Blog 20: Girls Done Good!
After a long and busy summer we were very lucky to be on holiday in the UK in the most amazing hot weather in the middle of September. When we got home it was time to start the Winter series of indoor jump clinics at Four Elms. I had been thinking it seemed too soon as the weather has been so nice but it absolutely hammered down with rain all day; it was like a monsoon! Although it means winter is coming I quite like the change as it means doing different things and seeing some different faces.
While I was teaching at Four Elms, Martin took the Black Bomber to Little Downham for another BE80. It was her worst nightmare with tents and tradestands up close to the dressage and SJ arenas but she was a big brave girl and jumped another double clear to finish 4th. Very pleased with the girlie. So it seems timely to begin Operation ‘Steal Back the Bomber’. This started with a jump lesson at Tom Crisp’s. He was pretty clear about the amount of homework I have and even did some little demonstrations of just how bad my riding is. Not to mention the fact that he had me jumping a large rail from trot; something I really hate. Sally Thurloway would make me do this with Harry and it is interesting how easily it disappeared from my schooling repertoire!!! How my clients would laugh. Payback!
For the dressage divas, Jasmine has now ridden her first Advanced. A serious achievement for anyone to produce a horse to this level but all the more so on a homebred who really does not find it easy. We were absolutely delighted that young Jessica was chosen for the Pony Progress Squad after the viewing day. What an opportunity. Then Mark has started the winter season at Eaglesfield BD with a win in his prelim. No stopping them all!
Jasmine’s Lottie dusted off her glad-rags for a day out with her Auntie Janine and went to BlueBarn BD for the prelims. She was a little distracted but has improved enormously this year and the good bits were great. A few mistakes dropped her marks down to 67/68% but very pleased with how she is going as she could easily be in the 70% club.
So then it was Ehren’s turn to go partying again, this time to Step Aside BD which is a venue she took a serious dislike to the only other time we ventured there. However, she was a superstar holding it together when not at all sure about that little white picket fence and the gremlins at the C end of the arena. It was our second attempt at Advanced, this time a harder test A102 and she really tried her best gaining 65.44% meaning that we are now eligible to ride at PSG. Oh wow, how lucky am I to have such a special pony. I am so proud of what we have achieved. We also did an Advanced Medium and have now qualified for the Winter Regionals. She has had an amazing year and totally blown my targets out of the water. As always there is much to work on, not least of all the jockey’s test riding at this level. More practise required!
Talking of this year’s targets, Lily’s season has not gone to plan. She was not herself at Goring or South of England, I think perhaps feeling the ground, so has been given sick leave for six weeks. Another pony that has gone better than expected is the Black Bomber. She went to Littleton with Martin yesterday for her last BE80 of the season and jumped another double clear for 2nd place. She has done four events this year, not had a single jumping penalty and has been 1st, 2nd and 4th. Wow. She is still very spooky but her confidence has grown and grown over those four events. Absolutely delighted with her progress.
As the end of the season approaches it is so nice seeing what clients have achieved this year. Last month Sarah and her horse Kamanchi had their first ever BE placing with a 9th in the Firle BE90. They have struggled making the time as he used to panic and bolt, and are now very close to coming home on zero. I am so pleased for her. Jules and Libby are back out after Libby’s injury and subsequent foal. In true Libby style she has been placed at every event she has contested. Jules has been bringing Libby’s younger sister Vardon to clinics. What big shoes she has to fill! Hente and Mouse have also had a great year with placings at BE90 and BE100. All the more brilliant when you understand that she has come back to riding after a twenty year break! Next year is looking very exciting with eighteen Team Lamy clients having signed up for the Wobbleberry Challenge. That is riders over the age of 25 who have never evented before committing to ride at a BE event in 2017 in aid of the Hannah Francis charity Willberry Wonder Pony #kickingcancersbutt. That should keep us busy!