Riding dressage tests is a fascinating personal challenge. There’s a competitor in my soul, even if I’m only competing against myself. My little spitfire Jemima (Han/TB/Arab cross) is not ideal for competition. Compared to the typical enormous cruise-mobile warmbloods, Jemima’s a compact sports car. However, at 15-3 hands, her narrow build is easy on my fickle left hip (old injury) and I still enjoy riding dressage tests, even when it’s only to test my own skill and development. Here’s Jemima’s first run through of First level, test four.
The mistakes are all mine. On the video, it’s obvious that Jemima needs a little more preparation before every transition. In general, her canter work is better with more relaxation. Keenly aware of her surroundings, one of the hardest parts of a dressage test for Jemima is anything on a long rein. She won’t run off, but rather than stretch and reach for the bit, Jemima enjoys the opportunity to lift her head and look at the scenery. It’s nice scenery, so I don’t hold that against her.
Jemima is improving every ride and I’m thoroughly enjoying her!