July Blog from Para Dressage Rider Natalie Povey

This month we have been working hard on our training at home as well as developing our partnership.

We have been working on our transitions from walk to trot and trot to walk making sure Elton stays relaxed and seeking the contact and that I am sitting up into the transitions but staying relaxed through my body as well as breathing into the transitions. I have been working especially hard on the position of my hands to help Elton keep in a consistent contact, slightly widening them into the transitions. We have also been working on our walk to halt and trot to halt transitions making sure that the transitions are gradual, which has also help with achieving square halts as Elton has more time to place himself. In the walk I have been struggling with our straightness so we have also been working on a square exercise to help with Elton’s straightness and controlling where his shoulders are going to help prevent him falling in or out. The idea being to ride a square shape and at each corner turn him from the shoulders in order to help teach him my rein aids as I don’t have the use of my leg to be able to turn him. We have also worked on centre lines and changes of rein in trot making sure that I prepare Elton for the turns as well as working on our straightness.

Elton has taken all his work in his stride and seems to be enjoying his work. Elton had a week off towards the end of the month whilst I was on holiday with my family, we are just picking ourselves back up again for a busy month ahead training.

We have exciting times ahead as the list of provisional dates for qualifiers for the Para Winter Championships are out – our first qualifier will be at the beginning of September! This last week I’ve been busy sorting our competition diary out choosing qualifiers at some different venues so Elton has experience of different places. We will need to achieve 12 points which we will collect at each qualifier in the open class to qualify for the Para Winter Championships, the number of points we collect at each qualifier will be dependant on our scores.