Since we bought Ruby as a two year old, all we've been aiming for is to get out competing. We've never rushed her, always taken things slowly and done them correctly, but every time we felt like we were getting somewhere things would go backwards again and we didn't know why. I've lost count of the amount of times we've had to give her time off after treatments, and had to start all over again... of course in December last year she was diagnosed with a sacroiliac injury which explained everything. Not ideal, but at least we now knew what we're dealing with and are able to medicate and treat it accordingly.
Blue had been out of action for the past 3 weeks with a bruised sole having just started going really nicely, so my competition fix was completely scuppered! I have to admit to feeling pretty fed up about everything; you know when it all seems to go wrong, when you're just working hard but not getting any closer to your goals? Then I saw the picture on the left, and although it sounds corny, it did inspire me. I thought - you know what, if we keep waiting for everything to be perfect, we'll never get anywhere! In a moment of madness, I entered Ruby for her 1st competition - an intro B dressage test. I had no expectation of getting placed, and thought we'd probably be about mid 50's realistically but I can honestly say this was purely for her experience rather than to be competitive. As a 5 year old she should be out competing by now, so I just wanted her to see some things. Imagine my surprise then, when she went and pulled off a lovely little test (which we hadn't even practiced!) to come 3rd with over 63%! I almost fell over with shock! We even got an 8 for a transition!
It was so windy, in an open field on a grass arena, and Ruby just took everything in her stride. Wasn't fussed about the other horses, the white boards or the wind, just cracked on. I'm sure to anyone else going out and doing a little intro is nothing to write home about, but knowing everything Ruby has had to contend with I'm never been more pleased. We have loads to work on, obviously, but this really was a big (and long awaited) milestone for her and I'm over the moon to have got there at long last! It also makes it sweeter that people have told me to cut my losses and sell her, or just use her as a broodmare when we've had problems. So glad we persevered and kept the faith. Go Ruby!