We have had a great 2016 with all three horses, the year has had many ups and downs, but Dinero, Edd (Nightshade) and Crème (Crème de la Crème) all showed massive improvements by the end of the year. It was a very busy year and we had two horses with us at almost every show.
The main highlights of this year include:
We have had a great year with Dinero and made a lot of progress. Dinero is currently having a break from eventing after losing his confidence jumping; over this year we have jumped him a few times and he has loved it every time.
He started the year at Merristwood where we finished 8th in the BD Novice (O) Winter 2016 regionals with 69.83%. After this we moved up to Elementary, and in a few outings we had qualified for the summer regionals. We then moved up to medium; we won our first ever medium test with 68.97% and in just 3 tests we qualified for the summer regionals.
We have often had the problem that Dinero does not think that he should be doing two tests, he often does a great first test and then looks like a completely different horse for the second test. For this reason we were unsure about how he would be at the regionals as both tests were on the same day. First was the Elementary, he warmed up really well and was completely focussed, and we did what we though was one of our best ever tests. We were however slightly disappointed with our mark of 68.59%. It turned out that two of the judges had loved him and had him in 1st, however one didn’t like him so much and had us 25 marks lower than the other judges. Despite this we were still thrilled that we finished 4th in our first ever elementary regional.
We then had just over an hour before our Medium test, we decided to change the bridle to a double and take Dinero’s saddle off for a bit in the hope that we could warm up like he does for the first tests! It seemed to work. The medium was in the international arena which Dinero thought was rather scary, but he managed to focus and we did a great test, especially considering it was only our 4th ever medium test. My aim was to come in the top half, and we achieved this with 64.55% to come 15th.
I have now qualified for the BD winter regionals at elementary and medium, these will be in February 2017. We have also started jumping Dinero a bit more at home and he may even go out to some unaffiliated events next season. We aim to keep progressing up the dressage levels and I have started to work on his changes at home.
At the beginning of this year Edd just went out to the odd dressage show, with varying results and we didn’t spend too much time on him. Edd has the nicest personality a horse can ever have, but he also has quite a few issues. He is very sensitive and we have had problems getting on him, so I could never ride him alone and mum had never ridden him. Gradually over this year we started doing more and more with him and we started jumping him. Progressively he became more and more relaxed. There were however times when it took almost 30 mins to get on him, but we persevered.
In the past he couldn’t jump and did not understand it, however he seemed to start to understand and show real potential. We thought we may even try to event him. He had been xc training in the past, but a long time ago. We took him training once this year and decided to throw him in at the deep end and enter him for his first event. It was his first dressage test on grass, first time jumping show jumps on grass, (probably also only his 4th ever show jumping round), and it was his first ever cross country round. He was very confused, but seemed to love it, with a great 24 dressage and just one down sj then a clear cross country! We did however get lots of cross country time penalties as he was terrified of the jump judges and even tried to stop in the middle of the field to look at one, he also seemed confused as to why we were cantering across a field.
We then decided to enter him for his first BE event, the BE80 at Chilham. He was so well behaved again and showed so much improvement in just one outing. Following on from this we decided that we should take him to all the next events with Crème as we were going to them anyway. We went on to have a great run Keysoe in the BE80 where he finished 6th! Next was his first BE90 at Munstead, again he was really good, it was the first time he had jumped a 90cm course and I do not think that he had even jumped any cross country jump at 90 cm before! He was clear cross country and we finished just outside the placings in 12th. Finally, we finished the season with a BE90 at Little Downham, we walked the cross country and thought it may have been a bit much for Edd. There were corners, trakehners, skinnies, a coffin combination, jumps up and down hills and more. All of which Edd had never jumped or even seen before. He was a bit confused at parts of the cross country and his mind was on everything around the jumps, but we finished the course and were so pleased with how far he had come.
Edd’s dressage has also gone from strength to strength. In June he won his first BD class and then we went on to qualify for three Petplan area festivals, this meant that we could have 3 chances at qualifying. We decided to just do the one as we thought that Edd would only be going for experience and would not be worth going for a few hour drive for just one test. We went to Oldencraig with no expectations, but Edd surprised us and we were 7th with 67.15%. The marks were very close and again we had the problem that two judges liked him (and had him as 2nd and 3rd) but the third judge had him 15 marks lower. This made us realise that maybe Edd could do better, so on the way home I realised it was the last day to enter another area festival, so I entered on the way home!
Three weeks later we went to Brook Farm for our second area festival. We got a bit lost on the drive there and only had 8 minutes warm up. It seems that this is all Edd needed, he did a great test to score 70.2%. When the mark went up he was lying 1st, but I was near the beginning to go, so mum and I spent the day nervously watching the score board; he did it, Edd won and qualified for the BD Petplan nationals! We did think that he could be placed again, but it had not cross our minds that he could win!
Edd has been jumping very well over the winter and we hope to go out at BE90 next season and we will keep working on his dressage.
Our season started well and ended even better, however there were many ups and downs in the middle. The season started at Munstead in the BE80 where we finished 7th. However, after this things did not go so well, and Crème seemed to be too immature for the cross country. His dressage and sj were always good, but the cross country seemed to blow his brain and he just switched off. Then in July, after a few xc schooling sessions, it seemed to click back into place at Tweseldown where we finished 7th. The cross country took some riding but he flew around a course which was causing endless problems. Then we had another great run at Chilham where we were 7th, followed by a great event at Keysoe in the BE90.
Then at Munstead in September we had another great dressage and sj, but we changed his bit for the cross country as he had been very forward and strong at the event before. Unfortunately, he really was not happy and did not want to go at all. This was another setback. Following on from this we had his teeth done, he had a few sharp teeth and some new ones coming through. So mum suggested that we go right back and put a simple happy mouth bit in, a normal simple bridle and no martingale. I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t have control but if it meant he was happier we would try it; he was a lot happier. Little Downham BE90 was our last event of the season, and probably the best! We had a good 30 dressage, just one down sj and then an amazing cross country. Crème really showed his power and amazing jump. The breaks were slightly lacking but he loved it and did an amazing clear, inside the time (around the hardest track yet).
We have been working on his dressage and show jumping over the winter, and he is jumping better and better at home. Next season we hope to start at BE90 and then move to BE100.
Global Herbs Products
We could not achieve these great results if the horses were not looking and feeling so great, and thanks to Global herbs this is all possible! So thank you Global Herbs for all of the wonderful products that you have given us this year. We use many of the products and between the three horses they have had the following products this year: MoveFree Plus, Alphabute, StrongBone, Hocks, Turmeric, Flax Oil, GlobalVite and Garlic.
Our favourite product is the Movefree Plus, Dinero has always been on this and we really believe it helps him to move so well. Dinero and Crème were also on Strongbone, this was great for Crème as he was still growing. Additionally we really believe that Alphabute has worked wonders on Edd. He has always been sensitive with quite a few problems and it was since he was on Alphabute that he started to make the amazing progress. All three of the horses are now on Turmeric, Flax Oil and Garlic.