Well I did it, I rode my very first dressage test at 50. Were we music in motion and poetry written by the gods? No! We entered the arena good working trot to X, all be it, not straight, stopped bowed, trotted down to C, and I couldn't remember the test. It was gone, all I could think was okay let's just keep going. The judged beeped me back and asked me to start again, and run me through the test verbally, and nope I couldn't retain a single think, I turned into a passenger on a trip to nowhere.
Due to work commitments, I hadn't even ridden the test, I went in on faith, should have written it on my hand, after all I forgot to put my gloves on. So god bless my beautiful miss Em, she had beautiful head carriage, was engaging her rear end, and was trying her heart out to be perfect for me.
This is where I have to put my hand on my heart and say, "I let my horse down". But for all the terrible mistakes I made, we had beautiful working trot, excellent long and low on a loose rein in walk. I was surprised by this as normally when I try long and low, she stops and admires the scenery. My 20m circles were more like 30m's, and because I have been bucked of so many times at the canter, fear took over me. As I asked Em to canter, and she tried to go into it, I pulled my hands up and stopped her, something I need to be aware of or I am going to train her not to canter.
At the final turn down the centre line when went straight and stopped square. Then I got penalised for leaving the arena too soon. I didn't know you had to go all the way out to A. When we got back to our yard I gave Em a great big hug and kiss and thanked her for doing her best.
This hasn't put me off, Iv'e booked holidays for the next show, so I have time to practice. I wasn't ready to compete, but sooner or later, you've got to stop talking about going too, and just do it. I went into this with no pressure on either of us, even though I did but pressure on myself to a degree.
It is rather hard where I live, because we have a distinct lack of instructors, so I rely on books, the internet, and friends to point things out to me if they see them. I am making myself up some letter markers, and going to practice my cantering. Anything the community can recommend to watch or read would be gratefully accepted.
Yesterday we turned up and tried, next time we will turn up and compete against our last test, after all if I focus on how good anyone else is I will never improve. Oh yeah we rode E grade. Thanks everyone and have a happy easter