Worcestershire BHS held their first Test Your Test day of 2013 at New House Farm, Blakedown on Saturday 13 April.
For the uninitiated, 'Test Your Test' is an event for riders of all ages who are at a level to compete at walk and trot or prelim dressage. It is tailored to individual abilities and by constructive comments and tips, gives the chance to improve and have fun at the same time.
Each rider carries out the test of their choice, which is scored or marked by the judge. They then get 30 minutes of individual tuition, before performing the test again to see if they have improved their marks.
Despite the breezy, overcast and drizzly weather, the efforts of the participants were not dampened in any way, and all enjoying the day. In addition, the spirits of those stewarding the event were kept up by the stream of particularly good homemade chocolate cookies provided by committee member Bobbie Matulja.
After some enthusiastic and constructive coaching by Liz Every, the judge/instructor, all six contestants saw a significant improvement in their marks on their second test, as well as gaining some valuable tips and experience for the future.
At the end of the day the difference in improvement scores was close-run, with Penny Gordon and her horse, Mason, just beating Ivan Kirby on Geena by only 0.8% to come out on top.
Jackie Preece and Misunderstood (pictured right) were immaculately turned out and would not have been out of place at a championship event.
Particular mention has to go to 10-year-old Megan Gibson and her pony Elsa (pictured left), who tackled a Prelim 18 test. Both put in 110% effort throughout the tests and tuition, despite starting to run out of steam by the end.
Megan’s determination and enjoyment of the day shows that age is not a bar to gaining experience and having fun at BHS events.