We started the month straight after New Year on the 2nd when we to Crofton for some show jumping. I jumped Pheobe and Maria in the 1m and 1.10m. Maria jumped well in the 1m with 2 down from rider error, then we got it together and she jumped amazingly in the 1.10m until the last fence where yet again the jockey let her down. Pheobe was fab and jumped an amazing double clear in the 1m to come 2nd and closest to the bogey time, proving slow and steady does win the race! In the 1.10m I didn’t quite adjust from Maria and she had 2 down, but it was a good learning curve to get used to having to switch between them!
The rest of the month has been quite quiet because I’ve had exams, but I was able to get out on the 31st with Pheobe for the Eventers Challenge at Tweseldown. She jumped a lovely steady double clear, and while not placed this time, she actually accelerated out of the start and wanted to gallop! This is a huge step forward for her and hopefully she is starting to enjoy cross country now she’s getting the idea, I can’t wait to get her out eventing.
Photo taken by Wayne Jones Photography
In addition I have also had the second university competition, this time held by De Montfort at Witham Villa Riding Centre. I drew a large bay for the dressage called Ben, who was not keen on doing his 3rd test of the day, but after a lot of persuasion I managed to win the dressage. In the show jumping it definitely showed that I hadn’t ridden for 2 weeks and I didn’t really get going until fence 5, meaning I missed out on an individual place this time. The team finished 3rd and my teammate Charlotte won, but there are still two competitions left so all to play for...
This month we also had a visit from Hilary Vernon from Informed Designs to have a look at Maria’s bit. We’ve always struggled to get her to keep an even contact and as a result she has never quite got the dressage marks that we think she deserves. I will admit to being slightly sceptical about the difference that Hilary could make, but one week on I cannot believe the difference, not only has she stopped resisting and is now working into my hand, she also seems much calmer on the ground. Fingers crossed the judges will see the difference too, but it’s still too early to tell. I’ve got lots planned for next month as there are only 5 weeks until eventing starts again (not that I’m counting)