Countdown to our FFE Debut

Well, it’s official.  I’m competing in Manosque next Sunday.

My FFE license has been renewed and my medical cert (which proves that I’m fit to ride) has been sent off to the FFE.  Alexandrine tried to register the horses using the numbers on their Irish passports but was unable to do it, despite the fact that Flurry has a UELN, Universal Equine Life Number (Aero is too old to have such a thing).  She’s very determined to get me out competing, so she worked out that I can compete Hors Concours.  Damn.  There’s no excuse for me.  “Oh, I would have gone but my horse isn’t registered” just won’t work.

I’ve printed off and (mostly) learned my test.  I’ve also printed off and (partially) learned the layout of a 20×60 arena.

Today, Flurry and I had a run-through lesson.  It was very good, especially since I now know how to position my 15M circles and my serpentine correctly in a 20×60.  HOWEVER, it may turn out that the test is held in a 20×40 arena; we won’t know until we get there.  How do I ride a circle at P when P does not exist? For my 20M canter circles at P and V, where should I start?  The other bombshell was that I can’t carry a whip.  This may mean that I have to wear spurs.  Now I must root through the boxes of horse gear looking for the little roundy spurs.

Technical things I was pleased with :

Flurry’s halts were good, as in, he stopped. Oh, I remember the end of our very first dressage test in Skevanish and the look of panic on the judge’s face as Flurry continued to hurtle down the centre-line, having ignored my “stop” request at G.  Thankfully, he didn’t jump the barrier and stopped there, with his head practically in the judge’s lap.

He was straight on the straight bits, even the incredibly long 60 metre centreline.  I was very pleased that we were also able to canter across the diagonal without going all wobbly and without breaking canter.

He was bent on the curved bits.  He could have been more bent a few times, but it wasn’t bad.

Extended walk (which we’ve never done before) was ok, he definitely took bigger steps.  All those hours of free walk while trekking have helped!  Apparently I can fudge extended walk by doing free walk but making it look like I have a contact.  Devious, moi?

His transitions were mostly good and his downward transitions have really improved (woohoo!)

Technical stuff we will work on :

Canter transitions.  He’s quite capable of doing them and staying round IF his stoopid rider keeps the contact.

Left bend.  When did he change from ‘stiff on right’ to ‘stiff on left’?  Leg-yielding should help.

Cutting the arc of circles while ignoring my inside leg, on both reins.  Not hugely, but enough for me to notice.  I think our ‘moving the shoulders across’ exercise and leg-yielding should help this, too.

Five days to go.  We’ll have no trouble changing from this :

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to this :

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 And sure I might even plait him this time.

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