Roger wonders how a horse that can be so calm and cooperative, while out hacking, can be so wound up, and mad at a competition. Basically Fleygur does not like to be separated from his mates, and this is probably the biggest challenge.
The comments from the Judge, for Roger and Fleygurs’ practice round were,
“Rather tense and slightly pacey, but improving. Straight on the diagonals” NB Fleygur was ‘screaming’ at this point!
” Tenses on circles, and not fully co-operative. Rather uneven tempo at times.
“Good on diagonals, beat very good”
“Second circle irregular, owing to horses disobedience”
“Rather high shape/outline. Rushing in walk, but nice movement and good halt”
“Some conflict between horse and rider, but well done for keeping him as calm as possible!!”
So a lot of room for improvement! At this point, Fleygur and Svipur were on the same score.
Here is his second performance.
“Basically, Fleygur, who usually hangs on my every word, was not listening. In fact he was in another universe . So for most of the test, I am trying not to be tanked off with. Any release I give, he simply goes faster, or turns for the door, where his mate Svipur is. He does not so much pull, but is constantly evading contact, raising his head higher, and thus making it harder to engage his back-end, the only way I can get direction is with my seat, and leg. It feels like I am riding a different horse, but at least he isn’t pulling, and screaming like he did at the British Championships. At the walk, he comes back a bit, and feels like he is listening to me. So basically, it all felt a real challenge. So would I do it again? Yes, because he improved from his last outing, he showed no signs of distress afterwards, and I think teaching him to cope with stress in a competition environment, will transfer to the other things we do.”
Isn’t it amazing? I think Roger looks so calm, and controlled on horseback – and all that is going on in his head, and in his ‘seat’!
Judges comments on the second performance,
First Movement – figure 8 – ” Good even beat. Accurately ridden. High outline. Some tension”
Second Movement – circles – “Circles a little irregular, 2nd better. Riders hands a little high. Horses shape high”
Third Movement – walks – “Rushing, but outline nice. Good halt”
Final comment – “Well ridden, though hands a little high”
Plenty of work to do before the Spring Show, in Verwood, Dorset. 2nd to 5th May. Watch this space!