So, fully registered with British Dressage it was time for us to go to our first proper dance. In the warm up Katrina felt tense. I did what Becky and Hannah taught me, bending inside and out, using transitions and changes of direction keeping Katrina supple and getting her to listen to me. She took a while to relax but eventually she felt good and we were ready for our first test.
Novice 24 started well and I was really enjoying it, but when we went round the corner after the medium trot, my mind went completely blank, and I couldn't figure which movement was next! I was so embarrassed, and I could only say a shy thank you to the lovely judge who got out of the car and helped me. Trying my best to just shrug it off, I focused on the rest of the test to salvage things. Thankfully no more lapses and I had a warm glow in my tummy as I patted Katrina's neck at the end.
Before Novice 38 Katrina felt nicer, forward, supple, and listening. This was a long arena test, but I had a reader because we all know I can’t keep one test in my head never mind two! Suddenly with a few minutes to go Katrina began shaking her head like there was something in her ear and became very unsettled. We checked but couldn't find anything, and we had to start, it was time for our test.
As we entered, Katrina’s tension got worse, disliking like the different arena. There were floodlights surrounded by squares of horse-eating, cement. Deciding that she didn’t hold with those at all, and still shaking her ears a little, we shot off in an unbalanced, tense trot. The test was fast and furious with Katrina spooking, changing canter leads at every floodlight, I couldn’t hear my caller because of the wind, and all the markings were new to me so I got really confused. The judge came out afterwards and told me off for asking the caller to say things twice and for not bringing Katrina back to trot before asking for a new transition every time she popped a change. I was just glad to finish in one piece and at least she’d stopped shaking her ears by the end!
A day of ups and downs; we did our worst test ever but we also got our first ever BD points by finishing 2nd in N24 with over 66%.