East Midlands Dressage Group ODE

No rain for a few days is great news, Its been “at it” now since December and the west of England is so full of water its a wonder Great Britain doesnt flip over! Even old man Noah would have despaired at the persistent rains. Let me tell you of my day before I show you the photographs….

The horsey playground at Osberton was looking in good condition for the event today Sunday 23rd February. Yes it was the East Midland Dressage Group ODE. approximately 210 entered so many in fact that the bulk of the dressage took place on Saturday or it would still be going of now! The wind showed its face and helped dry the ground, it proved to be a bit boisterous at times and felt quite “Baltic” I was warm enough as I had more layers on than Eskimo Nel! I have found standing around all day fiddling with a camera can be a cold business in any weather except in the height of an old fashion English summer.

The reason I was here today was to take some photos in particular for my friend Kath on RIO. Another friend of mine, Jade, didn’t get on the list because there were just so many people wanting to enter, this would have been her first one so was a disappointment for her. Her friend Zahra on her zany cob Bobby managed to get on the list, they would be along late in the afternoon.


Kath and RIO



RIO looking magestic


The first horse-box arrived soon after the gates opened at 11.00hrs, others quickly followed and the field soon filled up with trailers trucks and boxes of all shapes and colours. There was a lot of support for quite a few riders, the chilly wind gave people a chance to wear all their winter clothing again  and they gathered together in the open field for warmth like Emperor Penguins standing at the rope fence to watch the dressage.




I stood on my own in front of the dressage squares with the camera. Behind me horses warmed up and riders rode the circuit in their head over and over, some muttered soothing words to their mounts, others silent and deep in concentration. One chap was having a fairly loud conversation with himself. Some of the girls called it the “Stressage test”!  I could see why as they went round and round. I have to say everybody came through the dressage with big grins and happy slaps.




Dressage is a careful beautiful precise skilful art, even a heathen like me could see how riders strived to get it just right, to nail it bang on! I guess it’s a little like me on the motorbike ripping round the perfect bend at exactly the right angle and optimum speed. The feeling when coming quickly out of the bend having nailing it perfectly is massive, the interior of Spain has some lovely open smooth roads….Sorry Im digressing!




I looked on as the beautifully prepared horses stepped up to perform. I felt like Bilbo Baggins, dwarfed as they tip toed effortlessly and elegantly around me. You really wouldn’t get me all the way up there! The ladies dressed in their finery sitting in the saddle looked equally as beautiful, like a cherry on a cake! The few gentlemen I saw looked very handsome and proper, everyone looked so very smart. If you get the chance to watch something like this do so, it will blow you away I promise you! I stood and watched RIO, he looked magnificent, I see him every morning with LIGHTENING and BARNEY out of the kitchen window, I see Kath training him in the schooling area, I watch him object and be awkward at times tossing his head and swishing his long black tail. Today though he was nailing it!




They came and went all through the day, Jodie put her camera away and returned on Mags her little pocket rocket as she put it! Aha what a lovely little lady and such a contrast to the haughty debonaire beauties all around. (Im talking about the oss) She went for the half shaved look and had a bald patch on her front where the rug rubbed. Oh what a character, she performed very well in the dressage and she even had a pooh before she started!



Zahra and the girls arrived, she arrived mob handed because it was a case of all hands to the pump when getting Bobby ready. Bobby gets quite excited and giddy, she says he’s often like this because he gets “cold back”  Holly and the rest held him steady as Zahra quickly got on. Bobby the zany cob pulled a wheelie and was off like a shot. It was like winding up the rubber band and letting go.Way Hay! lets go  lets rock and roll!



What amazes me is Zahra knows what he’s like and she still gets on. She warmed him up for ages and tried to burn off some energy but he was still wanting to run run run, needless to say the dressage was a quick affair and they left the ring leaving burn marks on the grass! Zahra picked the positives out the affair declaring “well I didn’t come last!”

I left Osberton late in the afternoon having enjoyed myself immensely and having some good photos. Hopefully you will agree with me as you feast your eyes now on the bulk of the days photos. They are for my own pleasure and enjoyement, and to use on my blog. They tell a story for me and are not just churned out to sell. On saying that, please feel free to copy and paste if you see yourself!

I couldn’t make it for the fun on Sunday for ther show jumping and the X country because I had booked a Falconry experience, ages ago. These events run by A.K Falconry at Askern, near Doncaster don’t come along too frequently so I took the opportunity with both hands. There will be a story and photos in a week or so.

Yur regular visitors already know but if this is your first visit to my blog and youd like to see the photos LARGER, then place your cursor on the photograph and double left click











































I hope you enjoyed those? It was quite hard deciding which photos to put in the blog!


8 Responses to East Midlands Dressage Group ODE

  1. Pingback: East Midlands Dressage Group ODE | Come into my world

  2. Natasha says:

    Hi, I see you have some piks of the horses that were ridden at the same time as me. I was wondering if you have any piks of me and my horse. She was a little bay and I was number 20. Many thanks xx


  3. Marilyn Whittle says:

    Fab photos of a fab day


    • David Sharp says:

      HI Marilyn
      Thank you and yes I greed it was a great day, sorry I missed Sunday and the X country, I had booked a day at a Falconry workshop and didnt realize it was the same day, that too was a great day though. Ive just done the story with photos tonight!


  4. jess caudwell says:

    what a lovely write up, made me smile as yes all the time we spend with these horses and how they make us so happy. This was my first competition back after a nasty accident in the field with my horse (the big one pictured and mentioned about) as he freaked and kicked out and caught my back fracturing 4 of my vertebras. I finished the xcountry coarse and started crying as he gave me that much of a buzz!! and was lovely to have had a good day and result. I am sure most horsey people will agree with me that you have to do something like this to understand how much enjoyment they give us. You only have to look at some of the photos to see all the effort that has been put into these horses and they all mean something to everyone of us 🙂


    • David Sharp says:

      HI Jess,
      You have said exactly what I think…and confirmed what I think about you guys (and Julie my wife) You are quite brave and mad as hatters leaping hundreds of feet in the air over stuff and dashing about the fields at a zillion miles per hour even when you get chucked off, bitten and stamped on, Mad the lot of you!! Keep it up I love watching you! 🙂



  5. Helen Jones says:

    I loved reading this, and thank you also for including some pictures of both my horses! It was such a good weekend with both getting placed too, which was a bonus. I agree with Jess; that buzz of competing is like nothing else. It was the first ODE for number 3; we entered her to “throw her in at the deep end” so to speak so that I could guage what I had to work on for future competitions. Not saying it was perfect but she amazed both myself and the owner by winning!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s