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Jess Parsons - Dressage

We started January by continuing our little break of having some fun including lots of hacking, pole work and also even the odd spot of Showjumping, which for Tilly and I, would not be our strongest field! But together we are slowly learning and really getting the hang of it and having a great time while doing so.

The start of January was consumed with me concentrating on my last ever uni exam!! I was incredibly happy to get that out of the way with the reward of a fun-filled couple of days with Tilly.

On the 12th January, we attended another test riding clinic with Maria Griffin and Becci Trower, this is the second one that we have attended as we very much enjoyed the December one! This time we chose to run through Elementary 42. We started by running through the test, where we gained a score of 62.8%. We then ran through the test movement by movement with the help of Becci and Maria. We continued to build on the work from last time and develop this further. We spent time looking at how I influence Tilly and how I can become more effective through my seat. I was also given some helpful pointers on how to improve my riding of the movements in the test now we have made the jump to working at Elementary. At the end of the lesson, we ran through the test again, this time we gained a great score of 68.90%, which I was so pleased to gain this score under the eye of a listed judge.

The following day we attended BYRDS squad training at Badminton house. We started by having a lesson with Steven Arnett where we spent time developing further suppleness throughout different movements, direction and speed. Tilly worked super hard and tried her heart out during the lesson. To finish we ran through the B squad test. This was only our second time riding through the test and the first time was a last minute decision to do so! So this time we could give it our all! Considering Tilly was rather tired by this point I was still super proud to get a score of 80.2%.  We learnt lots from today that we can take away and build on over the next few weeks before High-Performance Camp next month.

The following week we spent time putting all of our recently leant training into practice.

On Friday the 19th we competed in our first show of 2018 and our first competitive Elementary, it been a while since we competed so it was great to get back out. Tilly started the day by helping out with some GCSE P.E coursework with a friend. Tilly was so sweet with Becca who had probably only sat on Tilly for 10 minutes a few months ago! So we threw her in at the deep end and she did a great job considering this!

Back to the stable and a quick power nap for Tilly (which she decided to do just as I went to tack her up for our test!!).  We had a great warm-up probably the best Tilly has ever been in the warm-up she was so rideable and with me the whole time. We went down for our test and I have been working hard on my self, relaxing my body when riding and also ‘getting into the zone’ more as I feel that everything goes into a blur and I’m not necessarily able to put 100% into the test. But this time I was able to. (still, room to improve on it!) The test ran smoothly and Tilly was the most ridable and soft that I have ever known her. We scored 65.80% and came away with a first rosette, which I was over the moon with. 

The following week it was back to training for Tilly and I as Jo Lees came down to give us a lesson. It was a rather interesting lesson as Tilly had a rather big tantrum about what we were asking her to do! She has been relatively good recently so one was due! This was due to me taking a stronger hold on the outside rein, which obviously not what Tilly wanted to do. But after a few tantrums and a lot of perseverance from Jo and I, we got there! A lot of new exercises to practice between now and next time. Things don’t always go the way you want them to but some days you have to take the bad, which just makes the good days even better! 

We have also received some very exciting news in that we have been asked to be part of the Ride With Your Mind demo day with Mary Wanless in March. It's a great honour to have such an opportunity to be part of the biomechanics day and to also be able to ride in front of such a large number of people. 

There are still tickets available for anyone wanting to attend. https://dressagetraining.tv/demo-day-0318/

We are looking forward to a very busy February and are incredibly excited to be heading off to BD Youth High-Performance Camp in early Feb.

I hope everyone has had a great start to 2018 and has a great February.

Lots of love Jess and Tilly xx  

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