HayGrazer E-Rider January competition, part 1

A few weeks ago I was contacted on Twitter asking if I'd like to enter a class in the HayGrazer E-Rider's online dressage and showing competition, and of course I said YES because what better way to start the new year by prepping for competitions with an online competition that didn't require me to leave home! At least in Finland there are no competitions held over the January-Feb period as the weather tends to be too horrible so it was lovely to be able to 'do' a competition where I was guaranteed the chance to ride in a warm(ish) indoor arena where there weren't other riders riding over me. And the weather is totally abysmal that day, so having to leave home and drive an hour to get to a competition did not sound inviting at all. Instead I plaited up, then tacked up as normal and we walked over to our neighbour's indoor arena! 🙌🏻
(This blog post includes a free entry for a dressage test that was obtained in cooperation with HayGrazer E-Rider)

Each month there is a range of classes to chose from, ranging between Intro and Elementary. For January, I chose to do the Novice 24 with Basse because I thought it would be a nice way to introduce us back into competing. I chose to do a test with Basse rather than Vallu because I think that Vallu is too big for a 20x40m test and even an elementary level test is too easy for him. A Novice level test is a nice easy test for Basse, because I'm of the opinion that you should compete at the level lower than what you are training at home and since he is training at elem/medium at home I think a Novice level is perfect for him - nothing too strenuous but still not boring for him!
Having looked at several different online competition series that I could join, what I love about the E-Rider is that uploading your video has been made SO easy! There are 3 options: through their website, through YouTube or uploading the video straight to their Facebook event's page. I chose to upload mine to YouTube first and then to share the link to their Facebook event page so that if I do more competitions later on I'm able to look back on my tests whenever I want to and can find them easily. But I really appreciate the ability to chose which way to do it, because some of the other online competitions that I've looked into have been rather strict on how to upload it. 
I think I might carry on with these and do the E-Riders Diamond League which runs from January to April, where if you compete in all 4 months at the same level you gain points and are in with a chance to win prizes at the end of April. WOO! 🏆🏅I'll have to see how Basse is feeling and hopefully he starts to move a bit better soon when it's not so icy and snowy outside. He always struggles a little bit over the winter, but this is the first winter where I have really noticed it and had to cut back on riding him too hard, most days I just ride him to stretch him out and make sure he's making okay, rather than asking for anything difficult. So we both struggled with this test being 20x40m and he was feeling a bit stiff so it’s not the best test BUT he was 100% good boy and I remembered the test! So very pleased with him❣️And since our own outdoor arena is normally rideable by March, I'm hoping we could do the March and April tests outside by then #springhurryupplease

But anyway, here is mine and Basse's entry into the Novice class ⤵️ (Note: it's in no way a perfect test but please remember we've not competed together in nearly 7 years! He is also 16 and feeling stiff somedays. He also coughed twice in the canter but instead of re-starting the test I completed like I would have in a normal competition.)

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