Latest Blog from Para Dressage Rider Natalie Povey

Recently I have had a lot of decisions to make as to whether or not Elton is ready to take on the para dressage world as I had planned or whether he needs more time with him being so young and our partnership being quite new. We are having a few teething problems – he is the sweetest character but can be a cheeky monkey although he’s not naughty. At the present I have decided to put our competition plans on hold as Elton is still ‘green’ and unbalanced so I am going to focus my time on getting the basics right in our training as his future is most important and needs the correct building blocks to be successful. I am also experiencing issues with him cantering off when something happens around him or if I loose my stirrup.

I am finding it hard to deal with this as I am unable to canter due to my disability so I can only sit a few steps before I loose my balance which then frightens poor Elton, so we need to resolve this before we take him any where for both of our safety. I have a lovely lady who owns the livery yard where we are based helping me who is schooling Elton once a week so we can achieve our future goals and work through these few issues. I often wonder why things never go to plan with horses! I feel at the moment we would struggle doing a dressage test and achieving the marks we need – we are working hard on our straightness away from the fence line as Elton finds this very challenging without the support of the riders legs, something which is very important when working in white boards at competitions, so I am riding him with two whips to try to replace the leg aid.