The latest from Para Dressage rider Natalie Povey

On Sunday we took Elton to our first competition, he was a very good boy for our first outing together, considering he's only 5 and still has lots to learn. He travelled very well on his own in the trailer and stood patiently to be tacked up. I decided to get on him in the car park and hack him to the warm up so I could get a feel to how he was feeling. As we approached the warm up he was a little tense wondering where he was going but soon settled and warmed up fantastically for his first time considering he was rather nervous but he was very focused on what I was asking him and tried his hardest.

He found the main arena very scary and froze on entering the arena where we were going to be doing our test but with a little reassurance took steps towards the very scary red car where the judge was sitting (for some reason he hates red cars, trailers etc.). I walked him around the arena scratching his shoulder so he knew everything was okay and he started to relax a little but still found it all a little much to take in. During both our tests he listened very well and did everything I asked of him but found it all very scary with white boards, the red car and banners so we had a few spooks and he was very nervous but tried his best. So he did well to score 62.59% and 64.80%. Onward and upwards for his future and the more experience he gets the better he will become, its all a learning curve for him but I was very impressed with his overall outlook as he still listened and tried his hardest in a scary new environment.

On Wednesday, we took Elton to a development training day which was held by Nicola Tustain Mbeat Clwyd Special Riding Centre. First I had a pyhsio session where I worked on exercise to help my position and effectiveness of my aids. Then we had a training session with Nicola Tustain MBE in the indoor school.

We gave Elton a little time before my lesson so he could settle to his new surroundings before our training session, we worked on our straightness, halts and keeping him forward as he was a little lazy. He worked very well during our lesson as he was very nervous to start and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, lots of homework to do.

Best wishes,