Gaby Struel February Blog

What a busy month it has been for us! I've spent most of my time getting used to Major as he is such a different ride to Yeti and Padmay. We went for a lesson with Sian Price on the 29th January where I jumped my first course with him. He was great, which made me very excited to get him out competing! Click here to view a video from our lesson

We then had another lesson on the 5th Feb, this time with Ernest Dillon. We worked on related distances which was a big help as I am used to pushing on Yeti and Pads down a distance, whereas Major covers the ground a lot and so I need to get used to not interfering!

A few days later I received news that Yeti went to her first competition with her new owner and they won both of their classes! I'm so pleased that it has all worked out for Yeti - it makes selling her a little bit easier!

Since buying Major, I made the decision to return Padmay to her owners. She was sent to me last March for me to bring on but with my AS exams coming up and buying a new horse,  I just won't have the time to fit it all in. She was a lovely horse and hopefully someone else can further her career. We will miss having her around but it now means I can focus on my own horse and schoolwork.  She is such a character and loved her Likits more than any horse I know!

On the 15th, we went to our first show with Major. It was just a local unaffiliated one for our first time and we used it as schooling before taking him BS, but we still came home with clears and a 2nd & 3rd against ponies so I was very pleased!

 Gaby Feb1

The following day I received a letter from Bristol Zoo to say I had been accepted for a work experience placement in the summer, looking after the Seals & Penguins and Small Animal Presentations. I am so excited! It will be a fantastic opportunity and I'm also grateful to have been accepted as there was a limited number of placements available.

On Tuesday 17th we went to Summerhouse for a BS show. It was extremely busy! We jumped double clear in the British Novice to come 5th, and we had a pole early on in the Discovery but jumped clear round the rest of the course including the jump off.

During that week Major finally met Tommy! Tommy is still on the yard and his not-so-new owners adore him! (I still sneak him a few Likit Treats when I can!) Here he is meeting Major for the first time.

Gaby Feb2 

On the 21st we took Major up to Moores Farm Equestrian in Gloucester for the Discovery and Newcomers. We had an unlucky pole in both classes but I am still really happy as he jumps better with each round, and he gives such a fantastic feel over the fences - it's like flying! Here is the video from the Newcomers

As you can see he's very forward going to I'm trying to work on slowing him down a bit, hopefully we'll get there soon!

I then passed my driving test on the 23rd! It was nerve wracking but I'm so relieved to have passed, first time too!

To top off a successful month, we took Major to West Wilts on the 28th to jump the Blue Chip Winter Novice where he jumped a very fast double clear to win the class and qualify for the Blue Chip Championships! With over 50 in the class and some big names jumping their younger horses, I was just hoping to get into a qualifying place, so we were very proud to take top spot! I have already sent off my entries for Blue Chip which takes place 8th -12th April.

Gaby Feb3 

We've got a few things planned for March - firstly we are going to Mendip Plains on the 8th and several other venues throughout the month, such as Badgworth and Wales & West. I was hoping we would be able to get out twice a week this month to try and gain points for the Welsh Bronze League - the top 15 horse and rider combinations who win the most points between 1st October and 31st March will qualify for the Horse of the Year Show Bronze League Semi Final, where the top 7 go through to the Final at HOYS. It would be my dream to qualify for HOYS but unfortunately I have my AS exams coming up it means I will have to spend less time competing and more time revising! Hopefully we will still be able to get out another 3 or 4 times this month.

I hope everyone has had a great start to the year,

Gaby x

Written by Gaby Struel, #teamlikit at 12:00, 09 March 2015
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