Alicia Wilkinson

Pre-Season Preparations

Eeek, entries are opening for the start of the season! It is getting so exciting, I can’t wait. I am back at university now, which is nice but means not much riding. The weekend before I came back, I had an amazing lesson with Caroline Starling. We jumped all three horses and we really worked on getting their backends coming through underneath them. Caroline loves to make our jump lessons as tricky as possible, with tight, twisty lines. It really tests me as a rider and makes sure horses are really listening. The horses improved and were doing some extraordinary lines at the end.

We took all three horses showjumping at Wix Equestrian Centre. Perfect Timing II (Pooh) had her first outing since June 2015 and did really well. She loves her jumping and had a pole in the Discovery and was 4th in the 1.05 with an immaculate double clear. Moorhey Songbird (Tim) had a pole in the 1.05 and was 3rd in the 1.10 – he jumped really well and seems to be getting more relaxed during his rounds. Gazelle Dwerse Hagen (Googie) did a beautiful clear in the 1.15 and had an unfortunate pole in the 1.20, but felt fabulous.

I have had four fantastic flatwork lessons with Judy Harvey on Pooh and Googie – they went amazingly and are starting to enjoy dressage, although we have a few things to continue to work on. From there, we went show jumping at Addington Equestrian Centre. The both jumped fantastically. Pooh was clear in the Discovery and a pole in the 1.05, while Googie was clear in the Newcomers but got just a little flat and tense in the second phase of the 1.20, resulting in three fences down!

The following day, we went to Aston-le-Walls for some Young Rider Training with Emma Fisher. It was a great day and really helpful. It was exhilarating to be out doing a few cross-country fences again. We had a lovely weekend and I am so excited for the season to start so we can have more weekends like it!

My first event with Googie has been accepted and is at Isleham in the Open Novice. Pooh is running at Poplar the week after – all very exciting as it is just over a week away now!

Tip of the Week
Allowing your horse to eat a double handful of a fibre feed before work forms a protective mat on the acid in the stomach, which prevents it splashing about when riding. So, don’t starve your horses before working them!