In June, Nonie and I were fortunate enough to be selected for sponsorship by online equestrian competition company EquiMind. The British based company cater for riders across a variety of disciplines including dressage, showing horsemanship and western vaulting and even have specialised classes for blind horses.
I had only recently become aware of the concept of online competitions, but immediately saw the benefits that they offered:
- Decreased expense
- Decreased time cost
- Ability to compete from home
I saw that EquiMind were running photo competitions, which I thought looked like a bit of fun. I entered the ‘Best Dressage Photo Competition’, and got the following feedback:
– Really good posture and leg
– The horse is using his back very well
– Rider needs to straighten her wrist to allow more direct contact to the horse’s mouth.
Our first online competition:
Earlier this week we filmed and submitted our first test (BD Elementary 44) and I can’t wait for some feedback – as a sponsored rider I am fortunate enough to receive in depth feedback from a trainer. Results were released last night (Australian time), and I was chuffed to see that I had scored 67.6%. As an added bonus we won the elementary class!
For a long time I have been told that I should be riding tests on a regular basis. However it’s something I have really struggled to do. There are numerous reasons for this, the lack of a properly measured and marked arena, time – the list goes on. Having a competition structure will give me that extra push I need to get in there and practice more tests. I have no doubt that riding through more tests will have huge benefits for my riding (Check out this video from Danielle Pooles from Dressage Plus regarding the benefits of riding your tests).
Watching the test back at home, I immediately picked up on a few things I can improve upon. For instance. keeping straight after the first halt and ensuring that I ride 2-3 strides straight over the centreline.
I really believe that participating in online dressage competitions will be invaluable for our growth and progression as a partnership.
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