It has been a mixed period of highs and lows from me. March saw some really good progress and great hopes but like the rest of the country I have been somewhat stopped in my tracks. The saving grace for me is I have my horses at home and an arena to practice in.
I managed to attended two Affiliated Dressage competitions prior to lockdown with cancellations already happening prior to the end of March.
The first competition was at Saddlesdane I did two Novice test and won the first test overall with 73.96%, and the second test second overall with 72.03%. Team Stebbings second outing was to Blue Barn, again for two Novice tests, where I got second overall in both tests. These scores mean I have qualified for Regionals at Novice riding as a Silver rider. It also means I can qualify now as a Bronze rider for Elementary Pet Plan.
I am a total obsessive when it comes to my horse and stables looking perfect, this down time has very much allowed this obsession to become perfection. (I have to admit to rather liking my Olson branded kit with horse and rider matching)
Just prior to lockdown Diamond (my horse) and I were lucky enough to have a session with the Olympic physio Andy Thomas – more on that to follow in the future, exciting times for both of us.
My training schedule has altered slightly – lessons with my coach and mentor Lousia Cuomo had been working on Elementary moves, collection, changes and even a little piaffe! This I am now pushing really hard at home, perfecting whilst I have extra time on my hands.
March also saw some coaching from Grace Bartholomew helping me to mentally prepare for competitions, managing my own preparedness as well as that of the horse.
We are now working on a floor plan for a Dressage to Music Elementary test so that I can get practice and lessons at home whilst we can not be out and about.
In other news I managed to get a small article in Horse and Hound and obviously my Instagram, Youtube and social media posting have continued in the background, very much sharing my training life. As with all creators I have felt it important to carry on with content when people are stuck at home and dreaming of freedom!
I look forward to May, with fingers crossed I will be able to get out again mid to end of the month.