At Contessa our men and boy clients are much appreciated as;equestrian is not just for women, however this is how many people see it. Over the years Contessa’s women clients have had domination, thus MY mission ( as a boy) is to make more men take up riding. At present myself , Zac and Joao are the ‘main men’ at contessa , also Jeff ( although we do have a few others). Horse riding isn’t just for women; infact if you look at the top riders you will find that men are the majority, so why is there so few men at the lower levels- this is something we have to change. Throughout the year to come I will be encouraging more men to take up riding ; #dressage4men.I want to spread the message to change this problem.
Today we did Extreme Dressage! It was a touch blowy at Houghton Hall – more like the Tundra than Cambridgeshire . Faffa and Real loaded like the lovely boys they are and off we set. Jack and Faffa did their first Elementary test and came home with two rosettes they should be very proud of. Not such a successful day for Real. He first made a bid for freedom in the car park and had to be apprehended by Jack in his socks … thank you Jack. If not for you Real might still be somewhere in the Cambridgeshire fens. Then he had to find a friend to follow to the first warm up arena – which he then refused to leave. I was starting to work out how much money I had on me and if I could afford a week’s livery. Faffa (who is just 5) had to escort Real (who is just 17) out of the outdoor arena and again into the indoor school where he did lots of lovely supple, over the back work ….. until the actual test. Once more he had to be escorted into the arena by his little friend where he was very spooky – as noted by the judge. Maybe he was just protesting at the products being advertised around the walls. To be fair, the first thing he did when we left the arena – having managed to walk all the way down to the judge at C even though he couldn’t get that close during the actual test – was to have a HUGE wee. No wonder he couldn’t focus. I also think he just doesn’t like being in an arena on his own. Jack and I will have to find somewhere to do Dressage Pairs! Although we didn’t come back with any ribbons I was really pleased with him though. It’s all miles on the clock and there is always next time ……. To top off the day Real managed to trash one of his travel boots on the way home. He must’ve felt in quite a destructive mood today. 1 x bungee tie up. 1 x travel boot. 1 x dream of being asked to do a celebrity demo at Olympia …… Never mind. Huge thanks to Louisa again today. Not only a super groom but also an ace driver.
My ride of Faffa was great and John said we had improved massively. We worked on straightness and working around other horses – which is needed a lot in dressage especially at competitions.
All the horses and riders learnt something from their different lessons.
It’s always nice to be able to report bouncing achieved on purpose rather than the alternative. Had a super lesson on Real with Joao on Saturday working on our piaffe, ending with a few “proper” steps that we were really pleased with. Then, managed to show a bit of it off to John Bowen on Sunday. See – it’s never too late to teach an “old” horse (or rider) new tricks! 😊
Real and I got to ride with Kids’ Club this Wednesday evening and boy are they good. I’ve watched their progress over the last year and they have all improved loads. Well done Stephanie and Libby and Viviana and Zac. And Joao for teaching them. I hope you think we’re good enough to join your group from time to time.
On Wednesday 28th October Faffa my mum and I all travelled to Keysoe Equestrian Centre for a 3 day BYRDS Camp. BYRDS is British Young Riders Dressage Scheme for Under 25’s wanting to further their dressage riding and practical knowledge. Faffa was a very good boy the whole time; in the lorry, in his stable and(most importantly) the arenas . The lessons with the coaches were great and both of our tests went very well, get two great scores! As always I was the only boy , but it was still great and fun . None of this would have happened without the huge supper from Tina, Joao ,and all the other members of the team helping me on my way to a successful career in dressage and equestrianism.