After hardly any sleep (Sarah had a chest infection) Sunday morning was bright and sunny. A quick walk out for the pony while Sarah mucked out and the pony was in rather good spirits, so much so that I had to wrap the rope around her nose to stop her disappearing to the other side of the field. A quick coffee and a plait up and we were about ready to do our dressage test. Now I am the first to admit I do not particularly like dressage, contrary to my record of wins and places in this discipline! It’s standing joke in fact that I dressage and I just don’t mix. I usually learn my test 20 minutes before I go in and treat dressage with the same attitude as I do paperwork. It’s something that has to be done.14333070_1084463321640177_1498268208185679153_n

30 minutes later and I will admit, I came out with small tears rolling down my cheeks. Sarah took one look at me and tentatively asked what was wrong… Absolutely nothing. The test just felt so beautiful. The pony felt on fire, plenty of oomph but calm, responsive and simply wonderful to ride. Unbeknown to me, while I was riding the test, my in-hand class had been called so I was quickly ushered to the lorry for a quick tack change and change of clothing for me. My questions of how the test actually looked fell on deaf ears as Sarah had missed most of it, hurrying to get everything ready for my forthcoming class. I pondered my potential results while trotting over my class ring and unusually for me felt quite nervous about the results. As we all know, dressage is subjective to what the judge saw and likes and I know Patch can go a bit low, although she never felt it.

My in-hand classes went well with Patch winning her in-hand class and coming reserve section championship. We were handed evening performance cards but turned them down. I am a firm believer in not doing too much with older horses and while a lot of people would have done the evening performance, I just felt with her age and the classes she had already done that it would be too much for. There is always another day and besides the fact we have a yard full at home to do as well.

The wait for the dressage results was a long one and so we kept busy emptying the stable, packing the lorry and making sure Patch was as comfortable as possible, ready to make a quick exit once we had the results… 2 hours later and they were finally posted. We had only blooming won and were to be announced Prelim dressage champion. Armed full of rosettes, sashes, a rug and vouchers off Blue Chip feeds, we were over the moon. We did wait around for a quick official photograph with the pony before making a speedy exit for the journey home.

It wasn’t until we got home and unloaded that I had a real chance to look through my hoard of prizes and realise how much time and effort goes into organising such a big show as this. The prizes were beautiful and really were a touching gesture of the sponsor’s generosity, so a huge thank you to every company that kindly donated prizes. A special mention to Blue Chip Feeds for the sponsoring of the Dressage Championship classes, Virbac & Honeychop for their amazing prizes – Patch is already a fan of the Honeychop Senior, so now she has 2 bags to enjoy!

Never again will I moan about doing dressage!