|So grateful for the sleeveless shirt - it was baking!|
Helen was warming up on Boysie a bit for me so that when I was ready to mount he was also ready to work hard. Because of the vaulting competition, we didn't have a huge amount of time to get me on board and then get down to the tack check and collecting ring.Ready to mount...
...fiddling with gloves...
|Just look at those suspicious ears!|
After doing a few nice transitions and working a little bit on getting a vaguely square halt it was time for a final pep talk from Gillian...
I've done a fair bit of work in Cambridge practising heading towards the mirror at C in the indoor school. The mirror is quite narrow so if I veer off course it's immediately noticeable. It also helps me to be able to see instantly if I am sitting centrally. I have a tendency to sit to the left a bit, with my left hip lower than my right. This makes it very hard for the horse to move in a straight line, especially when they're nicely responsive to weight aids - which is a good thing! It's also hard to keep the horse straight when you ride one-handed because that puts an inevitable wonkiness into the mix as you have to think about the effect of your spare hand as well as what message you are relaying to the horse via the reins and the bit. Just walking in a straight line is actually surprisingly difficult!
|Boysie's own spine in this picture does rather overstate the issue, but still - this is me *trying* to sit straight!|
After the entry (with no halt for salute) we turned right at C and then right again at B before halting at X for four seconds. The halt was pretty nice, so I was pleased, and although Boysie jangled his bit a little it was a pretty nice relaxed halt for him. Only a few months ago he was really struggling with having to stand still (especially for mounting!) so this is definitely progress. I think it helped that I remembered to keep my legs a bit more relaxed.
|Whilst I expect that there wasn't actually anything intentional going on with that left hand, it does look a bit as if I'm pointing to Boysie where I want him to go!|
|Quite nice, but I could have my head up a bit more.|
|Mind you, so did John ;)|
|Not much to do but untack and sponge Boysie down, then feed him lots of his favourite hay'n'carrots.|
|The CURC competition - BD Prelim 7 with cute little Oscar! <3|
|Admirable sentiment, and I agree in principle, but it's nice to win too...|
|I need to work on my 'this is definitely not a fluke' face...|
|At Oaklands with Beets|
|Me and Boysie competing at Milton in January 2016.|
|This was actually before we had any news to celebrate - Gillian was just trying to get Boysie's attention for a nice photo!|