My sister-in-law has beaten me to it again by publishing videos of both Molly and Katie skating this weekend! I am totally ashamed that I have not reported Jolanda's triumph two weeks ago at the dressage competition!
She was entered at the L level for the first time, and we were really relaxed about it until the friday lesson, when we found out she would be the only entrant not wearing official concourse clothing!
After a family conference and a review of which presents she had on her Sint list (more about Sint soon) we decided to go out on Saturday morning and get the white jodphurs and white gloves, and she would wear her black body warmer. I rang the local shop (Evenboer ruitersports in Broek in waterland) and they confirmed they had the things we wanted, so we dashed over.
Once there we were captive as the two ladies of the shop produced not only the things we asked for but also a gorgeous jacket (washable) and the white stock and even a hairnet!
Of course once Jolanda put everything on, she looked a million dollars, so we parents (suckers) bought the lot!
Jolanda was thrilled and spent the afternoon polishing her boots and chaps, and getting everything ready.
We got to the stables in good time, but realised we had forgotten the white saddle blanket, so dad went back for that whilst Jolanda and two other girls got Sjakie ready. The only problem was that everyone had different ideas over how to plait his mane, and I could see it turning into a big problem when another mother descended and acted as a sort of horse hairdresser, and turned him out with a fetching "hengsten vlecht", just as John arrived back with the saddle blanket.
Within a few minutes it was Jolandas turn to ride, and she went in happy and confident and produced a beautiful proef. The L is very advanced for an 11 year old, as there is a lot of tempo changes, as well as two "wijk" moments where the horse moves forwards and sideways, crossing the front legs over. (I think this is called a half pass in English).
There are no videos from us (camera not working) but also no photos of the proef itself as I thought the flash could spook the pony; he is a bit flighty.
We had to wait for all the others to ride before the results were out, so we parents settled into the cantine with tea and cake, whilst the kids rushed around in the mud, sleet and snow outside! Within minutes every pair of white jodphurs was spattered with mud and horse whatever.
At the end they announced the winners, and to our surprise and, naturally pride, Jolanda was 2nd, above some much older girls, and only a few points away from the winner!