Jess Parsons - Dressage
We kicked off the first week in December with me being snowed under with uni work to get completed before Christmas! But luckily that was out of the way quite quickly! And back to playing ponies, it was!
On Friday 8th of December we attended a clinic with Rebecca Trower and Maria Griffin. I took this as a prime opportunity to give an elementary test a go in front of Becci who is a listed British Dressage judge. The structure of the clinic allowed time to warm up then ride through your test as you would normally. As I went down to do my test the clouds coming towards us looked very angry, but we went for it. After I had done a few movements of the test I ended up riding in incredibly heavy snow. This was a first for me and I assume Tilly! It made visibility rather restricted to say the least! But I felt the test went very well and we gained a score of 63.49%, which I was so pleased with considering the tricky conditions. After the test, I was able to chat with Becci and Maria and discuss the test from how I felt it went and what they saw from their point of view. We then had a quick lesson concentrating mostly on me becoming more loose and flexible through my body especially my arms. This was very hard for me but definitely had the desired effect! After the lesson we ran through the test again, with me riding in a more ‘loose’ way. The test was a lot smoother and free-flowing and we scored an amazing 68.49% which I was so happy about to receive such visit score at the elementary level with a BD listed judge.
The following Sunday we were due to go to Badminton to attend BYRDS squad training. However, we were forecast heavy rain that night but to my shock that morning we, in fact, had rather a lot of snow! So sadly the clinic was called off which was a big shame as Tilly was going so well but there is always another day!! That kind of brought the end to our competing/ outings for 2017.
The following week we had a visit from Emily of B&W Equine Vets who came to the yard to do a few horses teeth, one of them included Tilly! She just had a checkup and happy to report her teeth are in tip-top shape. However, we did find out that Tilly has the starting of a fang coming through, which is rare but found in some mares! And of all the mares, of course, it had to be Tilly with her mood swings! Explains a lot!
The week before Christmas we received our qualification email from British Dressage to say that we have obtained our scores to be able to compete at the Winter Regionals in the Novice Freestyle to music, which was great news.
We spent the rest of December having some downtime doing lots of hacking exploring the local countryside which Tilly very much enjoys doing, even sometimes in the snow! This included a lovely Christmas eve canter where we encountered a donkey on its way back from the village Nativity service, we couldn't resist but to get a perfect Christmas photo!
Over the Christmas holiday’s I ended up being ill which was bad timing. However it has been nice to have a quiet week spent with Tilly having fun including some jumping and pole work after receiving a great book with lots of, pole work exercise to diversify our schooling work, which has already started to help develop more engagement in her work.
As 2017 comes to an end I am able to look back on the year and safely say it’s been the best year. It has exceeded many of my hopes and dreams imaginable. Over the Christmas break, I have had a chance to plan our shows and training for the New Year which I am very excited about with our first big event of the year in February where we are off to the BYRDS High Profile Camp.
I hope everyone has had a great Christmas and has had time to spend with your four-legged friends.
We wish you a happy and successful new year.
Jess and Tilly xx