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Jess Parsons - Dressage

Ponies, Physio and ... Showjumping?

June has been a great month for playing ponies! Now that Uni is out the way for me, I can play ponies without feeling guilty about it! We kick off June to a great start to find out that we had been selected as a reserve rider for team South West at The British Young Riders Dressage Scheme Inter Regionals at the beginning of July. I know its sounds silly but I was so happy to have made it to the reserves as this is Tilly’s first year doing BYRDS and to make it to the reserves out of so many riders made me feel delighted.

On the 4th June we went to Hartpury College for the novice affiliated dressage competition. This was Tilly’s first show indoors and we threw her in at the deep end a little with the big atmosphere of Hartpury. She's was an absolute pro and took it all in her stride. The first test was held in the older indoor arenas she lacked a little confidence in the first test as the arena was quite small which caused her to back off of me slightly it was also incredibly hot in there but she still gave me some good work. For the second test we were in the international arena  but strangely enough Tilly felt so much more confident with the more open space and was completely unfazed by everything going on. We left before the end of the classes so at the time I didn’t know where we had come. I?was slightly disheartened that our scores were not what I was hoping for in either test but it gives us a great basis to improve on for next time. ?A couple of days later I found out that we were actually placed 2nd in the first class (only losing out by one mark on first due to collectives) and we came 4th in the second test. Which gave me a little more confidence and made me feel a little happier about the day!

The following weekend we continued to try and gain some more qualifying scores. We gained our second qualifying score in the novice for the Area Festival.

After a little break between classes we danced to music. However Tilly had decided she had already finished and was quite happy eating and couldn't possibly do another test! But, after a paddy or two in the warm-up about the situation she finally gave in and we had a much better test compared to the warm up! We scored 68.61%  which means we have gained our qualification for the Winter Regionals in our first two music shows of the year. Now the long wait until the Regionals in February 2018!

We have continued to have some great training sessions with Helen James concentrating very hard on Tilly’s suppleness during her work.  We have added a few new exercises to play with and it feels like we are really starting to get somewhere and Tilly has continued to improve in her work during every training session.  We obviously have plenty of home work between now and the Pet Plan Area Festival in mid July to keep us busy!

I have been doing lots of fittening and hill work with Tilly recently, mostly to improve her stamina during her work. She loves hacking and it gives her a great opportunity to accost walkers and have a good nose in peoples gardens!

We also had a bit of a change of discipline as we had another go at showjumping, showjumping would not be Tilly’s top skill but she thoroughly enjoys giving it ago! It gives her a greater variety to her training programme also.

Tilly and I have both spent a bit of time with my wonder Physio Dee from Dynamic Sports Therapy. Dee has worked wonders on my back/ shoulder over the past few months and now with the pain much improved. We decided it was time to get Dee to analyze Tilly and I as a unit by having a Biomechanic session. It was very insightful to watch the feedback from the session and talk it through with Dee on how I can improve my riding to help the overall picture.

We also decided it was time to get Dee to take a look at Tilly, as she treats me we felt it could benefit both of us to be treated by the same person. Tilly enjoyed her treatment during which she had soft tissue therapy, Oscillation therapy and Photizo light therapy. Considering her 'snappy' nature Tilly was actually very accepting of the treatment she received! 

B&W kindly invited me down to their opening night of the new CT Scanner. Willam Fox- Pitt cut the ribbon on the new scanner. It was lovely to have been part of the unveiling and it was a  great opportunity to have a tour around parts of the hospital that you would not normally get to see.

We have some very exciting and busy things coming up July! Watch this space!

Hope everyone has had a great June and here’s to a successful July.


Jess x   

You can follow me and Tilly on our Facebook page: Tiarella Dressage 

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