No Rest for the Wicked! (So I must be very bad)

Long time, no see…or no write in this case.

I know it’s been quite a while since I updated my blog and I apologise – juggling keeping Danson Wolkenaction in work and studying year twelve has proved quite a challenge lately! However, that being said, Action certainly hasn’t been put on the back-burner and things have been very exciting with him.

Since returning from my overseas trip earlier this year, Action and I have competed in the first two rounds of the Whittlesea Plenty Valley Dressage Club Winter Series, held at Yarrambat Park, with great success.

The first round was held on the 26th May. I was blessed with very civilised times, both in the afternoon, and so Action and I had a very relaxed morning to finish off our competition preparation. His socks were washed and then re-washed – the trade-off for a relaxing night in the paddock always seems to be a lack of socks in the morning – and then his mane and forelock were plaited (although having just been clipped the forelock plait left a little to be desired), tucked up in his dress rugs and bundled onto the float and off to Yarrambat Park.

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Getting Action Man prepped and ready to warm up

My first test was the Preliminary 1A. As Action had never been to this venue before and there were a lot of new things – namely the model airplane and pistol clubs which neighbour the grounds and can be heard from the competition area – I wanted to get on with plenty of time to let him soak up the new atmosphere. I was very pleasantly surprised by how well he took in this strange place (apparently I was more worried than him) and he felt super from the get-go in the warm up. This carried through to the test and I was really happy with what we achieved. The judges agreed with me and we scored 69% to win the class.

My second test, the Novice 2A, also went very smoothly. After another good warm up Action was on his best behaviour and really started to stretch and relax into his new-found competition mojo. Again the judges rewarded this and we scored 67.8% to win the class.

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Well done Big Red!

Needless to say Action was spoilt with lots of Rewards after such a successful day and I was very proud of what we achieved. As soon as we got home we entered the second round of the series in hope that it might be a similarly super day.

The second round was held today on the 30th June and I promise you when I looked out my window at 5:30am this morning to a blanket of fog I was not thinking it was a good omen! However, they breed we horse riders tough and it was away from my electric blanket and into my freezing cold gumboots to go and get Action prepared for another busy day of competition.

It was a very pleasant surprise to pull into Yarrambat Park this morning to a beautiful bright sun and (dare I say it) t-shirt weather! Suddenly the day was looking up and I was really excited to get back in the competition arena.

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Today there was considerably more atmosphere as the model airplane and pistol clubs were both in full flight! However, Action proved to me again how much of a nanna I am and a star he is by barely batting an eyelid at all of the commotion going on behind him as he warmed very relaxed and happy. My ring was running a little early but it appeared we didn’t need that extra warm up time as we pulled out a really calm test. A few silly rider errors cost us some marks but overall I was happy with how we went and we were awarded 68.5% and first place.

Now at this point things were just going too smoothly for me! I’d had three great tests, my horse was lovely and calm, the sun was shining and I had forty minutes until my next test so I had plenty of time to go for a wander around the grounds on a long rein before I warmed up again – or so I thought.

After taking a nice big walk around I came back to talk with mum about my first test when she asked when I was going to warm up again. I looked at my watch and saw I still had half an hour to go – or not. As it happend my watch had stopped and I had five minutes to trot over to the warm up ring, trot and canter a circle each way, practice one halt and present to the judge. Luckily, Action’s more onto things than I am and he didn’t miss a beat – impressing me with a calm, forward test I couldn’t have been happier with, 67.6% and another blue rosette to cap off two awesome competitions!
Maybe I should warm up like this more often?!

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There were a number of super talented young riders competing at the winter series and today my hat goes off to Tori Stuckey for wins in both the Intermediate 1 and Prix St Georges competitions on the stunning Mayfield Miracle and to Fern Wright for scoring an impressive 61.5% in the Under 25 Grand Prix on one of my favourite little horses to watch, Kamber Pryderi. Chloe Tsarouhas also deserves a special mention for her fifth placing in the Preliminary today and I was very excited to see Sophie Pomie – a fellow Tintern Schools student – placing in the Pony Novice today. Well done girls!

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Catching up with young rider Matthew Sievers while he gear-checked in the afternoon

Now my superstar red-head is back in his paddock having a well-deserved rest and I’m onto the next thing – preparing for the Interschool State Championships starting next Monday, 8th July, down at Werribee Park and then looking to the final stage of the Whittlesea Plenty Valley Dressage Club Winter Series on the 21st July. No rest for the wicked!

Thank you to the WPVDC Committee for organising such a well-run, friendly event; to Equiscore for never failing to deliver quick, accessible results making competing so much easier; and to my super-mum for being no. 1 strapper!

P.S Welcome home to super-coach Jenny Bray after a well-deserved break in Bali. It was great to have you back this afternoon and I’ve certainly missed you!

Happy riding (: