Grafton Riding Club Jacaranda Dressage

Hello Everyone,


It’s that time of year and it is Jacaranda Festival time up here. It’s pretty much a festival that is centred around the fact that there is a bunch of Jacaranda Tree’s all over the place.

See Exhibit A …

They are quite beautiful and I am always up for a reason to celebrate anything so I figured why not get right into it this year πŸ™‚




So I went and met the Jacaranda Queen…






and then the rest of the Queen’s Party…

Good Times….

Then it was time to focus on the Jacaranda Dressage Day. I wanted to go compete last year, but was busy working and such, but this year I made sure I could compete and what a wonderful day we had. πŸ™‚

As always was the Pre-Competition Helfie… (that’s what I call a Horse Selfie)


Moo was pretty calm and happy when we arrived and I was feeling like today was going to be super!

I had purchased a Dublin purple show shirt, a purple Saddle Pad and an Ear Bonnet for the day and Moo looked awesome in Purple!

It is obviously on his colour wheel πŸ™‚

My Draw was as follows:

Preliminary 1:2 at 0910hrs on a Grass Arena

Novice 2:1 at 1116hrs on a Sand Arena

Preliminary 1:1 at 1230hrs on a Grass Arena


He warmed up like a charm and was giving me Shoulder-in and a lengthened Trot that made me look for his Pegasus wings!

And then we were on. Moo loves the Preliminary 1:2 and normally does quite a good test scoring around 60-62%. The test went and felt amazing. He did a straight Centreline and a Square Halt. The test was Rhythmic and Relaxed until mid way through the last Canter, as we started our 20m Circle from B he jumped straight up in the air and bucked and carried on. I looked over and saw what I thought was a lizard/snake rustle away into the long grass and the tree’s. I got him back and then we went back into Canter and finished the last two moves. I was super impressed. I figured I may get a 5 or even a 4.5 for the Canter but the rest of the test would pull us through for still a super score.

How wrong I was!!

I won’t say anything about who was judging as it wouldn’t be very professional of me seeing as I am an Official Coach and Judge, but let’s just say giving me three 4’s was an absolute joke and the overall score was the worst score we have ever posted in that Test (59.2%).Β  She gave me a 4 for his quarters being in on a Trot transition even though he completed the Trot transition smoothly between E and K. It should have been worth a 5.5 minimum!!

And apparently Moo did no Canter at all between C & M as he got a 4 for that and a “No Canter” comment. (Thank goodness for video) The comment on the back was a disgrace and was the most unprofessional thing I had seen written in my riding career. IΒ am disgusted and I will not post the video as I plan to lodge a complaint. As a judge myself, comments are so important and they must be constructive and positive; there is no place for bad manners or for petty attacks in our fine sport. And there’s my rant!

I shook it off though and got on with preparing for the next test. I have only ridden the Novice 2:1 once and that was a few weeks ago (we got a 59% and came 9th), but I knew Moo could pull a good test and so I went in there with my A-Game.

The test went well, a few little hiccups here and there (all caused by me of course); a bit of resistance, me riding a bit unbalanced and two stumbles on the dry sand; but all round he was amazing and got some great scores four 7’s and a bunch of 6’s but the few 5’s for the Walk knocked us down. See the full test below:


We ended up with a great score of 61.1% and a fifth place. YAY πŸ™‚

The judge is an accomplished rider also, and I think that helps when it comes to judging. I thought I might try to lose the spurs for the next test and see how Mr Moo went.

I don’t much like riding the Preliminary 1:1 and in hindsight I should have just done the Novice 2:2 as he was being a bit of a super star…

I thought I had rode really well, he was a bit lazy and ran into the Canter but that was mostly because I wasn’t sure (after riding with spurs) just how much leg I needed for the transition. Live and learn I guess πŸ™‚

See full test below:

We ended up with a 65% and another fifth place ribbon!

I was pretty stoked as I put him in the float to travel home πŸ™‚

I have to say this horse keeps surprising me all the time. The thing I like about him most is that he won’t let me get away with riding bad or giving a half-effort. He will resist or go above the bit if I am wrong and if I do not ride correctly. He will swing his quarters. I love that he is his own being and has his own set of rules and boundaries for me to adhere to.

I could not be any prouder of Moo and next year all going well, we will keep competing in the Novice and start training for Elementary. I wanted to be at Medium by 45, so I am right on track at the moment πŸ™‚

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Mel x





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