Mickey and I are fully back in action – and even squeezed in our 2016 competition debut! He has been feeling incredible all of May, and has become more and more consistent with his work. He has also grown (yet again) turning into a very big, powerful giant. His muscle build up also continues to evolve which is rounding up his body nicely and turning him into an even more handsome, eye catching horse.
This month we worked on fine-tuning a lot of the more advanced movements which he’s now understood really well. Now the key is to keep him supple, especially in competition situations, in order to bring out those movements in the best possible form. His counter canter is more established than ever as are his simple changes. The rein back is a little bit tricky still but it is the most collected movement he has ever had to perform so he is progressing exactly as he is supposed to. We also introduced baby walk pirouettes which need very strong, accurate riding from me so I need to work on keeping him on front of my leg and responsive in those, rather than relying too much on my seat or reins.
We also made our year’s competition debut on May 28th – finally – wohoo! It did not quite go as planned as I was suffering from a fever and sore throat. The transporter also showed up 40 minutes late to pick me up which meant I only had 10 minutes to warm up for my test (usually I have 40) which made the day even more stressful! Luckily I had a wonderful support team onboard: one of the grooms from my yard was also competing there so she helped me get Mickey ready quickly, Mickey’s own groom got him competition ready before leaving the yard, and my partner came to support me emotionally as well as driving the long drive to the yard and back so I could preserve the energy I did have for riding.
When it came to the tests Mickey was a little bit tense and unfocused but still tried his heart out. His focus improved slightly in the second test which was good to see though by then I felt his body was getting a bit tired and as a result didn’t have as much hindleg action as he usually does. Regardless of all that, we produced two steady scores of 64% and two third places. Considering the circumstances, that it was our first outing, and that it was the first time we were competing at this level, I was very pleased. Now I’m very excited about taking him out again in June 11th – and will book some extra shows in the summer to keep the momentum going!
One of the other most exciting news this month was getting a response from Finland’s national dressage coach! I emailed him to ask if I could join the Top Dressage Finland young horse/ future potential squad and he replied that I could apply – WOHOO!!! This opportunity is way beyond my dreams and another step in the right direction. I was so excited to get his reply I couldn’t even believe it. Now I am organising an assessment ride with Finland’s Top Dressage team coach Emile Faurie who is actually English and based in Oxford. I will try to get the assessment done this summer if he has availability and turn it into a 2-3 day training camp for us both! 😀 😀 😀