So this month, as you can imagine, now that I’m on summer holidays I’ve been busy riding and competing. The first weekend in June I travelled to the Netherlands for our final training session ahead of WUEC. This training was held at Manege Beukers in Oudkarspel which had the most amazing facilities and we were lucky to be provided with the most amazing horses all jumping at at least 1.20m! As well as a fantastic training session we were also able to pick up the rest of our team kit that had been very kindly supplied by Gatehouse and Harry’s Horse.
The next weekend was full of eventing with 2 days at Berkshire Collage of Agriculture. Maria went on Saturday for the Novice, her first event of the year. Her dressage was not the best, but the judge seemed to disagree with me and gave us 34.5 one of our best scores. Bless her, as it had been 10 months since her last event she didn’t seem her usual buzzy self (probably thought it was dressage only) until we reached the show jumping warm up and she realised what was going on. She was very keen and flew round the course making the jumps feel tiny and just tapping 2 in the final line where her enthusiasm got the better of her and she was a little flat. We then jogged our way to the cross country and she shot out of the start box like a race horse! She flew round the course clear but with 2.4 time penalties as I had to set her up a lot for combinations to make sure she was prepared!
On Sunday we went back with Pheobe in the 100. She warmed up nicely for the dressage, but as soon as I went in the arena she lost all her energy and I had to pony club kick my way around the test! Luckily she seems to look better than she feels and the judge gave us 34.3. She pinged around the show jumping clear and then cross country she was amazing. Despite napping between the first 2 fences she flew round clear with 8.4 time, our fastest round yet! I was so pleased with both of them as even though there were no placings this time they had both been good and done their best.
The next weekend, I took Maria to show jump at Crofton in the hope I could curb some of her enthusiasm before our next event! She jumped a really good round in the 1.05m and just rubbed a pole, I didn’t know she had hit it until they rung the bell. In the Newcomers we had 2 down, one where I interfered and the other where I missed monumentally coming into the treble and then she decided to take over and launch over the other parts by about a foot! She made it feel very easy and I just had a very cross pony in the lorry on the way home because of her useless rider!
On the 19th I took Pheobe to Coombelands for the Petersfield Pony Club ODE. We were in the 100 again and after her fantastic round at BCA I had high hopes especially after working hard on her dressage all week. She managed to disgrace herself before we’d even started by catching her rope on the lorry step, breaking the string and trotting off across the car park! Luckily she doesn’t go very far, she stopped to eat and was caught by a little girl. She warmed up beautifully for the dressage and I thought we had too much energy in the test this time, but all our work must have paid off because we scored 27.3, even including a 9! She then popped around the show jumping clear and we headed off to the cross country. Unfortunately she napped all the way to fence 6, resulting in 2 run outs at fence 4, and then at the first water I took my hand off the reins to encourage her into the water and she took advantage, running past the jump. I was very annoyed as she didn’t even look at the water or steps that had previously been a problem and by the end of the course she was jumping out of her stride! At least we now have 2 of the phases sorted so we can concentrate on our steering before the next event.
Maria was supposed to go to Farley Hall to run in the Novice, but due to the ridiculous amount of rain we’ve had, the cross country course was flooded and so it was abandoned. Fingers crossed for the next one.