Date posted: 16th May 2011

SERC and Fife riding club combined training day.

Yesterday we went to a combined training day which started with an optional dressage test, followed by a 16k pleasure ride. I would go as far as to say that this was the best event that I have been to in quite some time. I often have to decide weather to take one or two horses to a dressage competition myself or go to a pleasure ride with four horses and four riders. To have the two things combined was such a good idea and the venue was perfect.

Megan rode Tallina but was not a great success in the dressage and was awarded 13th position. Both horse and rider are perfectly capable of doing a nice test, however, Megan failed to practice the test before hand with Tallina, had about 30 seconds to warm up and having never ridden this horse in her life they went straight into the arena. If the pair would have practiced prior to the event I think they would have had a good score as there were some high marks for the walk and trot but the two just were not together for the cantering. At least Megan has learned her lesson for the next time. When the time came for the pleasure ride, the two were better acquainted and got on really well together. This was Tallinas second pleasure ride with us and she has taken to that without problem at all.

Our stars of the day were Erin with Ramkje (my 6 year old mare). Erin has been coming to help out at the yard for a short time and has done one ride with us previously. She had until yesterday only ever done walk and trot tests and so we were all delighted when she was awarded 1st place in the class. Erin then rode Ramkje on the pleasure ride and again they got on so well. There combined dressage and pleasure ride scores gained them 3rd place overall which was great as was Erins first prelim level test and Ramkjes introduction to endurance. Ramkje is an absolute dream to ride, it all looks and feels so effortless. I personally have not ridden a better mare, Friesian or otherwise. I was very proud of both Erin and Ramkje as both put in 100% effort throughout the whole day.

I rode Oscar who was perfect in the warm up arena then in the test decided he felt like pointing is back hooves towards the sky, although he only managed to buck once he was determined all of the way through the cantering sections to try. He was being a bit of a silly boy but he seemed to enjoy himself! We only managed 5th place due to his carryon. He thoroughly enjoyed the pleasure ride as did my mum riding her mare Sigrit. My mum has no interest in dressage at all and so refused to do the test.

The ride took us through lots of little forest tracks and fields. I could see how it would have been beneficial to be riding a wee Arab on this ride as we were crashing through bushes and ducking under branches on our larger built Friesians, one of the horses almost took a young tree right out! It was a lot of fun though, kept us on our toes and the horses were constantly paying attention to what was coming next. It is a real test of horse and rider. As the other three riders with me had conveniently misplaced and forgotten maps and directions, it was a good test for my map reading skills too!

This really was a fantastic day with a great atmosphere and everyone being friendly. It definitely put the fun back into riding, which to my mind is what it should be about.

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