Dessie has made his second foray into the world of showing- this time doing the SEIB Racehorse to Riding horse Horse of the Year Show qualifier at Onley Grounds. Nothing like throwing him in at the deep end.
But before we report on that, a quick catch up on the week.
A friend and I hacked Amezola and Dessie out one evening after work in the pouring rain. I only have one water proof sheet and Amezola wore it, with Dessie looking at it rather longingly. I did ask him whether when he was in training he was given the option of not going up the gallops because of the weather. Dessie looked sheepish and said okay but next time could he have the sheet?
The day after, I had a lesson with him at the yard with Helen and we worked on quickening up his canter transition. I am still just pleased to get the transition whereas Helen very rightly feels I should be working on the quality of it now. Towards the end of the lesson with Helen dispairing slightly at me, she got on Dessie and had him doing the nicest canter I have seen from him yet. I was, as the saying goes, well impressed.
Then on Sunday, off to Onley. It was around a 2 hour drive and it was really pleasing that he didn’t sweat up at all. We warmed up in the second indoor arena, with Dessie being very well behaved. It was really muggy and although only working for less than 30 minutes he got quite warm so I had to wash him off. He still has a bit of winter coat left, so unfortunately that did not result in a particularly good look once he had dried off.
Then into the class. Rather stupidly I went in first – something I often do with Amezola but a bit daft with a very green horse. Anyway he led on round bravely though I think I would have got a better quality walk if I had him in the middle of the pack. Note to self for future.
He settled well and bearing in mind that his canter is still really a work in progress, we got good transitions and a nicely maintained canter in the vast arena at Onley.
Dessie went quite sweetly for the ride judge, particularly in canter and we got some nice comments.
So, we haven’t set the world alight but a very pleasing performance for his second time out. In some ways I may be wrong in throwing him in at the deep end and exposing him to the showing world before all the basics are in place but combined with his riding club outings, I think it is the best way for us to develop.
And the things I have learnt are – I could work so much more on Dessie’s canter if I had a huge indoor school – so if anyone knows the winning lottery numbers for next week, please let me know preferably before they are drawn.
More sensibly things I have learnt - I need to practice plaiting, I must take a thinner warm up numnah so that he doesn’t get so hot and I need to generally sharpen up his turn out, practice standing him up in hand and generally learn to ride properly. Not having really shown much since 2011, I was surprised at how rusty I was at this showing game.
So a long blog this week. Next week’s will be short as an easy few days for Dessie whilst I catch up with work, housework and various mundane non-horsey things.