The Competition Part 2!

So last Sunday I competed, and now I finally have my scores. Jorrit came 2nd and 5th in the Novice, and Abe came 2nd in the Grand Prix. I thought this week I would give you a little more insight into what I was thinking at the competition.

Due to the order of the videos, I need to talk about Abe first, even though his test was last on the day! Abe is normally ridden first so he is not happy when Jorrit has had over an hour of my attention! So Abe is quite fresh and full of himself which makes me laugh. He warms up beautifully and gives me some of the best passage/piaffe steps we have ever seen from him …. honey do it the test, not in the warm up when the judges can’t see it!!!!

So in we go after an 18 minute warm up. I made the decision to not ride any changes in my warm up. I had been training the ones quite intensely on Abe, and he was doing them everywhere including during the twos, so I wanted to keep him quiet, to make sure I got the twos.

The test was great and he is feeling much stronger and easier to ride. He is really starting to understand what I want and all the fun little transitions of piaffe- passage extended trot- passage- walk- passage are coming together! There was still a glitch in my twos! Come on Tash!!! And there were no ones which I could only laugh about considering how much I trained them! I learnt so much from the test and I am really really really looking forward to riding my next test. He came 2nd this time with a 2.5% better score than my first Grand Prix test, so if I improve by 2.5% each time I do a test, I will be beating Totillas before we know it!!! :):)

Check out the footage below of Abe’s Grand Prix test!!

Jorrit was on first so he gets an hour warm up. It starts with a 15 minute lunge, then some in hand ground work, and lots of apple! Then I am on after approx 25 minutes, off to gear check, then more walking and leg yielding to get his attention onto me, then at the 35 minute mark we start trotting, leg yielding at first for his focus and attention, and then trotting and cantering and transitions. This is all good, and I have ten minutes to spare. I spend the last ten minutes going around the area – the benefit of being first on! So I can have him even more relaxed and focussed on me.

The test is good. He feels soft and forward enough. I lose his attention at times when he calls out to the other horses, but I keep asking for it back, keep asking for his attention back on me. All in all I am happy with the test – I had at least 10% of his attention and it was an ok test. However, the judges weren’t in agreeance  – one judge 3rd with 67.41% and the other judge with 9th and 58.52% to give overall 5th with 62.96%. Hmmm… interesting, but not good enough – we have to be better!

Check out the footage below of Jorrit’s Novice 2A test!

Then back to the truck for a ten minute apple break 🙂 and then back on with 25 minutes to go, no lunging or ground work this time, just walk and trot leg yield, then 5 minutes of normal work. I still have 5 mins to spare, so I spend this time walking around watching the test before mine making sure I know it – yes, I have a caller too, but that was for my Dutch groom/rider Loes to practice her english!

Second test and I am smiling! He is even better!!!!! He is soft and willing and even easier to ride. There is one canter transition where I don’t trust him and sit and think, and instead over ride the crap out of it and he reacts hugely! But COMPLETELY my fault and I’m so sorry!!!! Definitely lesson learnt there! He came 3rd with one judge with 64.06% and 1st with the other with 67.81% to come 2nd overall with 65.94%. Better! But there is still so much to improve on, and I’m so excited to get out there again and do much, much better!

Check out the footage below of Jorrit’s Novice 2C test!!

I am having so much fun and learning SO MUCH and I am just blessed to be working with such amazing horses who teach me so much about myself and my riding, and help me to be the rider I want to be.

To Your Success

Natasha Althoff


P.S. I trust you enjoyed reading about my thoughts. If you are a member of the Your Riding Success Club or higher  – click here and hear the voice over of what I am thinking and doing live during the test!!!!

P.P.S. If your not a member click here to join up!! 🙂

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