ONWARDS AND UPWARDS – Richards Dressage Journey

Halfway through 2016 and Richard is doing well with his Dressage challenge. After stepping up to Novice in the New Year he has now reached a point where he is ready to step up to Elementary. 

Richard continues the story.
Rich standing
It took a bit longer than expected to get our scores up over 65% in Novice, the main thing Tommy and I had to work on was consistency of rhythm and outline, but once we had cracked this our scores leaped up to being consistently around 70%.

In the rules of my PSG challenge I have to score over 65% three times in a row before I can move up. In March I scored 65% but only just and although I wasn’t completely sure I decided to take a month out of competitions at Novice level even though I could have probably put in another two 65% scores.  

The extra months training was just what I needed and in May and June I turned in scores of 70% enabling us to qualify for the British Dressage Online Championships at Novice level.

I was delighted and my coach, Lisa Morris BHSI, decided it was time for Tommy and I to stretch ourselves again and move up to Elementary. 

This is a bigger step than I had expected as Prelim felt a bit like Intro with cantering, Novice felt like Prelim with medium trot and canter, but Elementary was a whole newball gamel.

I tried BD Elementary 49 which included many features I had never ridden before including: halt on the centre line at the start of the test, rein-back, counter canter, cantered 15m circles, cantered 10m half circles and all of which seemed to happen so fast.
Rich Trotting
So it is just as well that against your first test there are limited rules, it’s not about the score, you just give it a go and see what you get. We call this the base line score, the score we feel we will be able to beat once we have read the comments and seen where we need to improve.

On the day I was not happy with what we produced. I knew we had thrown away marks on things I should be able to do, and have been doing well in the lower level tests, like getting a square halt at the end of the test. Never the less the test got submitted, I needed to know what our base line score was going to come out as.

When the score came back I was not only surprised but very happy, we had managed 63%. Our Novice baseline score back in January had been 61% so this felt like it was a good place to start. 

More importantly the feed back gave us plenty to work on throughout July and August to try and get those 65% scores.

I am now confident that Tommy and I will progress  through this level and achieve two more scores over 62% before the end of September and qualify for the BD Online Championships at Elementary level something we hoped to achieve way back in January but didn’t really believe it could happen.

Rich centre line
Have a plan focus on achieving it, and you can amaze your self with the outcome. 

You can follow Richard's progress in the PSG Challenge on the website http://www.psgchallenge.com/

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