November has been a month of training with Carrot as we battle against the dark and cold evenings, and for Dan it’s been a month of stuffing his face full of as much grass as possible whilst he enjoys some well earned time off after an amazing season!
November 2nd marked my 3 year anniversary with Dan, it’s hard to believe 3 years ago I was just out of cast from a broken wrist! Here’s my 3 year video with Dan:
The month started with a trip out for some dressage with Carrot to gain him some more experience at shows. He was really relaxed and did a sweet test in the P14, however his rider let him down a little bit by forgetting the test and then picking up the wrong canter lead! D’oh! We still managed to gain 63%, which I was pleased with. We then did the P19, which went much better, and although he was tired, we still got 66%, putting us 2nd in the juniors and 4th overall. We got some lovely comments from the judges and I’m pleased with how his trot is coming along – just need to work on the canter now!
Over the next week we did some gridwork with Carrot to help balance his canter and had a dressage lesson with our instructor. We also took Carrot to a local SJ show to jump around the 2.9ft and 3ft, where we gained an unlucky pole (at the last jump!) in both classes, but nevertheless our rounds felt much more balanced and controlled. Carrot behaved very well whilst Dan got even fluffier in the field!
All my Likit sponsorship prizes also arrived which was extremely exciting - you can watch my unboxing below:
Our next big outing on Carrot was to a XC schooling day. Before we went we gave Carrot a clip as he started to look like a fluffy teddy bear! We tested out our new Likit Tongue Twister and Carrot was a dream to clip – he didn’t move once as he was so focused on getting as much Likit as he could!
Despite the incredibly strong and bitter winds, Carrot was a super star XC schooling and his confidence really seemed to be building! We gave Carrot an electrolyte Likit whilst he cooled off before we came home. Here’s my GoPro video of the day:
I had a great day and even got to meet one of my best friends Lily for the first time – little did I know I would be seeing her again much sooner than I thought! A week later on November 18th was my 14th birthday. My birthday treat was a trip to Ingatestone saddlery – my favourite place in the entire world and where I brought my first ever Likit product 3 years ago! As I was debating over which colour matchy set to buy for Carrot, Lily and Soph (another one of my best friends) came around the corner and surprised me! They had both travelled over 2 hours after arranging for months over a Facebook chat with my mum to surprise me for my birthday and come over for a sleepover after. They had kept it a huge secret and my mum even changed the name of the Facebook chat to ‘Pony Club Website’ so I wouldn’t read it – they are so sneaky! It’s fair to say the next two days were the best I have had in a long time; we painted Danny with horse powder paint, rode in onesies and ate a lot of pizza! It was definitely the best birthday ever!
Our final outing of the month definitely wasn’t our best day but it is all a big learning curve when you have a youngster. We took Carrot to an NSEA Arena Eventing show and the busy atmosphere got to him, and combined with the spookiness of the jumps this resulted in a pretty big confidence knock after I fell off at the first XC jump in the 80cm. It was clear in the 90cm we had both lost some confidence and due to Carrot himself being nervous as well as him picking up on my nerves, we were eliminated after 3 refusals. It definitely wasn’t the day we were hoping for but we live and learn – one step forward, two steps back is what they say! We are going to take a step back now and rebuild both of our confidence as we continue with Carrot’s training before we hopefully come back stronger at the start of 2018.
The last couple of days of November brought snow to our house! I am really hoping for a white Christmas this year – though I do wonder what the boys will make of it! On that note, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a happy new year full of horses and ponies and get everything you wished for - I won’t be surprised if there are a few Likits under the tree this year, I know my boys will be more than happy to find some!
Until next month (and year!), Gracie, Dan and Carrot xx