Silva took Jeff, Sea Lord and Fair Fiona to Dressage at the Park last weekend at the Horse Park of New Jersey. Here's the scoop:
It was a really good show in the sense that the FEI classes were very full. Usually the lover level classes are full and the FEI classes only have a few entries, but this weekend it was the other way around. I liked that very much and it was very good to compete against quality horses and experienced riders at the FEI level.
I rode Jeff in the Grand Prix on Saturday and Sunday. I was very lucky that Jessica was there to help me warm up and to watch my test - it was helpful for me to get her feedback. On Saturday Jeff warmed up very well. I always feel like I have to really wake him up before I go into the ring and Jessica agreed, so that's what I did before I went into the show ring.
Jeff did a good test with a few little mistakes, but I was very happy with him.
After my ride Jessica talked me through the whole test from the beginning to the end and that was very, very helpful. She said after I woke him up before the test I needed to ride a little less aggressively and just give Jeff a bit more time for each movement in order to make it look more effortless. I totally agree! Overall Jessica was very happy with us and we both agreed that that is the reason why we have to do a lot of Grand Prix's at this open shows.
So on Sunday my plan was to do what Jess and I agreed on and wake him up just before I went in and then not put to much pressure on him in the ring. Well, that sounds easier than it is when you are actually in the ring! Some parts were better and smoother than others but we had a lot more mistakes because I did not help him in the parts that I needed to. But trying something new is the only way to find out what works the best for us. I need to work out where to push and where to just let Jeff do the work and allow him to do it well!
I was so grateful for Jess to be there and talk to me straight after the test.
What I learned from this weekend is that I need to push less on the first day and more on the second day!
I am telling you, to ride a Grand Prix is "freaking hard"! But one day in the near future Jeff and I will get it right. We still finished second on Saturday and third on Sunday with 64% and 62%!
And then there was my SEA LORD! He was a star as always! He impresses me more and more. We did a good Prix St. George on Saturday with a few little things that were my fault; I could have ridden him a bit better. It was a big class though and we finished 4th so I was happy with that.
On Sunday I was back to giving him a better ride and we worked together and won the Intermediaire 1 with 68%! I am looking forward to riding him at his first CDI at Saugerties in August.
Fair Fiona W was good as always. She won both her second level classes again! She has been very consistent and i am sure she will make somebody very happy. I will move her up to third level soon.