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Jess Parsons - Dressage


November has been a rather busy month for me with Uni work mounting up before the Christmas break. However, there is always time to play ponies....

We kicked off November with a lesson with  Tom Buckland, we had an incredibly productive lesson mainly concentrating on me relaxing more through my arms which in turn allows Tilly to become more supple throughout her body.

The following weekend we competed at Burrows Court to try and gain our qualification for the Petplan area festival in 2018.  Our first test Novice 28 went much better than the last attempt! By that I mean the pilot managed to ride the right test, which was a great start! Unfortunately, we had an incorrect canter strike off which cost us dearly, but we still scored 63.12%. The second test Novice 38 was a lot smoother and we managed to score 67.42% to win our section which I was over the moon with we also received some lovely comments from both judges that always helps!!

On the 12th November, we headed up to Cheltenham RDA which is situated at Cheltenham Race Course for a BYRDS (British Young Riders Dressage Scheme) training day. There was a lot going on when we arrived as they were preparing for the first big race meet of the season. Tilly’s normal calm attitude to life was perfect as she just watched as we got her ready!

Our lesson was taught by Jo Lees. This was the first lesson we have had with Jo and thoroughly enjoyed it.  We spent a lot of time working on gaining more engagement from behind especially in and out of the transitions. Jo gave me some great exercises to help with this and ones that I have taken away and developed which have been such a great help.

At the end of the lesson we rode through the squad test, over the last year we have been riding the C test but the decision was made to give the B squad test ago! A very quick look at the test for me andwith Mum to the rescue to call it, I hoped we would make it from start to finish! and we did, however, manage to miss hear twice and also take a slight de-tour in the test!! We still managed a respectable score of 76+%. A great score to base our first try on and we hope to develop a better score at training next month. I was so proud of Tilly and was smiling for  a long time afterwards!! 

The following week we received some a very exciting email, we had been put forward to attend the British Young Riders Dressage Scheme High-Performance Camp next February at the Unicorn Trust, I was happy  to receive the email and booked our place. The itinery looks to be a jam-packed few days including Lessons, Test Riding, Squading, Sports Psychology, Strength and Conditioning and Nutrition and much more!!

On the 24th November we had a lesson with Jo Lees, we worked incredibly hard on making Tilly quicker and more active with her hind legs, which she found rather hard but by doing so it made the quality of her work so much better. But even though she finds things like this hard she always tries her heart out for me and definitely slept very well that night!  We had a lot to take away from our lesson and thing to improve and work on before our next BYRDS training day in December 

We have spent a lot of time recently in between schooling enjoying the lovely winter sunshine out in the countryside enjoying some hacking and cantering. I’m incredibly lucky that Tilly is great to hack and really enjoys going on adventures! It’s a great way to give her a break from her schooling work while keeping her brain occupied and fitness levels up


.To finish the month I attended the British Dressage National convention who hosted a two-day convention with Ulf Moller and Michael Klimke looking at training a dressage horse from a German perspective. It was a great experience to see the different ideas they both had, lots to take away and add to my training with Tilly.

We have a busy first week of December coming up so we are training hard towards that!!

Hope everyone has had a great November and is looking forward to Christmas!!



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