End of the season

Summer is well and truly over now and it’s wet, cold and muddy!!

The end of the event season didn’t go quite to plan basically because the weather meant that all the events I had planned to do in the autumn were cancelled. After the excitement of winning at the Pony Club Regional Championships, Felix and I went to Pontispool for another BE80. It was a very warm day and we weren’t competing until the afternoon. We did quite a good dressage test although I was a bit disappointed with my score as it wasn’t sub-30 but we were still in the top 10. Felix had an uncharacteristic 4 faults in the show-jumping, but it was my fault as I didn’t have Felix sharp enough in the warm-up – I think we were both feeling a bit sleepy as it was so hot! I wasn’t going to make the same mistake for the cross-country!! I made sure that I had got Felix properly listening to me in the warm-up before we went cross-country and we had a good round, although the ground was very hard and we did get some time penalties. Unfortunately  no rosette, but I was still very pleased with Fe.

Our next event should have been the Horse Events Unaffiliated Eventing Championships but unfortunately this was cancelled due to the very wet weather which was a real shame. Hopefully it will be re-scheduled in the Spring. I wanted to do just one more event before the end of the season so we planned to go to Bovington but unfortunately that was also cancelled due to the weather! So Felix’s last outing before his winter break was a dressage competition where we did a Novice Test and Felix got to show off his medium trot (something he had been wanting to do in all the dressage tests at events in the summer but wasn’t allowed to!!). He did a really nice test and scored 70% which I was really really pleased with! Felix is now enjoying a well-earned break in the field. He has been amazing this year and has helped me have a fab first season eventing, 10 events, 2 wins, 6 top 10 placings and always in the top 15! He has been a complete super star and winning a BE Event and the Pony Club Regional Eventing Championships were just amazing experiences. Thank you Felix!

Chico spent the summer concentrating on his dressage and we were lucky enough to qualify for the U21 British Dressage PetPlan Regional Finals at Bicton. We had a really early start in the morning to get to Bicton for the arena walk at 7.30am but when we got on to the motorway it was closed due to an accident!! This meant that we got there with just 5 minutes before the end of the arena walk! It was a crazy rush but we did manage to walk around the arena once! We then had time for a quick breather before it was time to warm-up. Chico loves his dressage as he likes to show -off and he did a really nice test to score 69.7% (so nearly 70!). We were in 3rd place for ages and I was so excited that we might get to do the mounted prize giving, but then one of the last horses to go went ahead of us so we finished 4th and just missed out on qualifying for the nationals. It was so disappointing, but hopefully we will get a wildcard to the Nationals…fingers crossed!

Smartie did his very first one day event at the end of the summer. I was so excited but also quite nervous as I didn’t know how he would behave, but I need not have worried as he was a superstar all day! He did a really lovely dressage test to score 25, then jumped a lovely clear round in the show-jumping and a super clear in the cross-country, although we did have time penalties as I didn’t want to push him as it was his first cross country round. We didn’t get placed, but I was just so pleased with how he had performed and behaved at his first one day event! I am so excited about eventing next season, I think he is going to be good fun!! Smarties last outing before his break was also a dressage competition. We did 2 Prelim tests and got a 4th and 2nd. His first test was a bit tense but his second test was so much better and he got his best score yet of 68%!

Now all the ponies are out in the field having a well-earned break from ridden work. The plan is to bring them back into work at the beginning of December after they have had 5 weeks off. This also means that I can have a bit of a break from mucking out etc although not a complete break as I have been offered the ride on another pony with the view to eventing her next season. So whilst Felix, Chico and Smartie have been on holiday I have been getting to know Bracken and so far it’s going really well. We have done one show-jumping competition where we finished 3rd with a lovely double clear and over the next few weeks I am going to take her to some BE training sessions and get to know her better. I am very lucky to have been asked to ride her and fingers crossed, we will have a great BE season together next year, so watch this space!