So this month has definitely been a lot quieter, but not without excitement and competitions. We started the month with a trip to Hickstead for the Pony Club Show Jumping, I took Maria as she had been jumping so well and thought it might give us more of a shot at riding in the main arena. The course was technical and made even trickier by heavy rain the day before, Maria jumped her little socks off and just rubbed the second part of the double where she jumped in a little big. Sadly this meant that our team score was not good enough to progress to the main arena and Maria was cross because there was no cross country to do.
Then on the 9th I took Pheobe to Smiths Lawn for the BE100. She warmed up really nicely and then in the test she gave me the best work she has ever done at a competition to score 31.8, if she goes like this more consistently I can push for the higher marks and maybe break the 30 barrier! She then jumped a super double clear with only 4 time faults, her fastest round yet. Unfortunately we were not placed, but I cannot believe how far she has come since she did her first event here last year.
On the 11th I went up to Aston with Maria for our first Intermediate. She warmed up nicely, but when she went in the arena she decided that the builders to the right were going to eat her and got very tense and refused to walk! As a result I was shocked to see our score was 35.9. The show jumping didn’t go to plan, I have always struggled with nerves in this phase and I think the jumps seemed to grow in my mind, making me very tense which prevented poor Maria from jumping and resulted with me on the floor. Such a shame but we’ll go and do some more show jumping and get this phase cracked.
After the slight blip at Aston, I took both horses to Parwood on the 16th for some show jumping practise. Maria jumped fantastically to go clear in the Newcomers and then just have 2 in the jump off where I got over competitive. Pheobe also jumped well, just touching one fence where I interfered. I was going to jump them both in the Foxhunter, but had to shoot off to sit my HGV theory test which I’ve now passed, so hopefully by the end of September I’ll be a trucker.
After a confidence boost at Parwood, Maria and I headed off to Bicton to compete in the CIC*. She warmed up for the dressage sweetly and was then extremely obedient in the test, but scored a disappointing 60.3, so annoying as her flatwork has improved so much over the summer. We had to stable overnight, but Maria settled in very well especially when I hung up a Likit for her.
We show jumped the next morning and despite warming up well as soon as the bell rung and she saw the first fence, she was off! We had 3 down, which wad annoying, but it could have been much worse as she was very very keen. We took it slowly cross country as we were nowhere near a placing, but she was amazing, flying round clear and making it feel so easy. So pleased to be competing at this level again, one more run and then we go to Osberton for our first CCI*!