs to develop consistency. She will get all the movements with a mark sometimes 8 worthy, a lot of the time 4 worthy. And it’s not the horse! If the horse is ridden perfectly, he will deliver an 8. But to get that 8 requires skills from Loes she hasn’t fully grasped and consolidated yet. So she keeps working on it and mastering it. This is why she is in Elementary. I told her, no f^&King way am I leaving you in Novice, where you score well and think you are awesome! You won’t grow! You won’t ever get better! You need to go to the place where you suck, to improve and finally get it that you rock, and then you again move to the next level where you suck… πŸ™‚

I am the same. Me in Grand Prix, sometimes I am awesome, sometimes I’m not. It’s all me, when the horse presents a certain way, I am still learning what to do with it, what to play with, what works and what doesn’t. For this Sunday, I was faced with an unexpected challenge. My horse didn’t want to go. Normally my frustration is that Abe is amazing in the warm-up, and I override in the ring and jam him up. This time, he was horrendously bad in the warm up. Didn’t want to move, not supple, completely blocked in the back, and just shitty and not playing my game. Hmmmm… What to do from here? Like I said, I’m not familiar with him being like this. I got no changes and resistance in all piaffe and passage in the warm-up, and then it was time to go in! πŸ™‚

Haha! Love it! It was actually an ok test, considering the warm-up. Scored a 57% or something. Whatever πŸ™‚ Not really concerned about the score. More – what did I learn, and what can I do to make sure I don’t end up in that situation again!?!?

I’m sure you can relate to this journey and are loving it as much as Loes and I!!!! πŸ™‚

To Your Success!

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Natasha