Rich updates us:
My local riding club holds an annual awards night to mark the beginning of the new riding club season. I was told it is normally a fantastic evening and it would be good idea if I went along.
The atmosphere was great, lots of prizes being given out and lots of celebrations, even Tommy and I got two 5ths and a 6th placing in the Show jumping league for each height category which was amazing considering we had had such a slow start to the year.
It was a fun night and really nice to see everyone getting recognition for the hard work they had put in over the 2013 season. It got to the last 5 prizes to be given out, the first of these being for most improved horse and rider of 2013. And then I heard my name, I couldn't quite believe it, Tommy and I had won the most improved horse and rider prize.
Such a nice surprise and so well deserved of Tommy after all the work he put in for me moving from 65cm at the beginning of the year to being in a position to enter the 95cm class at the championship show in September….
Appreciation and recognition goes along way and really does motivate you to want to continue your progress.
The 2014 season of competitions has started, and Tommy and I have already been placed in two Show jumping classes and two Dressage tests along with coming second in several other classes too which has been great. However there is more than just the competition success we have had together in indicating how we have progressed and developed as a great partnership and team.
To some they might be minor but for me these indicators are huge and are clear signs that Tommy is not just learning but accepting and enjoying me as his riding partner.
1) Tommy now lowers his head and reaches his lips down to the bit, accepting it eagerly.
2) I have found a soft spot on his withers that when I scratch, he in return will ‘groom’ my back, I love the way he does this, as it is his way of showing his acceptance of me by wanting to mirror what I am giving him.
I could go on forever with all the little things he does that show me how in a very short period of time we have built a very special trusted bond that will continue to grow and develop over time.
For the next couple of months we will keep competing at the local riding club in Dressage
and Show jumping, working hard to improve all we can.
We are yet to win a competition together, but I do feel that if Tommy keeps
on working hard for me and making the improvements like he is, it will happen for us both this year.
But whether we win or not we will continue to have lots of fun and enjoy our riding learning’s and experiences together.
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