“So last week we went off showjumping at West Wilts. We took 5 ponies. I didn’t realise eventer’s showjumping meant it had XC jumps in the course!!! Oh dear! My first pony Tadpole has been XC schooling once over small fences. There was a corner, a water tray and another skinny. Tadpole was brilliant over the skinny and the corner and he came to the water tray and I gave it a bit of welly, he took off bravely a stride early, taking me totally by surprise waiting for a small stride because he likes to be careful and I socked him in the teeth, frightening him. At that point he clearly thought I was an idiot and stopped jumping. Not his fault and I took him in at the end of the class and he was brilliant. Horses, they never stop surprising you.
I’ve been having a bit of trouble with Frog’s jumping. He seems to be happy jumping small but not big fences. I put him on some Acid-X because I thought it might help and he was epic, so really chuffed!
I had entered the rest of the horses in the Novice, which had two fences at 1.15m and the XC jumps were all full up. I began to think my day was going to be a disaster!!! The next horse was Elaine Makensie Yates’ stallion, Sirius. He is a brave horse but it was a big course for a just turned 6year old 17hh stallion! Not that it mattered, he jumped double clear and I was thrilled.
Next came Jill Lamont and Ann Allen’s The Otter. He used to be a showjumper so I was pretty confident… Stupid. He was jumping an epic round, cleared all the XC jumps and just after the penultimate fence he spun quickly to the right and charged off bucking. I stayed in the plate and came back round only to have the same thing happen! Only on the third attempt did I notice he could see himself approaching the jump in the mirror! I got him over. He went back in and again jumped a good clear.
Finally was Viccie Parfitt’s stallion Donkey. Being the epic horse he is, he jumped a stunning double clear. Not bad considering he shattered his splint bone last year!
The following week we headed off to dressage. It was very, very cold! All 5 horses were doing one of the new BE100 tests and a new Novice test. Although some of the horses are not novice level, I wanted to run through the new tests to see how they ride.
First to go was Ruth Wollerton’s mare Raven. She can be a little tricky when fresh but she nailed her first test scoring 74.5%. She was good in the second test but green still scoring 70%. Next came Tadpole, so named because he looks like a mini Frog. He did a lovely test, his second one ever and got a 72%. We had to wait a little while for his second test and he got a little tired for his second one, he tried but was a little flat. Sirius came next and my team and I thought he nailed both tests, the judge didn’t quite agree with us but he still scored well. Then The Otter came and he did a good first test and an ok second test. He was a bit surprised by the rein back which he did beautifully but he sort of stayed there… I think he felt it was rude of me to ask him to go forward, having just asked him backwards!
Finally I entered on Donkster. He smashed both tests out of the ball park and everyone thought so, especially when comparing his test to Ravens, but once again the judge felt differently but all in all I was thrilled with my ponies. Thanks to the GlobalVite and WinterBoost, everyone is looking and feeling ready for March!”