Blog 30: Busy is an understatement..
So the Sunday we were off to Nunney with Coco for the Intermediate, and a positive lie in, having to leave home at 5.30! We got there and we gave Coco a leg stretch and some grass. Or Coco gave Mum a leg stretch. He marched her up to the top of the hill in the box park and stood and took in all the goings on, sussing where the cross country was before spotting the showjumping and being content that all was well before munching on the lovely grass! The course had plenty of questions and I knew we needed to be on the ball, which is easier said than done when the last event I did bigger than Novice was early May 2014! And since then I have only done 5 Novices (including Farley the day before)! I gave him plenty of warm up, with a large proportion in walk to get ready for the dressage. I was really pleased with his test, he stayed relaxed and switched on and aside from a little jog in his walk the test was mistake free, but a little safe which earnt us a mark of 34.8 which was fair. We had a long gap before the show jumping and the course was tough. There were 11 fences including a double and a combination with a triple bar in and two uprights out, so plenty of room to make mistakes. Coco jumped brilliantly, and unfortunately I took one too many checks in to the first fence to pick up a silly four faults before we had even started (and making the course a very long way round!) however I needn't have worried as he popped round, just rubbing the upright out of the three stride distance down the hill. Again, 8 faults not a true reflection and we are both still getting our eye back in! Cross country he was absolutely insanely amazing! He knows his job so well and just ate up the course (despite me seeing some interesting strides to the wider fences)! I ran him slowly as I didn't need to push him and so we picked up 24 time faults. Despite this we still finished 12th due to the amount of trouble it caused. A great run to have before Barbury next weekend!
The Monday evening and Tuesday day time I was lucky to be able to attend the Pony Club A Test Reunion. It was great to finally catch up with William Micklem in person after all the amazing support he has given me over the past few years. He gave an inspirational after dinner speech and really motivated me to keep working. The Tuesday was a lecture demo at Addington Manor with Richard Davidson and John Ledingham. They were both fantastic and I came away feeling refreshed with the way the sport and the training of our horses is evolving as well as some great exercises to use with my horses and when teaching others. I feel very lucky to have come through such an amazing organisation with so many fantastic and inspiring people. I got back in time to ride quickly before heading off for a summer league hockey match witch was very enjoyable and we won which is even better.
Saturday was another busy day as Coco was jumping at Hickstead in the 1.15m derby first thing and then back home to swap horses and take Lily to Rackham eventing in the BE100plus. Coco loved the Derby and thought it was amazing fun, and I must admit I rather enjoyed it too. We got to do a proper bank with a rail at the bottom and an open water amongst other classic derby style fences. He had three down but out of 16 fences and again wasn't a true reflection (I know it must sound like I am making excuses but there is so much that is good about the rounds he is jumping!!).
Finally, on the 5th day of competing at 6 shows in 8 days we loaded up Lily and headed to Rackham. We wanted to give her an easy run after Farley, so she could go into her summer mini break on a positive and easy run. She was last to go in the section and was quite jolly in the dressage warm up, but Mum said she was looking good so I went in. I used her enthusiasm to really show off her paces and she performed a fantastic test, just breaking in her last counter canter but she was really good. She was given 30.8 which was fair given the mistake and turned out to be third equal after dressage. The show jumping was built by Brian Lear, who we bought Lily from and it is always lovely to take Lily over to say hi! The course was causing a fair few problems but wasn't a worry for the mega mare that is Lily, she pinged round, showing off and generally making it feel easy peasy! Turns out there was only 3 clears in my section out of 21! I headed onto the cross country with the aim of enjoying it and giving her a fun round. She was awesome and popped round making it feel easy for a clear inside the time. It was then read out that she had gone into the lead with just one left to go. We walked over to the secretary to find out she had indeed won! See the video by Clicking Here. So from 7 runs this season her results are as follows: 2nd, 1st, 5th, 6th, 5th and 1st (we just ignore the elimination at Hambledon in the middle!!). Oh and to finish off the day, I then went out for a friends birthday in the evening, getting in at 1.30!
So that is my busy couple of weeks.. Sorry for the essay!
We are off to Pyecombe show jumping with Coco this weekend as a prep for Barbury next week (eeeek) meanwhile Lily is having a couple of weeks quiet hacking before having a week off whilst I am fitting in a holiday with the boyfriend the week after Barbury. So it is all go..
Until next time