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Tilly's January Blog: A month of training!

This month started off with a BYRDs inter country selection training session and test ride through at Cheltenham Race Course. My instructor Karen Lisk was so lovely and we were going over my leg yielding to the left from the centre line. This is something Chester and I need to improve. Funnily enough he's brilliant going left off the track, just not towards!! The lesson really helped and by the end of it we had improved quite a bit. I then rode my test and felt it went quite well. We just have to do one more then we are able to be put on a squad. That's if they want us and we are good enough!

I then had the first of 4 weekly of training sessions with Trudi Robinson. These were set up by my Pony Club in preparation for the Dengie dressage qualifiers. Each session was 7:30-8:30pm. The people in my group and I were laughing and joking at how we were spending our Friday night in the pouring rain, however I wouldn't change it for anything else! The first session we concentrated of rhythm and suppleness, making sure we had the basics before we do our test. Chester performed well in the session despite being rather excited and forward going!

Unfortunately, Chester had to have a little break this month due to a family bereavement but I think it has done him good as he was especially good the following week and we are really getting to grips with some of the harder elementary/medium movements. They are, however, far from perfect!

During our next dressage preparation for the Pony Club qualifier, we concentrated on lateral work and worked on leg yielding, which was great as I could then put what I had learnt from (and after) my BD lesson to the test. It had definitely paid off as we got some lovely feedback to take away and improve ready for our last session on the 3rd of February. This will be our final run through of the tests and self-critiquing them! We will then be ready for the competition on the 5th February. We are going to have a go at the Open level. I can’t wait!

I hope everyone has had a lovely month, using all the goodies they received over Christmas. I know Chester has enjoyed the sudden boom of treats coming his way!! Chester has FINALLY tolerated a full clip without sedation, thanks to my amazing new clippers- yay!

Good luck to you all in February. Chester and I hope to compete in our first elementary after the Dengie qualifiers, so fingers crossed.