After all the excitement of Worlds it’s been back to reality this month with training and competitions!
First up was Tweseldown on the 10th July, where I had both horses running. Pheobe was on the Sunday in the 100plus. She scored a respectable 35.8 in her first Novice test even with a few mistakes, she then disgraced herself show jumping by having three down, not like her at all! Cross country however, she felt amazing, she was going much faster and jumping out her stride, we would have been in the time if she hadn’t spent 20 seconds napping, but baby steps! Maria came back on the Monday for the Novice, only her second event this year. She produced a much more balanced test, which I felt was pretty average for her, so I was shocked to see our score was 31.5 our best ever dressage score at Novice! Then in the show jumping she was so much more rideable and we jumped a beautiful clear round. Cross country she was awesome and I cannot fault her, she was keen but listened when we had to steady up, however I managed to ruin it by trying to fit an extra stride in front of an arrowhead which is impossible and she went round it twice! Had I not messed up we would have been third!
On the 17th we had our Area dressage. I had volunteered Pheobe for the Intermediate and she produced a nice test with just one mistake in the counter canter, I was slightly disappointed with her score of 65% as I know she is capable of much higher marks. However once the rest of the marks had gone up I saw she was 5th in her arena and helped the team to 4th! An amazing achievement for a horse who this time last year didn’t know what an outline was let alone a dressage arena.
On the 20th Maria and I went down to Dauntsey for our first Intermediate Novice. She tried her hardest in the dressage and scored 38.3, not bad for her first Intermediate test and the sort of mark I was expecting, but it didn’t help that the rider went wrong! In the show jumping she was flying until the second last where I just held a little long and we ended up on no stride and stopped. She flew it on the second attempt and then just rubbed the last. Cross country she was amazing and skipped round it like it was a 90 course.
Pheobe went up to Cherwell on the 23rd for some show jumping practise. She jumped well in the Newcomers, just rubbing 2 fences. In the 1.15m she had 6 down! Really unlike her as she’s been jumping 1.25/1.30 at home. I think the heat that got to her a she had to wait 3.5 hours until she could jump and she seems to have the weirdest thermostat.
On the 26th it was Maria’s turn to go jumping at Parwood. In the Newcomers we didn’t quite have it together and stopped at the first fence, but came round again and jumped double clear, making it feel like nothing. As she had jumped so well I was feeling brave and decided to enter us in our first Foxhunter, she was amazing and just flew round, we had two down where I rode a little strongly (probably because I thought they looked huge!), but she made it feel easy, which is good as I have tentively entered an Intermediate in mid August!
On the 30th Maria and I went to Wilton Horse Trials for the Novice. I’ve only been to Wilton once before and I managed to fall off in the show jumping right in front of the judges box, so we were hoping to do a little better this time. She warmed up nicely for the dressage, but was a little tight in her neck which caused some tension in the test to score 33.5, this just shows how much she has improved as whenever we used to have tension our scores were more like 40.5! In the show jumping I didn’t ride quite as well as I have been but she jumped amazingly, just adding more height when I got it slightly wrong, so we came out with another clear round. Cross country she was amazing again and absolutely cruised round, although when we jumped through the water and my stop watch beeped I saw that we were only on 3 minutes and only 3 jumps left before home! I tried to steady her up as much as possible, but there just wasn’t enough space left on the course and we came in at 5:01 picking up 3.2 too fast time penalties. We still finished 8th after our first Novice double clear, but without the time faults we would have been 2nd!
On the 31st after not getting back to the yard until 9 the day before, Pheobe and I left at 6 to go to the Area Show Jumping. We were in the Open and Pheobe jumped amazingly all morning, it was just a shame that the rider let her down! In the first round she just rubbed one when I pushed her on in a distance. Then in the second round we were clear until the treble where I didn’t ride forwards enough and she had every part down then because we were in a muddle stopped at the last fence, but flew it the second time. This left the team in 3rd place.
Onwards and upwards for August, two months left until uni starts again!