Apologies for the lack of blog’s but after my computer died I’ve been using an older model which unfortunately was too prehistoric that my web domain would not comply with it!
So I’ll do a quick sum up of what’s been happening which has definitely been full of highs and lows! Then hopefully after Richmond at the weekend we’ll be back to normal with my blog.
So after Eden we had Riding club area qualifiers. Originally I’d only wanted to do the Combined Training and not the Eventer’s Challenge as I felt the latter may blow H’s head a little. Unfortunately due to the snow the Eventer’s Challenge due to be held at Foxberry Chases had to be cancelled. Due to the lack of time the RC head honchos decided to run both at the same venue. This would normally be fine but Centurion is not the biggest venue so we found ourselves having to share a dressage warm up with the SJ in a 20x40 arena right next to the SJ ring- it was definitely interesting! Due to this our dressage was not the best but H did pull off a clear SJ to help the team to a placing. We then followed our combined training competition with the Eventers Challenge which was run like a JAS round. H really surprised me via having just an unlucky 4 faults. What was even more surprising was how well we did coming 3rd individually out of over 30 and helping our team to win! This means we are off to The Festival of the Horse Championships at the start of June…..not bad going in a competition in which we weren’t originally going to do!
Our next required a long trucking trip as we headed to Hambleden for H’s first BE100. We had a great lesson on route with Lauren Shannon working on our dressage. We then had a lovely stay the night before the event at Shearwater sponsored rider Kylie Roddy’s where H experienced a luxury night in her beautiful yard.
Hambleden is a fabulous event, we were lucky to be one of the first to arrive so had a prime spot by the SJ. I must admit I was a little worried when walking the jumping phases as it definitely appeared full up especially the SJ which seemed to use every colour imaginable and had a filler under every fence. H produced 37.5 in dressage despite his rider going wrong so I was really pleased especially at his first attempted at this level. We then had two down in the SJ which I was thrilled with especially as poles were down to my steering . On the XC H started a little green over the first 2 but then gave me a fab ride over some very big fences (quite a few shared with the Novice) The only problem once again was down to the rider! This time I forgot my steering & course so had to circle. So the 20 penalties should really be awarded to the rider and not the horse. But in the end of the day we left full of confidence after completing a decent track.
We the had RC area horse trials. More rider drama continued when I learnt the wrong test. Luckily the judge was in a kind frame of mind and gave me 10minutes to quickly learn the correct one. We ended up with 35 which wasn’t too bad considering. The SJ appeared very small compared to Hambleden so I was a bit annoyed to have a pole. We then had a great run XC in which H finished without puffing. The one aspect of the XC I was really proud of was at the Ditch complex where H happily continued on despite a napping horse only a few feet away from the jump! Sadly our Stella XC wasn’t enough and we just missed out of qualifying via coming 2nd in a huge section.
After the RC horse trials we’ve had a quite a few poorly animals. H however has been totally fine although he has been fed up with the girls as they’re all pestering him seems they’re in season. This however has meant huge vet bills and has forced a few changes in plans. But at least we still have all our babies which is the important thing.
After all this we weren’t due to run again until Richmond, until I realised I had an extra weekend off. Que one very late entry to the BE100 at Northallerton which was lovely and local. We scored our best dressage of the year & at BE100 of 33 which I was thrilled about as the warm up wasn’t ideal as it was quite small. We then had a long wait until the jumping phases which doesn’t seem to suit us as it gives H way too much time to recharge his already buzzy batteries although our StudShu's came in handy! The SJ was a bit of a disaster H was slightly mad and ran away with me - a feeling in which I haven’t experienced since Askham Bryan 2011. We ended up with 3 down but it could have easily have been worse, but its really made us contemplate getting his bitting looked at again. However, his XC was quite different. He started off well but then went a little green through the woods although he did keep on jumping. He then got his stride back and made all the hard combinations feel easy! We did have a slight melt down between fences where he had to canter past a person in a high-vis top. This was obviously a monster/ pony killer so we spent a while trying to just get past a non obstacle! When we did get past he had no problem at the next fence! Until we got to the last fence where he had a fence 19 is the last fence moment (obviously remembering the course from a previous outing!) So slammed the breaks on at the last minute. To say I was furious was an understatement, we turned around and popped it totally fine the second time which proved it wasn’t an issue with the fence just a naughty moment! Either way its taught me to ride every single fence even if I’m not worried about it, So fingers crossed Richmond on Sunday will see a better day for us; it will after all be our last BE event for a while due to vets bills needed to paid and championships looming, but at least I'll get to sport my new Hows Racesafe kit!