Details, details… i find they are the key difference with the European judges, they pick on all the little things compared to riding in North America. They pick on wether the transition was at the right letter, balanced, rhythm etc. I think that is why Europe dominates in the sport. The riders here don’t just think about getting around the ring and memorizing the test. They ride each movement at the right spot… everything is spot on. That’s the biggest thing I have learned from competing over here.

Ermelo is the national headquarters for KNHS, the Dutch federation, and it is also where JRYR Europeans were held last year. It was a great venue and a good test for Vitall to be in such a big open ring. I was really pleased with the show. Vitall and I won our class with 64.92… almost 65. I made a few errors but the thing I was happiest about was the connection and partnership that we have in the competion ring now. In the past, we never really clicked and I felt like we were working against each other, but now, from start to finish, we were in harmony. It seemed like we both knew what we needed to do. Vitall was really relaxed and swinging in the back right then I knew today was going to be a good day.

One mistake I made was in my right pirouette, it was correct but a bit too big. If it had been smaller I would have scored a 7 or 8. He was also a little irregular in the walk pirouette and at the trot he lost his rhythm a little bit in the shoulder inns. The overall picture and frame, however, was good and consistent. The rest is all fixable. I really needed this connection to come through in order to fix the small things.

I was so pleased that I finally felt this way with him I almost cried. It has taken me a long time to feel this connected again since I sold Elektra. It was almost like my heart wasn’t allowing me to work with him but it has finally opened up again.

It has been full on desert weather here! It was 42 degrees the other day. I didn’t even go outside it was so hot! You could just feel your skin burning. Thankfully, yesterday it was a bit cooler and I spent the whole day on the beach. Got a little bit pink but at least on my next visit home I’m going to be nice and brown. Nobody is going to believe me that I have actually been training except for my bad glove tan line!!

This week I will only train  Monday-Tuesday then Anky  is gone to Sweden for my favorite show, Falsterbo.  I had a blast watching it last year. Anky has taken Painted with her. Vitall and I will continue to work on our own and take a day in the forrest… if we don’t melt before then!