Long time, no blog…

Firstly sorry, I have been terrible this year for updating!!  The eventing season has whizzed by and despite a few early highs it has not been the best.  So here you go, a quick update of what’s been going on!!

A big highlight was Ali and I completing the biggest course either of us have ever jumped in the Advanced at Withington. We made a couple of mistakes XC with both horse and rider being inexperienced at this level (blind leading the blind…) but completed on a high – she just made it feel so easy and confident!

Flying the Advanced rails at Withington in May

Flying the Advanced rails at Withington in May

My eventing goals for her this year since then have not gone as planned, although she was show jumping brilliantly we lost confidence XC after I had an injury falling from another horse.  I think a change of stirrups also made a difference for the worse and I didn’t realise until too late how big an impact they had made on my balance (until I finally clocked why I kept falling off, which I usually don’t… back in the good old fashioned ones now!!)  So we have been concentrating on her dressage and have recently been scoring in the high 60s at Advanced Medium level British Dressage and I’m hoping we can qualify for Regionals at the level.  We have been having lots of fun learning tempi changes and the beginnings of canter pirouettes together too (I say together as I have never done these movements either!)

Ali scoring 68.78% in Advanced Medium 92 at Burrows Court ~ 20th August 2016

Ali scoring 68.78% in Advanced Medium 92 at Burrows Court ~ 20th August 2016

Sue Bown’s Merlin has made the step up to Novice level successfully with 2 placings and 2 British Eventing points already as well as winning Whitfield BE100 and Berrierwood BE100open!  I am thrilled with the way he is improving all the time, in all 3 phases and feeling stronger especially most recently in the dressage scoring mid twenties at his last two Novice outings and feeling fantastic!  He is a big boy and is really maturing this year so should only get better and better…  We’ve had a couple of mistakes at the last few events but I have to get used to riding him now he is feeling so different, and possibly not take it for granted that he’ll know what to do as even though he feels good he is still green at this level and there is still lots for him to see.

Merlin XC

Merlin making nothing of this Novice oxer at Eland Lodge… problem with being big is you make the fences look small!!

Flicka has had a few outings this season eventing but we have been working on her show jumping and a recent change of bit seems to have helped me to keep the good quality canter that we need for a clear round.  She jumped a fab round in the 100+ at Homme recently.  Her dressage is gradually improving as she gets stronger and more able to carry herself, she has a fantastic medium trot coming through now too!!  She was in the placings earlier this season at Broadway BE100 after whizzing round the XC inside the time.

flicka sjs

Just a few events left and it feels a bit weird not to be going to Osberton, which we have been to for the last few years.  I can’t say I’m not disappointed to have missed out on the bigger events this year or achieved what I was aiming for with Ali, however she is going better than ever on the flat and show jumping well.  Hopefully after this break and lots of schooling her confidence will return and she will enjoy the XC again like she always has!   I look forward to doing some higher level dressage on her too (learning piaffe and passage would be awesome!) I’m also excited to step Merlin up to do some internationals next year.  We have a 3yo part bred Andalusian to back this Autumn and with it being so difficult to fit in everything (especially alongside the little matter of being a full time vet….) Flicka will be for sale.

Looking smart and staying dry in my great coat from sponsors Lintbells Equine

Looking smart and staying dry in my great coat from sponsors Lintbells Equine

Finally thank you to my sponsors Lintbells Equine, who have provided the horses with Yumove Active Joint and Yumega Skin and Coat this year helping keeping them on the road!

Onwards and upwards…..

 

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