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Katrina's First Competition

I was really nervous, I had no idea what Katrina was going to do and what to expect. Katrina had been going really well at home but she was very spooky when we went for our first lesson at Hannah's, would she be the same today?

It was a really dreary rainy day, and of course I had my nervous shivers, and no one seems to have told the weather that it's June!!! As a lovely surprise our friends Gillian and Emily came to watch and be supportive and it was so nice to see them, it really made me feel better to know that people had made the effort to come and see us. The funny thing was that I wasn't really nervous about doing well or being placed as such, but more nervous about how Katrina would react to it all.

When we arrived we realised we had left behind her special Trakehner saddle cloth which we'd planned to wear. I was so upset, but mum found the lovely Carolyn Goldstraw who saved the day by kindly loaning me a really nice one and Katrina looked amazing in her Wold's Exclusive Bling bridle. By the time I finally mounted we only had about 10/15 minutes before we had to go in for my Intro A (we got lost too and got there later than expected.. again lol).

Katrina felt a little tense all the way through the warm up as I expected, so I ended up just trying to keep her busy and trotting so she could work off her own nervous energy. I was nervous about the arena. There was a photographer crouching in the corner, a bright red judge's car, and white poles on the ground, all of which did not seem to phase Katrina in any way. But she was not totally fearless, she spent all of her time keeping a wary eye on the cotton wool monsters in the next field. The sheep were even less impressed with her I think...

The test went pretty smoothly, we really nailed the first centre line (and got an 8 for it - our first 8! eek!), she was just a bit tense in bits, her trot wasn't too bad but she showed her tension by jogging in all 3 walk movements and generally being inattentive at times. I was so pleased with her though, she was such a good girl, she did the whole test as she was asked to and for a first show a little jog and some wandering attention is a pretty good result. Actually we didn't score too badly with 61% considering how many marks we lost (4 sets) for the walks.

The second test was a prelim, in order to work off more of her nervous energy and get her to relax we gave her about 30mins warm up. She was a lot more relaxed when she entered the arena than before, but I was quite worried about my canter. On one leg she can still be very difficult to get the right canter lead and we'd had 50% right out in the collecting ring. Mum said the warm up wasn't the place for schooling and we need to work on it at home and to just see how we got on. In the test the minute I asked she cantered and gave me the right leg and everything, you know when you're really pleased? Yes it happened, unfortunately about three strides before the movement was supposed to end Katrina threw in a flying change. Typical!!! Still at least we're making progress, I'm so proud and she was such a superstar, so much more settled the second time..

We waited for my sheet and I was so pleased to see that in the Prelim we got 66%, I just love her to bits, there's a long way to go, lots to work on and mistakes including "changes not required at this level" to fix, but she's wonderful!!!

Thanks to Caroline Goldstraw from Leg Up Equestrian for organising such a super event, mum for being there, Emily and Gillian for being awesome and supportive friends and my amazing sponsors Stone House Solutions and the Emporium at Wentworth, I couldn't do it without your support and I'm truely grateful for all you do.

All in all, a really awesome day!!! And to finish it off perfectly she got a beautiful big red rosette as we were highest placed juniors.

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