Pfft, I don’t think I’ve been this nervous in a long long time.
But yeah, let’s start at the beginning. Some time ago me and some stable mates decided that it was a good idea for me to do a try out dressage test at another stable. At that point in time it seemed totally fun. That all lasted all the way till this morning when I realised what I had signed up for.
But heck, I’m also to stubborn to quit, so on we went (you never get away from fear without facing it right?). Luckily I didn’t have to go alone, cause that would have not ended very well. Grumpy feeds on my nervousness, so I got Ivonne and Inge along for the ride to help me out with everything(Holla at Ruben and Sabine for the gezelligheid).
For some reason before today I was really nervous for the transportation and how he would react to a new arena. I had this image in my head that he would freak out and fall off the transportation or so. Not logical at all as he has never done this, and he didnt either. He went on like a dream, transported totally fine and when we came there I let the ladies do their thing as they know him and I didn’t want to make him nervous. Now I know why professional riders have grooms. haha.
When I came to testride Grumpy for the first time, he gave me this feeling of security, which he did again today. Riding around in the big outdoor arena felt so nice. He wasn’t spooky at all, which I had expected him to be as he can do some twist and turns on me at home. But nada of that, he listened well and if I just could have taken that feeling with me into the test I probably would have ridden the first test better.
That arena was really really big.
The second we entered the indoor arena everything went blurry. I was too nervous and he hated the white bars and the jury table at the beginning of the arena. But on we went. The longest five minutes of my life. At a certain point all that went trough my mind was “just get trough it, there is light at the end of the tunnel”. More or less everything that could go wrong, went wrong. He didn’t want to get close to the white bars, and I had my reins to long to force him. But oh well, we survived(yes you can call me miss dramatic). Can’t believe I survived holding my breath for five minutes either…
Luckily we got a second chance to redeem ourself and I got a second to breath and it went a lot better. Knowing we can still do a lot better it was still a good feeling to be able to go home knowing we got trough it properly the second time. We still got a lot to practice on, seeing the photos I definitely need to sit better, get my stirrups longer, keep the connection to the bit and loose some weight. Grumpy needs to be a lot more collected, but for now thats all alright. We got things to work on and the first step is taken so we are moving forward.
Looking back I’m so happy I bought a horse that can teach me everything I need to know and that shows me everything I do wrong, without being an ass about it. I’m also really happy I got such great stable mates that are there to support me. Thank you for the help today, couldn’t have done it without you.
To everyone starting out with dressage tests or just want to get better at riding tests I can highly recommend Proefgericht clinics by Marlon van Wissen.