Well, I went to see Lucy at her dressage boot camp for the first time since we dropped her off 10 days ago. Those of you who know me will know that dressage has never been my strongest phase of Eventing and I was always lucky to have people around me that could produce a horse on the flat back in the day. I can manage to ride a half decent test on a well produced horse but a difficult one that needs fixing? Nah. Give me a dodgy one that needs sorting to go SJ or XC and I’d be all over it like a tramp on hot chips but flatwork that needs fixing? Not going to happen.
Lucy has been awesome so far this season, she can be pretty much guaranteed to jump a double clear round 90 and 100 (touch wood!) but the dressage has been going the wrong way – by 10 marks. It’s not the wee mare’s fault, she’s a little tricky but she’s not a bad pony. It’s me, and I know it is.
Anyway, I’m absolutely blown away by the difference Eilidh and her mum Lorraine have made to her. Lorraine is obviously very supportive of her kids and it was her that lunged her (taking care to explain what she was doing, why she was doing it, and what she was looking for) whilst Eilidh finished teaching her eleventy-fifth lesson of the day! Eilidh then jumped on and showed me what she’s been working on and then put me onboard to run through my test for Hopetoun this weekend. Well, I’m fairly sure they’ve swapped her for a different pony! Ok, she’s never going to be a dressage star but by christ, what a difference. Softer, much better outline, contact, throughness etc.
I took a bit of video of Eilidh on her and then Lorraine recorded my run through of the test. I’ve edited it right down but here’s a wee video to give you an idea. It’s still not perfect, but it’s a damn sight closer that I’d have been 12 months from now on my own!
In short, if you have a horse that requires a little ‘re-education’ on the flat then you could do a lot worse than send it to Team Grant! You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the cost, too.