“……I love Matchy Matchy so I was very excited!
The only thing was the venue that was holding the Matchy Matchy Dressage competition was a venue that Chocolate is not so keen on and normally is very spooky and struggles to move forward, it’s as if he shuts down (this has happened a few times here) and I did think maybe I should not enter as it will not go well!
After looking through all my Matchy Matchy sets I felt maybe I should enter just for fun and go with the flow – accepting that we were not likely to do very well, but at least we could get dressed up and have fun.
We entered the Prelim test and again warmed up beautifully, everyone was complimenting each other on our Matchy out fits and it was great to see how much effort everyone had put in.
As we proceeded down the centre line I remember saying to Chocolate ‘Let’s just give it a go’!
I was pleasantly surprised as he was doing everything I asked of him, yes he could have been more forward but considering he was having a go, I was just happy with that. But then there it was, a spook as we went past the entrance, naughty and frustrating, BUT he carried on! It did mean we were very late to produce our canter transition costing us marks and then he became quite tense, BUT I was over the moon as Chocolate had not given up – when we came down the centre line to finish we were smiling! I was very pleased with our effort in the test and felt we had really improved not only since the last time we competed here, but also since our last competition and more importantly we had fun.
I now could not wait to start our Novice test, our time came round quick. We started the test with a bit of a buzz and again I was trying to give Chocolate as much confidence as I could especially by the entrance. Everything I asked of Chocolate he did and we danced our way around the Novice test. Yes there are many ways to improve, gain more marks etc, but when you know your horse is listening and dancing with you, it’s at that point you know why you chose dressage as a discipline – Wow is all I can say!
Chocolate blew my socks off and even the judge gave us as smile as we halted at the end of the test! As we left the school I patted Choc and he knew that he had done good as we then proceeded to trot out to the trailer park with massive smiles on our faces – everyone looked up and asked how did you get on and I answered ‘amazingly!’.
Whenever I compete I have no interest in our official result until we have finished all our tests as untimely it’s about Chocolate and I, nothing else, it’s our journey. So after I had washed Choc down and tided up I then went to find out how we got on –
Prelim – we came 5th in a strong class even with our spook!
Novice – we came 2nd and I was over the moon – my boy did good!
We never won any Matchy Matchy prizes, but that’s okay as my aim for the day was to dress up and have fun and that we did – Good boy Chocolate!
You can never expect the good days with horses, it does not work like that. But when all your hard work comes together and you are enjoying it, the good days come and they really are amazing!”
Have you had up and downs when you have competed?