In my last update, I shared the news about my exciting new yard and how I was gearing up for the season to start. I definitely haven’t hung around getting my season underway with an event on every weekend this month (and some crammed in mid-week!); so it has felt like a whirlwind of packing, washing, tidying, scrubbing and lots and lots of cleaning!! However, I have been delighted with how all the horses have felt during their first competitions and that our winter training has turned out to be quite successful!
I always hold my breath for the first event back, as I so desperately want it to go well and to make sure I give the horses a good positive experience. Tweseldown was my first event, and my goodness was it a long day – with four horses competing, alarm set for 2.30am (haven’t missed these ridiculous starts!) and being one of the last lorries to leave. But it was so worth it and I adored seeing friendly faces whom I hadn’t seen for months and having a touch of normality back into my life.
The two horses competing in the Novice section at Tweseldown (Coolrock Cooley and Monbeg Voodoo) both produced a lovely double clear making it feel very easy and ready to step back up to Intermediate level at their next runs. Highway and Cartown Wallabe both did nice tests in their Intermediate classes, followed by fantastic SJ rounds and a controlled fun clear in the XC for Highway. Cartown Wallabe however made me a touch humiliated, when he managed to deposit me four fences from home on the XC!
To say I was shocked would be an understatement… bearing in mind I have never fallen off this horse before – but it is one of those things that you have to laugh it off and try not to overthink it, as we were both a little rusty and lacking match practice, so hopefully it wouldn’t happen again! On a positive note its always nice to get the first fall over and done with!
The next event for me was Portman Horse Trials, which is just down the road, so a huge bonus not having to travel as far and to see lots of faces I knew helping out as stewards. The two 7 year olds I took (Temporada and DHI Trend Setter) both finished in the top 10 and were extremely excited to be back out! They headed onto Bovington Horse Trials the week after to step back up to Novice level.
It was one of the days where it was nearly fantastic with DHI Trend Setter finishing in 2nd place, but one small green mistake on the XC for Temporada made it a little frustrating. But that is the way it goes; young horses make mistakes and you cannot protect them too much as they have to learn their job and think for themselves.
You always have to appreciate those days where everything goes to plan and you can enjoy that happy trip home, with lots of smiles and maybe a cheeky McDonald’s to celebrate!! I always try and really absorb these days when you feel like your walking on air, as Eventing is such a tough sport to nail all three disciples with little room for error.
As ever, I am so grateful to the team I have around me and to the wonderful owners who trust me with their precious horses. The support is something I could not do without and I am truly grateful for it.
I have an exciting couple of weeks coming up with the first Internationals for some of the horses and stepping up a very special 9 year old (Highway) up to advance level at Cirencester Park. I think an awful lot of this horse so looking forward to seeing how he gets on with this challenge.