I took both horses to Allens Hill yesterday for the British Dressage, it was a rather windy day but we missed the rain (unlike today!) The main purpose for taking Ali was to ride in the long arena with full boards, which we will probably have when we do the CIC* at Somerford in 2 weeks time. She worked in well and didn’t take too much notice of Donovan in the lorry, which I was pleased about as next season we will likely be taking them out together more often. Unfortunately she got a bit spooky and tense in the arena, the final commet by the judge summing her test up perfectly – “Athletic horse with so much to like. Such a pity becoming unsettled in the arena and tightness affecting fluency” – I was glad I took her though as I think some spookiness near the start of the test may have been because of the arena surface flicking up onto the dressage boards, which she then got used to… although it may just have been the wind in the trees etc!! She still scored a 65% in her Novice test 1st in open section and 2nd overall.
Donovan was great though and I was able to contain his slight spookiness at the white boards (yes, he is still silly at his age!) and it actually gave him more energy and ping in the trot work. He went well in both tests, apart from a couple of slight mistakes in the canter transitions in the first test to score 67.24% and 70.88% and win both classes – such a clever boy!! This means he has gained the 15 points needed to qualify for the Elementary Restricted Winter Regionals in just 3 tests! So he will now be aimed at medium and hopefully advanced medium soon after if we can get our flying changes working in the correct place!
I had some exciting news the end of last week that Ali and I have been picked to be one of the guinea pig riders in Nick Gauntlett’s demonstration at Blenheim International Horse Trials on Thursday 12th September. It will be such a good experience for Ali because there will be lots of trade stands, atmosphere and hopefully lots of people watching! So a big thank you to Nick for picking us!
Lastly, we had an unexpected new arrival today when one of the heifers calved 2 weeks early producing a lovely little heifer calf! After Ali’s last little pop over a few fences in the school before Homme House on tuesday I helped Dad to bring mother and baby in. This turned out to be more eventful than planned with mum heading in the wrong direction first up the lane and the over the hedge into another field – who needs to go to the gym when you have to sprint twice to get in front of and head off an escaping cow… in wellies and jeans!!! Once finally in the fields here Donovan met her over the fence, which he thought was very exciting!! They are now tucked up on a nice straw bed ready for all this rain they are forecasting tonight (hopefully means ground is good at Homme though).