smarty-dressage-spike-vet-sasha-hargreaves

Tuesday

We woke up excited and ready for our first proper day at the Championships. We arrived at the venue and ate our very French breakfast of fresh croissants. Then it was time for us each to have a 45-minute schooling session with Caroline to prepare for the dressage phase.

Dressage schooling

Smarty felt fantastic and relaxed in a very busy arena and worked so well, doing everything that was asked of him. All the other horses stayed surprisingly chilled in the stressful warm up, despite competitors from other countries were riding very close to us, something we weren’t used to from competing in the UK. I don’t know if it was a difference in etiquette or an attempt to intimidate us, but with our horses all keeping calm, our week started to look very promising.

Dressage arena familiarisation at European Championships

After riding, Tuesday was a very relaxing day with not much else to do. We all watched some pure dressage which was so impressive. We then moved to a different arena to watch some of the pure showjumping which was equally incredible to watch. It was great having all three European Championships at the same venue. We spent the day together figuring out where everything was at the show ground and supporting the other disciplines.

Trot up Practice

Once competition for the day finished, we had another practise trot-up to ensure that the horses were still feeling great after their long journey. After this, we all took them on another walk to stretch their legs before putting them in their stables for the night.

On arriving back at the lorry we saw that we were having a BBQ for dinner with all the parents and the whole support crew. This was a lovely chance to sit down and get to know everyone else who was there supporting us. Again on the way home spirits were feeling very high and everyone was feeling confident about the week ahead. Another early night for all of us in preparation for early training sessions on Wednesday.

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