​Another dressage competition behind me! Once again it took place in SKJ Poczernin and this time lasted for 4 days. The co

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Today I had my first ever piano lesson. I must admit that I never learned how to play the piano before, and quite frankly I never in my life played any instrument, which, now as I look at it, sounds a bit embarassing. Anyway, after all these years of repeating to myself that I will sign up to some lessons, I finally did it.

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Yesterday I decided to start swimming regularly. Horseback riding is my passion and main activity, but I know that it develops only a part of my muscles. I want to be in shape and be healthy by doing a variety of sports and not limit myself to only one type. The best part is that different sports are often complementary for each other. And this can be the case in swimming and dressage. Swimming isn't a completely new experience for me, as I used to do competitive swimming when I was younger. However, I stopped more than 4 years ago, got out of practice and lost condition. I realised that things that were easy for me then are now difficult- primarily I am getting easily tired, even when I swim a short distance. That disappointed me a bit but I think that if I'll swim regularly I will see the effects. I also want to see if building up muscles, as stomach and back muscles, will help me in my dressage trainings. After the swimming seshion I felt really great that I made this step and went to do some activity instead of laying on the couch. I am keen to see how I'll do in this little challenge!

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Recently, I started to attend a sign language club in my school. The club is run by two of my friends- Gaba and Kaja. I wanted to learn something new that I have never tried before, that is why I chose this particular club. I was present on two meetings on which I learned the alphabet, how to introduce myself, numbers, a few polish cities, basic words, expressions and questions. I didn't realise how difficult it is to learn! A lot of signs are very similar to others, therefore not easy to remember. We tried “talking” in pairs. The part which I found the hardest was not using my voice to communicate with the other person - you have to use your facial expression and obviously your hands. I will continue attending the meetings and I hope to learn more but most importantly to remember more of the signs.

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On the 7th and 8th of October, I took part in my first dressage competition after 14 months of break from starts. The competition lasted 2 days and took place in SKJ Poczernin. I competed in two different levels of difficulty: L-class and N-class. L-class is the easiest level, however, N-class is way more advanced. It was a big challenge for me as it was my debut with my new horse (our first competition as a pair) and also my first attempt in the N-class. We won in the L-class and although I made two stupid errors, we obtained quite decent score in the N-class.

For me, competitions are extremely important and valuable- they are necessary to progress. Not only because of competing with others but also because each time I learn something new and enrich my dressage experience. First of all, this competition proved to me that hard work gives results. I worked hard for the past few months to finally be able to try myself in a competition, in fact when I started working with my horse we were not even able to get through the whole program of the L-class. Nothing motivates more than seeing that the effort we put in trainings contributes to our progress. I am slowly learning on how to control stress or accept a failure. I also drew numerous conclusion from the mistakes I made (such as how to improve the technique or how to act in some problematic situations). Overall I am really happy that I could take part in this competition and even though we didn't do very well in the N-class I am extremely motivated to train more, to improve (thanks to the knowledge I gained) and of course to compete more!

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