Oh my word, oh my word, oh my word.

OK, let me be British again – yeah, so I did an Elementary dressage test and yeah, it was fun.

My getting to elementary level is like being told that I could go and drive a Ferrari for a day. Yep, the elementary is harder, and actually requires me to think – but having spent about 5 years at the same level on the flat, to be encouraged, and probably more to the point, to believe in myself enough to dive in – has given me such a high.

Some might say it’s better than heroin. Just to be clear, I don’t have any personal proof, but I do have personal proof to say that it was a good as that first sip of tea when you have made it, you’re sitting down and you sip at just the right heat to bearable ratio. COMPLETE GOLD DUST. You know what I am talking about.

Anyway, back to how it happened. So I was mindlessly coming back from London one day, and a social media buddy (someone I met first on social media before meeting in real life) got in touch and asked if I would like to do an ‘at home dressage competition’.

For some context – an ‘at home dressage competition’ allows you to enter a competition, with other horse riders, under British Dressage rules – at your own home or yard. This means you don’t need a driver, transport, a full day to get out and about, or even competition wear if you feel more comfortable doing it in your everyday jods. Get your video filmed, from C, send it in to the team. British Dressage judges mark your video, and give you a test sheet and then you get a rosette if you’re placed.

Now the luxury, for me, of doing an ‘at home dressage competition’ is that I don’t have trek out to do it and also that I can use my own arena, that I can visualise in my head whilst learning the test. Another story, but I once didn’t know what end was what and entered the arena wrong and was eliminated before I had even started…

This luxury opportunity came about and I had a look at the list of test levels and which had been put forward and decided that having been placed 1st in the last competition I did for the Novice test, (in a 20×40 arena), I either had to do the prelim, which was easier or had to face it and do the elementary.

‘Cause let’s face it, if I had actually done the Novice test and not won, having won the last time – not that this is even a logical argument or thought process – I would have been gutted. So by process of elimination, it was time to face the Elementary test!

This delightful Elementary included some 12m loops, some counter canter, some trot to halt, some right and left turns, some medium work – nothing I couldn’t hack without some serious concentration.

So I embarked on it, and actually come to think fo it, I haven’t had my results as I write this on Wednesday 25.3.2020, BUT for Oscar and I, it was fun, it was satisfying, I feel like I can tick off and remove the fear of doing an Elementary test… AND… I want to do another one.

Watching the video back, I could critique a million things, I could comment on my face – always scowling – and the fact that my ankles stick out BUT…

I did it, I did an Elementary test… and I feel good.

So, that’s how we are going to remember the 14th March 2020!

And our result was 62.19 % with the final comments being ‘ A willing and obedient horse, could further develop the suppleness and engagement to allow for a better connection at times through transitions and turns. Lots to like’