My First ‘Quest National Dressage Finals’ age 7 years Old

by

Jessica Smith-Clarke

Thursday 26th October

On​ ​Thursday​ ​we​ ​went​ ​up​ ​to​ ​Bury​ ​Farm​ ​Equestrian​ ​Village​ ​in​ ​Buckinghamshire,​ ​for​ ​the​ ​British Dressage​ ​Quest​ ​National​ ​Finals.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​competing​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Intro​ ​U18’s​ ​Section​ ​of​ ​Team​ ​Quest,​ ​with my​ ​team.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​doing​ ​Intro​ ​B​ ​and​ ​Intro​ ​C.

When​ ​we​ ​got​ ​there​ ​we​ ​unpacked​ ​Lady’s​ ​stuff​ ​and​ ​then​ ​we​ ​took​ ​Lady​ ​to​ ​her​ ​stable.​ ​The​ ​stables were​ ​very​ ​pretty​ ​and​ ​big.​ ​Lady​ ​was​ ​very​ ​lucky​ ​as​ ​she​ ​was​ ​in​ ​the​ ​permanent​ ​stables.​ ​Once​ ​we had​ ​taken​ ​all​ ​of​ ​her​ ​things​ ​out​ ​and​ ​given​ ​Lady​ ​some​ ​hay,​ ​we​ ​got​ ​her​ ​settled​ ​in.  We​ ​took​ ​her​ ​for​ ​a​ ​walk,​ ​to​ ​show​ ​her​ ​around​ ​and​ ​to​ ​stretch​ ​her​ ​legs​ ​because​ ​she​ ​had​ ​been​ ​in​ ​the trailer​ ​for​ ​nearly​ ​4​ ​hours.​ ​Lady​ ​was​ ​very​ ​spooky​ ​and​ ​was​ ​very​ ​jumpy​ ​but​ ​she​ ​did​ ​calm​ ​down​ ​after about​ ​15​ ​minutes​ ​of​ ​walking.​ ​​ ​After​ ​this​ ​we​ ​put​ ​Lady​ ​back​ ​in​ ​her​ ​stable​ ​and​ ​gave​ ​Lady​ ​her​ ​tea. Then​ ​we​ ​said​ ​good​ ​night.

Mummy​ ​booked​ ​a​ ​room​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Holiday​ ​Inn​ ​so​ ​we​ ​went​ ​there.​ ​​ ​We​ ​started​ ​unpacking​ ​and​ ​got everything​ ​ready.​ ​We​ ​went​ ​and​ ​had​ ​tea​ ​and​ ​mine​ ​was​ ​yummy​ ​(I​ ​had​ ​chips​ ​and​ ​sausages​ ​-​ ​I​ ​am allergic​ ​to​ ​Dairy​ ​and​ ​Soya​ ​so​ ​I​ ​don’t​ ​get​ ​much​ ​choice​ ​of​ ​foods​ ​when​ ​we​ ​are​ ​away)​ ​​ ​After​ ​tea,​ ​I got​ ​my​ ​PJ’s​ ​on​ ​and​ ​snuggled​ ​up​ ​in​ ​bed.

Friday 27th October

The​ ​next​ ​morning, ​​we​ ​got​ ​up​ ​early,​ ​went​ ​and​ ​had​ ​our​ ​breakfast​ ​then​ ​we​ ​went​ ​to​ ​see​ ​Lady. I​ ​filled​ ​up​ ​her​ ​water,​ ​I​ ​cleaned​ ​her​ ​stable​ ​and​ ​I​ ​emptied​ ​the​ ​wheel​ ​barrow.​ ​Then​ ​I​ ​tacked​ ​Lady​ ​up with​ ​mummy’s​ ​help​ ​and​ ​rode​ ​in​ ​the​ ​outdoor​ ​warm​ ​up​ ​arena.​ ​She​ ​was​ ​as​ ​good​ ​as​ ​gold,​ ​even though​ ​she​ ​had​ ​been​ ​spooky​ ​the​ ​day​ ​before.​ ​I​ ​then​ ​took​ ​her​ ​into​ ​the​ ​Indoor​ ​arena.​ ​She​ ​was pretty​ ​good​ ​but​ ​I​ ​know​ ​that​ ​Lady​ ​doesn’t​ ​like​ ​indoor​ ​arenas.​ ​I​ ​am​ ​going​ ​to​ ​work​ ​on​ ​this​ ​over winter!

I​ ​was​ ​excited​ ​as​ ​mummy​ ​told​ ​me​ ​that​ ​the​ ​rest​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Spice​ ​BYRDS​ ​team​ ​were​ ​coming​ ​today​ ​too. We​ ​went​ ​to​ ​get​ ​some​ ​food​ ​and​ ​then​ ​in​ ​the​ ​evening​ ​Mummy​ ​walked​ ​Lady​ ​again​ ​and​ ​she​ ​was much​ ​better.

On​ ​Friday​ ​evening​ ​we​ ​went​ ​to​ ​the​ ​International​ ​Arena​ ​to​ ​watch​ ​a​ ​demonstration​ ​with​ ​Garreth Hughes​ ​who​ ​is​ ​an​ ​International​ ​Dressage​ ​Rider.​ ​Three​ ​people​ ​got​ ​to​ ​go​ ​through​ ​their​ ​test​ ​with Garreth​ ​(Intro,​ ​Prelim​ ​and​ ​Novice)​ ​and​ ​then​ ​Garreth​ ​talked​ ​us​ ​through​ ​what​ ​they​ ​needed​ ​to​ ​do to​ ​improve​ ​their​ ​test​ ​and​ ​what​ ​he​ ​liked.​ ​I​ ​found​ ​this​ ​helpful​ ​as​ ​he​ ​gave​ ​me​ ​lots​ ​of​ ​tips​ ​on​ ​what​ ​I could​ ​do,​ ​like,​ ​asking​ ​for​ ​more​ ​inside​ ​bend,​ ​to​ ​help​ ​the​ ​horse​ ​or​ ​pony​ ​not​ ​spook.  One​ ​thing​ ​that​ ​Gareth​ ​said,​ ​that​ ​mummy​ ​liked​ ​was​ ​that​ ​‘’we​ ​all​ ​go​ ​into​ ​a​ ​test,​ ​with​ ​the​ ​intention of​ ​trying​ ​our​ ​best​ ​so,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​important​ ​to​ ​remember​ ​that​ ​when​ ​it​ ​doesn’t​ ​go​ ​to​ ​plan!​ ​Nobody​ ​sets​ ​off looking​ ​to​ ​make​ ​mistakes!!’’​ ​Mummy​ ​said​ ​that​ ​this​ ​is​ ​important​ ​to​ ​remember,​ ​especially​ ​as​ ​a parent​ ​as​ ​it​ ​can​ ​sometimes​ ​be​ ​frustrating​ ​watching​ ​from​ ​the​ ​sidelines!​ ​She​ ​said​ ​she​ ​was​ ​sure that​ ​lots​ ​of​ ​parents​ ​and​ ​carers​ ​could​ ​relate​ ​to​ ​this!  We​ ​left​ ​about​ ​8pm​ ​after​ ​checking​ ​on​ ​Lady​ ​and​ ​saying​ ​good​ ​night​ ​to​ ​her.

Saturday 28th October

On​ ​Saturday​ ​we​ ​woke​ ​up,​ ​went​ ​and​ ​got​ ​breakfast,​ ​got​ ​Lady’s​ ​tack​ ​and​ ​headed​ ​off​ ​to​ ​see​ ​her. Today​ ​my​ ​the​ ​day​ ​of​ ​my​ ​first​ ​test,​ ​I​ ​was​ ​very​ ​excited​ ​but​ ​nervous​ ​too​ ​as​ ​there​ ​was​ ​lots​ ​for​ ​Lady to​ ​spook​ ​at​ ​in​ ​the​ ​International​ ​Arena​ ​(which​ ​is​ ​where​ ​my​ ​first​ ​test​ ​was)​ ​All​ ​the​ ​team​ ​had​ ​arrived and​ ​we​ ​got​ ​to​ ​say​ ​hello​ ​properly.​ ​Spice​ ​BYRDS​ ​team​ ​is​ ​Emily,​ ​Lainey,​ ​Jemima,​ ​me​ ​and​ ​Isobel (but​ ​sadly​ ​Isobel​ ​couldn’t​ ​come​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Nationals)​ ​:-(

All​ ​of​ ​the​ ​team​ ​were​ ​riding​ ​before​ ​me​ ​so​ ​I​ ​watched​ ​them​ ​as​ ​our​ ​team​ ​spirit​ ​was​ ​good​ ​and​ ​it​ ​is good​ ​to​ ​support​ ​each​ ​other.​ ​They​ ​all​ ​did​ ​really​ ​well​ ​and​ ​Jemima​ ​came​ ​1st​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Novice​ ​class. We​ ​were​ ​all​ ​really​ ​happy​ ​for​ ​her.

I​ ​kept​ ​asking​ ​mummy​ ​when​ ​I​ ​could​ ​get​ ​on​ ​Lady​ ​as​ ​I​ ​was​ ​so​ ​excited. ​ ​Finally,​ ​mummy​ ​let​ ​me​ ​on and​ ​I​ ​warmed​ ​Lady​ ​up​ ​in​ ​the​ ​indoor​ ​warm​ ​up​ ​area.​ ​Lady​ ​was​ ​being​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​rude​ ​in​ ​the​ ​warm​ ​up​ ​as she​ ​kept​ ​snatching​ ​my​ ​reins​ ​away​ ​and​ ​she​ ​wasn’t​ ​listening​ ​to​ ​my​ ​legs.  ​ ​Before​ ​I​ ​knew​ ​it,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​time​ ​for​ ​my​ ​test!​ ​We​ ​entered​ ​the​ ​arena​ ​and​ ​there​ ​was​ ​a​ ​man​ ​on​ ​the speaker​ ​saying​ ​my​ ​name​ ​and​ ​talking​ ​about​ ​Lady​ ​and​ ​me.  I​ ​walked​ ​Lady​ ​around​ ​the​ ​arena​ ​(there​ ​was​ ​no​ ​arena​ ​walks​ ​so​ ​it​ ​was​ ​the​ ​first​ ​time​ ​Lady​ ​had seen​ ​it!)​ ​She​ ​was​ ​very​ ​spooky​ ​but​ ​I​ ​still​ ​carried​ ​on​ ​and​ ​hoped​ ​for​ ​the​ ​best.

The​ ​buzzer​ ​went​ ​and​ ​I​ ​entered​ ​up​ ​the​ ​centre​ ​line.​ ​There​ ​was​ ​a​ ​rope​ ​in​ ​the​ ​corner​ ​of​ ​the​ ​arena (on​ ​the​ ​outside​ ​but​ ​near​ ​M)​ ​and​ ​she​ ​was​ ​scared​ ​of​ ​it,​ ​which​ ​didn’t​ ​help​ ​getting​ ​her​ ​into​ ​the corner!​ ​I​ ​was​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​nervous​ ​now​ ​but​ ​I​ ​was​ ​still​ ​determined​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​going.​ ​We​ ​got​ ​to​ ​the​ ​end​ ​of the​ ​test​ ​and​ ​I​ ​wasn’t​ ​very​ ​pleased​ ​about​ ​how​ ​our​ ​test​ ​had​ ​gone.​ ​I​ ​came​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​test​ ​and​ ​took Lady​ ​into​ ​the​ ​Outdoor​ ​warm​ ​up​ ​as​ ​I​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​finish​ ​on​ ​a​ ​more​ ​positive​ ​note.​ ​Which​ ​we​ ​did.  I​ ​took​ ​Lady​ ​back​ ​to​ ​her​ ​stable​ ​and​ ​gave​ ​her​ ​a​ ​big​ ​pat​ ​to​ ​say​ ​well​ ​done.

I​ ​went​ ​and​ ​got​ ​some​ ​chippys​ ​(chips)​ ​for​ ​my​ ​tea​ ​as​ ​we​ ​were​ ​staying​ ​to​ ​watch​ ​the​ ​PSG​ ​dressage evening.  We​ ​watched​ ​International​ ​Dressage​ ​Riders:​ ​Toby​ ​Hewlett,​ ​Victoria​ ​Maw,​ ​Sadie​ ​Smith,​ ​Louise Robson,​ ​Sofie​ ​Butchart,​ ​Lilly​ ​Hewitt,​ ​Harry​ ​Payne,​ ​Joanna​ ​Thurman-Baker,​ ​Nathalie​ ​Kayal, Tahley​ ​Reeve-Smith,​ ​Leah​ ​Beckett​ ​and​ ​Elder​ ​Klatzko.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​really​ ​very​ ​brilliant.​ ​I​ ​really​ ​liked watching​ ​their​ ​medium​ ​trot​ ​and​ ​medium​ ​canter.​ ​The​ ​people​ ​that​ ​had​ ​won​ ​their​ ​class​ ​in​ ​the​ ​day also​ ​got​ ​paired​ ​with​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​international​ ​riders​ ​and​ ​were​ ​able​ ​to​ ​comment​ ​of​ ​their​ ​PSG​ ​test and​ ​later​ ​on​ ​they​ ​all​ ​got​ ​advice​ ​to​ ​help​ ​them​ ​with​ ​their​ ​second​ ​test.​ ​One​ ​of​ ​our​ ​team​ ​members​ ​- Jemima​ ​was​ ​paired​ ​with​ ​Harry​ ​Payne.​ ​Jemima​ ​had​ ​a​ ​great​ ​time​ ​and​ ​it​ ​was​ ​great​ ​to​ ​watch​ ​her enjoying​ ​it.

The​ ​last​ ​rider​ ​to​ ​ride​ ​was​ ​Elder​ ​Klatzko​ ​with​ ​her​ ​horse,​ ​Woodlander​ ​Little​ ​Richard​ ​(aka​ ​Richie)  Richie​ ​thought​ ​the​ ​arena​ ​was​ ​scary​ ​too!​ ​When​ ​Elder​ ​had​ ​finished​ ​I​ ​went​ ​to​ ​see​ ​her​ ​as​ ​her​ ​pony was​ ​spooky​ ​like​ ​my​ ​pony​ ​was​ ​in​ ​the​ ​International​ ​Arena.  I​ ​asked​ ​if​ ​I​ ​could​ ​talk​ ​to​ ​her​ ​and​ ​she​ ​said​ ​‘’of​ ​course!’’​ ​We​ ​talked​ ​about​ ​how​ ​both​ ​ponies​ ​had been​ ​spooky​ ​and​ ​Elder​ ​reassured​ ​me​ ​that​ ​all​ ​the​ ​spooky​ ​ponies​ ​are​ ​the​ ​best.​ ​Elder​ ​asked​ ​me​ ​if I​ ​had​ ​my​ ​riding​ ​hat​ ​and​ ​if​ ​I​ ​would​ ​like​ ​to​ ​sit​ ​on​ ​her​ ​horse,​ ​Richie!​ ​I​ ​felt​ ​very​ ​very​ ​lucky​ ​and​ ​Daddy went​ ​to​ ​get​ ​my​ ​hat.

I​ ​got​ ​on​ ​and​ ​he​ ​felt​ ​very​ ​very​ ​big!​ ​I​ ​walked​ ​him​ ​around​ ​and​ ​he​ ​was​ ​really​ ​good.​ ​I​ ​had​ ​my​ ​picture taken​ ​with​ ​Elder,​ ​while​ ​I​ ​was​ ​on​ ​Richie.​ ​When​ ​I​ ​got​ ​down,​ I​ ​said​ ​a​ ​big​ ​‘’Thank​ ​you’’​ ​to​ ​Elder. Elder​ ​said​ ​‘’​ ​you​ ​can​ ​now​ ​tell​ ​people​ ​that​ ​you​ ​have​ ​ridden​ ​a​ ​Grand​ ​Prix​ ​horse!’’

She​ ​then​ ​talked​ ​through​ ​what​ ​I​ ​could​ ​do​ ​to​ ​help​ ​improve​ ​my​ ​tests,​ ​especially​ ​when​ ​Lady​ ​is​ ​being a​ ​bit​ ​difficult.​ ​I​ ​am​ ​going​ ​to​ ​start​ ​practicing​ ​‘shoulder​ ​in’​ ​which​ ​we​ ​like​ ​to​ ​do​ ​when​ ​we​ ​are hacking.  I​ ​said​ ​a​ ​huge​ ​thank​ ​you​ ​for​ ​taking​ ​the​ ​time​ ​to​ ​talk​ ​to​ ​me​ ​and​ ​letting​ ​me​ ​ride​ ​her​ ​horse​ ​and​ ​said good​ ​bye.

We​ ​went​ ​to​ ​say​ ​goodnight​ ​to​ ​Lady​ ​and​ ​check​ ​her​ ​water​ ​and​ ​I​ ​gave​ ​her​ ​a​ ​swede​ ​to​ ​eat,​ ​for​ ​an evening​ ​treat.  Mummy​ ​said​ ​that​ ​it​ ​was​ ​really​ ​good​ ​for​ ​us​ ​all​ ​to​ ​see​ ​and​ ​know,​ ​that​ ​it​ ​goes​ ​wrong,​ ​even​ ​when you​ ​are​ ​at​ ​the​ ​top! We​ ​headed​ ​back​ ​to​ ​our​ ​Holiday​ ​Inn.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​feeling​ ​very​ ​lucky​ ​about​ ​the​ ​day​ ​and​ ​I​ ​went​ ​to​ ​sleep quite​ ​quickly,​ ​as​ ​I​ ​was​ ​tired.

Sunday 29th October

On​ ​Sunday​ ​our​ ​team​ ​was​ ​riding​ ​quite​ ​early.​ ​Lainey​ ​was​ ​on​ ​first,​ ​just​ ​after​ ​9am,​ ​then​ ​Emily​ ​and then​ ​Jemima.​ ​They​ ​all​ ​rode​ ​brilliantly​ ​and​ I​ ​felt​ ​really​ ​proud​ ​to​ ​be​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Spice​ ​BYRDS​ ​team. We​ ​all​ ​made​ ​sure​ ​that​ ​we​ ​watched​ ​each​ ​other’s​ ​tests​ ​so​ ​that​ ​we​ ​could​ ​support​ ​each​ ​other​ ​and be​ ​a​ ​good​ ​team.  My​ ​second​ ​test​ ​was​ ​up​ ​next​ ​11.09am,​ ​I​ ​warmed​ ​up​ ​Lady​ ​early​ ​as​ ​we​ ​had​ ​a​ ​few​ ​disagreements the​ ​day​ ​before!​ ​We​ ​went​ ​through​ ​our​ ​transitions,​ ​we​ ​did​ ​some​ ​trot​ ​canter​ ​transitions,​ ​we​ ​did​ ​a​ ​bit of​ ​bending​ ​and​ ​free​ ​walk​ ​and​ ​I​ ​had​ ​a​ ​nice​ ​talk​ ​to​ ​the​ ​other​ ​people​ ​riding​ ​in​ ​the​ ​arena,​ ​about​ ​their ponies.​ ​I​ ​like​ ​talking​ ​to​ ​other​ ​people,​ ​it’s​ ​nice.

The​ ​steward​ ​called​ ​me​ ​over​ ​for​ ​my​ ​tack​ ​check​ ​(everything​ ​was​ ​fine)​ ​and​ ​then​ ​the​ ​next​ ​steward called​ ​me​ ​in​ ​for​ ​my​ ​test.  There​ ​was​ ​huge​ ​Team​ ​Quest​ ​boards​ ​around​ ​the​ ​arena​ ​which I​ ​was​ ​not​ ​looking​ ​forward​ ​to​ ​as​ ​I thought​ ​Lady​ ​would​ ​spook​ ​at​ ​them….she​ ​did!​ ​I​ ​started​ ​to​ ​flex​ ​her,​ ​to​ ​take​ ​her​ ​mind​ ​off​ ​of​ ​the boards​ ​and​ ​she​ ​soon​ ​settled.​ ​We​ ​trotted​ ​around​ ​the​ ​edge,​ ​the​ ​bell​ ​rang​ ​and​ ​we​ ​were​ ​off!  Lady​ ​was​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​tense​ ​but​ ​I​ ​smiled​ ​the​ ​whole​ ​way​ ​though​ ​and​ ​I​ ​could​ ​feel​ ​that​ ​Lady​ ​was​ ​trying harder​ ​today.

I​ ​turned​ ​down​ ​the​ ​centre​ ​line,​ ​looked​ ​at​ ​the​ ​judge,​ ​smiled,​ ​halted​ ​and​ ​saluted…​ ​I​ ​was​ ​done!​ ​My last​ ​test​ ​and​ ​I​ ​thought​ ​it​ ​went​ ​really​ ​well.​ ​She​ ​was​ ​forward​ ​(although​ ​could​ ​have​ ​been​ ​a​ ​little more​ ​forward)​ ​she​ ​listened​ ​(most​ ​of​ ​the​ ​time!)​ ​and​ ​she​ ​tried.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​really​ ​happy​ ​with​ ​my​ ​pony.​ ​I gave​ ​her​ ​a​ ​long​ ​rein​ ​and​ ​we​ ​left​ ​the​ ​arena.

We​ ​got​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​arena​ ​and​ ​I​ ​said​ ​to​ ​mummy,​ ​that​ ​I​ ​had​ ​tears​ ​in​ ​my​ ​eyes​ ​as​ ​I​ ​was​ ​so​ ​happy. After​ ​cooling​ ​Lady​ ​down​ ​and​ ​taking​ ​her​ ​back​ ​to​ ​her​ ​stable,​ ​I​ ​spent​ ​the​ ​rest​ ​of​ ​the​ ​day​ ​playing with​ ​my​ ​friends,​ ​we​ ​had​ ​lots​ ​of​ ​fun!​ ​I​ ​also​ ​got​ ​to​ ​choose​ ​a​ ​photo​ ​to​ ​buy,​ ​of​ ​Lady​ ​and​ ​me.  In​ ​the​ ​evening​ ​there​ ​was​ ​a​ ​presentation​ ​for​ ​the​ ​winning​ ​teams.​ ​Sadly​ ​our​ ​team​ ​just​ ​missed​ ​out, but​ ​our​ ​team​ ​spirit​ ​and​ ​the​ ​fun​ ​we​ ​had​ ​was​ ​just​ ​as​ ​good​ ​as​ ​getting​ ​a​ ​rosette.​ ​I​ ​felt​ ​such​ ​a​ ​lucky girl​ ​and​ ​I​ ​was​ ​there​ ​with​ ​my​ ​family​ ​and​ ​my​ ​friends.   Once​ ​the​ ​presentation​ ​finished,​ ​we​ ​packed​ ​up​ ​and​ ​said​ ​goodbye​ ​to​ ​our​ ​team.​ ​We​ ​got​ ​Lady​ ​out of​ ​the​ ​stable…she​ ​was​ ​very​ ​excited​ ​to​ ​be​ ​going​ ​home!!

We​ ​loaded​ ​up​ ​and​ ​off​ ​we​ ​went,​ ​back​ ​home.​ ​We​ ​got​ ​home​ ​at​ ​9.45pm.​ ​Lady​ ​was​ ​pleased​ ​to​ ​get back​ ​and​ ​see​ ​her​ ​friends​ ​Hirka​ ​and​ ​Tiggywinkle,​ ​then​ ​we​ ​snuggled​ ​her​ ​up,​ ​in​ ​her​ ​bed. I​ ​felt​ ​wide​ ​awake,​ ​as​ ​I​ ​slept​ ​the​ ​whole​ ​way​ ​back!

What next?

We​ ​are​ ​now​ ​having​ ​a​ ​quieter​ ​few​ ​weeks.​ ​Lady​ ​has​ ​had​ ​her​ ​wolf​ ​teeth​ ​out​ ​so,​ ​she​ ​has​ ​had​ ​a week​ ​off.​ ​We​ ​are​ ​going​ ​to​ ​enjoy​ ​some​ ​hacking,​ ​before​ ​it​ ​gets​ ​too​ ​dark​ ​after​ ​school​ ​and​ ​soon​ ​we will​ ​be​ ​back​ ​to​ ​night​ ​time​ ​riding​ ​and​ ​hacking.​ ​(dedication!)

My winter homework: 

I​ ​am​ ​going​ ​to​ ​be​ ​working​ ​on​ ​my​ ​contact​ ​in​ ​canter​ ​and​ ​getting​ ​a​ ​softer​ ​canter.​ ​I​ ​need​ ​to remember​ ​to​ ​relax​ ​my​ ​shoulders​ ​and​ ​keep​ ​my​ ​elbows​ ​back.​ ​I​ ​also​ ​need​ ​to​ ​work​ ​on​ ​my​ ​core strength​ ​so​ ​that​ ​I​ ​can​ ​do​ ​this​ ​all​ ​the​ ​time.​ ​This​ ​will​ ​also​ ​help​ ​Lady.​ ​Mummy​ ​and​ ​Louise​ ​will​ ​help me​ ​do​ ​this.​ ​I​ ​am​ ​also​ ​going​ ​to​ ​be​ ​working​ ​on​ ​my​ ​core​ ​strength,​ ​in​ ​Pilates,​ ​with​ ​Nina.

As​ ​you​ ​know,​ ​Lady​ ​does​ ​not​ ​‘like’​ ​indoor​ ​arenas​ ​so,​ ​we​ ​will​ ​be​ ​making​ ​a​ ​few​ ​trips​ ​to​ ​some indoor​ ​arenas​ ​to​ ​help​ ​Lady​ ​overcome​ ​her​ ​dislike!  Over​ ​the​ ​winter​ ​we​ ​are​ ​also​ ​going​ ​to​ ​be​ ​looking​ ​at​ ​what​ ​we​ ​have​ ​done​ ​this​ ​summer​ ​and​ ​make​ ​it perfect.​ ​(Lady​ ​and​ ​I​ ​have​ ​only​ ​been​ ​competing​ ​in​ ​dressage​ ​since​ ​March​ ​17​ ​so​ ​we​ ​have​ ​not really​ ​stopped!​ ​It’s​ ​been​ ​a​ ​busy​ ​summer.)

This​ ​summer​ ​has​ ​been​ ​really​ ​special.​ ​We​ ​have​ ​achieved​ ​so​ ​much​ ​together,​ ​had​ ​great​ ​fun​ ​and both​ ​of​ ​us​ ​have​ ​learnt​ ​a​ ​lot!   I​ ​want​ ​to​ ​say​ ​a​ ​massive​ ​Thank​ ​you​ ​to​ ​Mummy,​ ​Louise​ ​Hutchinson,​ ​and​ ​Kanyon​ ​Outdoor​ ​for​ ​all of​ ​the​ ​support​ ​that​ ​I​ ​get.​ ​I​ ​am​ ​a​ ​lucky​ ​girl​ ​and​ ​I​ ​really​ ​appreciate​ ​it​ ​all.

The​ ​biggest​ ​Thank​ ​you​ ​needs​ ​to​ ​go​ ​to​ ​Lady​ ​for​ ​always​ ​trying​ ​her​ ​best​ ​and​ ​for​ ​being​ ​my​ ​bestest pony.

Love

Jessica​ ​Smith-Clarke

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