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1st July

Looking forward now to our first go at a Burghley Young Event Horse class at Chepstow on Friday. Hoping it is not too hot for travel and competition. Have already bought ice that can be shared in humans cold drinks, dog water and Posy for drinking, cooling and ice boots (need a bigger freezer compartment!).

We are preparing by doing a dressage test tonight at a local venue where Cornwall Trec are running a competition then I have a lesson with Andrew Lovell booked tomorrow on the way to Chepstow. Sounds like Friday will be a leisurely day with our time at 15.35. Think we are as prepared as we can be but looks like some good riders and very well bred horses entered  (class of 45), hoping we don’t look out of place and can at least finish middling.

Bobby meanwhile is not improving on the nose rubbing front although I have far from given up yet. I have a number of things still to try including using a Micklem bridle in the hope it sits in a different place on his head and doesn’t irritate the trigenial nerve.

I have also been given a supplement to try called ‘itch mix’  made  by The Herbal Horse who manufacture quality natural supplements. I am a bit sceptical that supplements can help him but when 3 different people have contacted me and said this has helped their horse with similar issues then it has to be worth a try.

I will let you know how we get on with both of the above soon.

28th June

Hope everyone is not getting bored but it is another show jumping report. Can’t give you the drama of “a good day on paper” or “if only we could get all 3 phases right on the same day”! We also maintained our consistent form (Long may it continue but it does lack in the entertainment factor)

We headed to Scorrier and Chacewater a very local show which jumps on good old turf grass fields, with the rain the night before the ground was pretty good. I may have said before but analysing our results we are twice as successful on a surface as we are on grass. I think this shows up her lack of balance when the ground undulates and as such we need more practice on the grass. As she can be a bit jolly I cheated and did a quick warm up at home to get her really listening before we made the 10 minute journey to the show.

We entered the Discovery (1m) and Newcomers (1.10m). The discovery she jumped her customary clear round as did most of the class. I think there were 9 in the jump off and we were drawn 1st to go. I angled some fences and kept my turns tight but didn’t do anything too dramatic.

It was good enough for 3rd  the two ahead of us were only a second quicker. The Newcomers was quite a twisty track and on the turn to 3 I just lost the shoulder and we jumped the fence a little crooked and then struggled to make the distance in the related causing us to have a pole. At 6 there was a big water tray which caused a major jinx and eyes out on stalks until she hopped over suspiciously having added an extra 2 strides in the process.

So a good educational day whilst still keeping up our record of good results. All systems go now for the BYEH at Chepstow on Friday.

24th June

Having eventing withdrawal systems and frustrated with the lack of immediate prospects of blowing the cobwebs away. People keep asking why I don’t event Posy yet but there are a number of considerations.

Saying all the above I am taking her to Chepstow for the Burghley Young Event Horse a week on Friday and then she will have a few weeks off. After that we will pick up the cross country schooling and try and aim for a few Autumn events so we can really come out the starting gates flying next year.

I doubt if Bobby will be able to event again this year which is depressing but it is not fair to put pressure on him and to be honest my ambition is not at the BE90 level but beyond that and with his rubbing issue it is not going to happen.

Be nice to find a fairy Godmother or an owner that wants their horse evented but even that can be difficult as I put a huge amount of pressure on myself to perform and then if I have an owner to please that can almost result in a meltdown!

Currently with an eventing website and an eventing passion I have done 6 events in the last 2  seasons and it is getting so frustrating. I often think about Pip (picture right) (who is doing great with her new owners) and should I have sold her when we were getting established at Intermediate? It was the sensible thing, her size and movement caused my hip huge discomfort which meant I couldn’t do her justice.  The hip has improved but I miss the chance to ride at the higher levels. For me BE90 and BE100 is a stepping stone and not my ambition I desperately want to get back to riding at Novice and Intermediate (and beyond) but also panic that age is not on my side being on the wrong side of 40!

Need to find my PMA (positive mental attitude) and get my backside in gear although currently I am not sure what I can do to change my prospects of eventing this year! No funds for another, one who can’t event and one that needs time. I guess as always this is a fair reflection on the struggles that all riders go through!

21st June - Posy back in the limelight

Posy was not allowing Bobby to take the limelight and it was her turn to jump today. The regular jumping over good courses is really getting our eye in, however after our BYEH in 2 weeks she will be having a couple of weeks off to take it all in.

Today we went to Colraine to jump the Discovery and our second Newcomers. The Discovery actually felt small but the customary clear round was forthcoming. Nearly everyone went clear so I decided after our success at Bicton to have a crack in the jump off.

Really pleased for her stage of education it was a super round and she made the turns very easily. It has to be said I seem to ride best in a jump off where I can really be positive. We won the class by 6 seconds so an excellent result.

The Newcomers was a decent track but not as frightening as last time, however a clear round and the jump off did look frightening particularly the upright which was the third fence in the jump off and was 1.25!!!

As you see she didn’t really read the lightweight rustic which was the first fence but after that she jumped superbly and made it feel very easy. Couldn’t be more delighted to have a double clear in only our second attempt at this class. It has been a long time since I did the bigger classes with Sarnie and Pip and it is certainly case of getting  my eye back in again! A few well deserved days off for Posy before we count down to a more eventing related competition with the Burghley Young Event Horse a week on Friday.

20th June - Bobby’s turn to shine!

Bobby has been a bit of a depressing subject of late. He has had a quiet 6 weeks whilst he has undergone acupuncture in an attempt to help his nose rubbing issue. Sadly this has had no effect and as the summer is progressing he is getting worse needing to throw his head at his leg to relieve the itch. We are pretty sure it is the trigenial nerve that causes head shaking that is giving him facial pain. Clearly the pollen in the summer is aggravating this and making the poor horse very uncomfortable. My vet looked again this week and whilst there is a few treatments we can still try realistically it is a problem that is not going to go away. Sadly currently eventing is not feasible as he won’t settle in the dressage as the uncomfortableness makes him want to rush his work and in walk and sometimes other paces he is flipping his head down to rub. Sadly I am contemplating selling him in the autumn to a suitable home that possibly want to hunt in the winter when he is fine and can manage or accept the summer issues.

On a more positive note it was time to get him out and see how he coped with some show jumping. Whilst he did some nose rubbing when we were walking around before and after his round once cantering in the ring he was fully focused on the job in hand and jumped very well.

We did the British Novice which was a Single Phase class. He was basically controlled and jumping super, in the second part fence 9 was an upright with a black pole above a yellow one and most of the class had it down. I therefore rode it so carefully that I pulled him right into the bottom of it where he didn’t have a hope of jumping it! Other than that we were clear and as the course didn’t jump well was good enough for 4th and his first money prize BS.

I was quite glad I didn’t take Posy as the ground was pretty hard she will jump on the surface at Colraine tomorrow.

19th June

Continuing where I left off (in the last post) we left Bicton on Monday morning and on our return journey we stopped at Andrew Lovell’s for a dressage lesson. Whilst Posy didn’t reckon the timing was great after her efforts at Bicton it seemed too good an opportunity to miss with Andrew only a few miles off our route home.

We worked on 2 main areas, the canter and starting to introduce some medium in the trot work. Sadly unlike the last lesson technology spoilt the video and we used headphones for the lesson which means the video doesn’t pick up what Andrew was saying.  In the canter we brought the circle in and out using a slightly travers feeling to engage the hind quarters. You can see from the video clip how that really engaged her in the canter

Andrew had me riding with a long stick in each hand to help get her in front the leg and stop me working so hard.

In the trot we used the turn about the forehand aids in the trot to expand a circle and then allow with the outside rein down the long side to encourage the medium. We were starting to get a step or so but at the moment she still hasn’t got the strength to really power through but I have no doubt looking at how much she has improved already that it will come in time.

17th June

Just recovering from a busy Bicton which sounds silly when I only took one horse but it seemed non stop and I must have walked miles too.

We set off on Thursday after work which in itself was a major feat due to the late decision to go. I was up at 5am to do some packing before work and then escaped again at lunchtime for a quick ride. Eventually the horse, dogs, mum (still poorly) and all the gear was packed and we trundled the 2 and half hours to Bicton. It may have been easier to leave on the Friday as we were not jumping until late but with the time of year tourist traffic virtually makes Friday and Saturday travel impossible.

Friday was an educational day. We were not jumping until late in the grass arena and had entered the Discovery and 1.05. It is interesting despite all Posy’s success show jumping that it has mainly come in the arenas and not on grass. We were discussing this and think that at the moment she still struggles with her balance on grass.

I made a mistake and should have worked her Friday morning but didn’t get her out to ride until the class at about teatime. The weather had closed in and we had steady drizzle, no problems with studs but no video (luckily). Posy was totally above herself and running through the hand not listening, bucking, launching at fences and being a total twit (polite version of what I said on the day)!

We went in the ring and she took not the slightest notice of me, only allowing me to point. It is a testament to her jumping that we only had one fence down despite total disregard for all the riders aids and ineffective struggles. Luckily Zoe Gwennap who spotted Posy in Ireland and helps me was at ringside and took Posy and I to task. We spent the next hour (having pulled out of the next class)  working in the warm up rings on transitions, changes of bend, balance and just getting her focused on me and not ignoring or fighting me. By the end I was on my knees and Posy was a little better!!

Lesson learnt I was up next day and riding by 7 repeating the same exercises. She was really leaning on my right hand so I put a brush on the side of the bit which helped prevent her grabbing the right rein. A bit of a cheat but better than me constantly pulling at the rein. She wasn’t a great fan and we found for the rest of the show that to warm up in the brush and then take it off before we jumped worked best.

Another late jump on the Saturday and this day we were in the arena. Having worked her hard and started to get her listening I actually moved back to the snaffle I do the normal flatwork in. First class was a meter class and despite a few green moments she jumped a super but steady double clear.

Lots to work on, the main thing in time as we get better balance is getting the changes with her as that can often let us down.

I then withdrew from the next class in the arena and moved her to the young horse class so we could have another opportunity to jump on grass. If we are going to do BYEH and event her then it is no good avoiding the issue! This class seemed quite small and she jumped a super round for equal first (all double clears). I think this was one of the nicest rounds of the weekend.

Next day again I made the effort to jump a class on grass and we actually started with our biggest class of the weekend a 1.05. Here the old canter lead issue caught up with us again and I was unbalanced round the corner to 3 which we had down. I am working on changes at home, Fred whom I bought her from had some on her but with my crookedness from my hip injury it is something I struggle with. Just one pole and I was by no means displeased.

We moved back to the arena for the Discovery. The day before we had completed our 4 double clears for the year so the handbrake was off and for the first time with Posy I decided it was time to ask a few questions in the jump off, cut a few corners and angle some fences. Usually it takes a time or two for horses to get it and be quick thinking but we only missed one turn and she turned and listened really well. We did have some luck with a miss an No.1 and lucky not to send a pole flying! The class had 80 starters and Posy’s round was quick enough for 3rd place which I was over the moon with.

A great finish to the weekend and was very tempted to jump another day but seemed a good note to finish on. I also hadn’t told her that on the way home (the next day) I had arranged a dressage lesson with Andrew Lovell (tomorrows report).

Really delighted with the progress at Bicton and huge thank you to Zoe for all her help as feel we have taken a huge step forward with Posy. Thanks also to Nick and Jane for their help and fabulous pictures.

10th June

Today Bobby had his final acupuncture session , he has about 10 needle in (the camera doesn’t show the needles that well but two are pictured). He is great to treat and seems to tolerate the treatment happily but frustratingly his nose itching has got significantly worse and is mirroring what happened last summer so there must be a seasonal element to the problem which we can’t control, all very depressing. Having the vet out for an assessment again next week so we will see where go from there.

So Bobby is kicking his heels up in the field this weekend and we are heading back to Bicton for a 6 day show jumping show. The thought of 6 days jumping is a bit much and we will probably do 3 days. I have entered Posy in the 1m and 1.05 classes just to establish ourselves at this level.

Going to be a man down as Mum has been ill all week and she has strict orders to rest up take it easy while we are away. Good job we are only taking the one horse. Very little signal at Bicton so expect an update next week sometime when we are recovered. Wish us luck and good health (trying to decide if I could have a sore throat coming!)

6th June

Back out competing again at Colraine for some more BS. Sorry if this isn’t the eventing fix everyone wants but it is a means to an end and for the moment while we are successful quite good fun! Having at the last competition won ourselves out of British Novice today was the time to up our game and start out at Discovery.

She was actually quite spooky in the first round and you will see her jinx at no.1 and a couple of others. However her usual care and clean jumping continued and we jumped a good clear round.

The jump off looked very competitive and I made a decision to go for a double clear and not a fast round. It turned out to be a very good decision the winner was 13 seconds in front of me and totally out of reach for us but the rest had fences chasing the time and left us in 2nd place. Another frilly and some more money. I think Posy is now on 150 points!!

So brave pants on decided there was no reason to wimp out of jumping a Newcomers. Amazing when you haven’t jumped that size course for a year or two it looks pretty big! I am not sure today my nerves would have stood a clear round and an even bigger jump off!

Well she pull the stops out and jumped a super round and even gave me my wish (careful what you wish for) of a rail down. I have to say she made it feel very easy and I think we will soon be very confident jumping Newcomers and the jump offs!

Really enjoying this show jumping and certainly laying a good foundation for her future transformation into an event horse.

3rd June

I need you all to keep everything crossed for the next 14 days please?! We finally managed to AI Sarnie again on Tuesday although as is her way things have not been simple. She has been at stud (Trenerth Equestrian) for the past few weeks to be close to my vet and have a stallion to tease her and other mares to show her the ropes. Poor Sarnie got bullied when she arrived then turned the tables and was the bully, now the two enemies are best buddy’s (who says human relationships are fickle!)

My long suffering vet spent nearly 3 weeks regularly scanning her and in the end last Friday injected her to come into season. Monday’s scan showed she was coming into season so we made arrangements for Nippy (SOS Kantje’s Unicolor) to come down on Wednesday to donate sperm which would be immediately transferred to Sarnie. However when Joe scanned her yesterday she had just ovulated meaning that Wednesday would be too late and we needed to get the AI done ASAP otherwise we would have no hope. It was just not possible to get Nippy down to the stud in time so I was delighted we were able to use the resident stallion - My Eclipse. Eclipse is TB, son of the prolific event stallion Shaab and has himself evented to Intermediate and has the most fabulous temperament. Huge thanks to Mel for giving us the opportunity to use him and trying so hard to make it work for Sarnie.

My Eclipse  - Studcard

Sarnie is staying at the stud at least until she is scanned in 2 weeks as she is settled and we want to give her a stress free time. She still had quite a lot of fluid that needed washing out so the chances are not high but there is a chance. So fingers very firmly crossed please!

1st June

It has been quite a weekend with the usual non stop pace. We are also back in that time of year that Cornwall gets rather cut off by tourist traffic jams and if I want to head out the county at the weekend it has to be at the crack of dawn. That was what we did on Saturday to head to Warren Farm for my first taste of cross country with Posy. I have to admit although she was meant to have done a little xc schooling I had serious doubt whether she would be bold as out hacking she can be frightened of her own shadow.

We started in the school and warmed up and popped a few show jumps before going out in the xc paddock and trotting a few simple fences. She didn’t bat an eyelid and popped everything happily. We then joined a few together and it was at this point she decided we were taking things a tad too slowly and she would liven it up a bit!!!!

Excuse the bad language in the background!

Mum understandably moved the camera but suffice to say there was no limpet like hanging on and I hit the deck! So ten minutes later having given her a good session of canter work round their large outdoor school we resumed. She was a very good girl from this point on!

She was simply very classy, we didn’t do anything complicated but she jumped everything she was presented with, went in and out of water, over a small ditch, up and down steps and was very bold.

I am very lucky to have a very talented horse but with that talent as if often the case is going to come some quirks. Just need to make sure I harness her ability to work with me.

So onto Sunday and with Caroline’s advice ringing in my ears that she was a tough cookie and I wasn’t to feel sorry for her (I am worrying about working her too hard) we headed off for a dressage lesson with Andrew Lovell. We had definitely made strides forward since out lesson with Stef Eardley last week and I was hoping we could really move on again. Sadly there was some confusion about the timings of my slot and I missed my shared lesson, Andrew was very kind and offered to teach me at the end.

I have to say I found him very inspiring, he picked up on some little things in both the horse and my riding that made a big difference and another step forward. With my hip issues he quickly identified that I slightly collapsed one side, simply by thinking about keeping my seat bones central (either side of the line I was riding) and occasionally wiggling my hips it helped straighten me and hence Posy could go better. He also used the half halt a lot and the way she moved away from it to ask for that bit more engagement, it was certainly the best she has gone to date and it gives me a lot more tools in my locker.

Mum recorded 15 minutes from the lesson and so there is a very long video. I realise for those of you bored by dressage it is far too long but do flick through and see how much better she is going. However as the tape caught much of what he said it is a useful reminder to me and there are some really good tips that may be useful to others.

The clip starts with us working on increasing and decreasing the size of the circle not using leg yield but just spiraling in and out.

27th May

With the bank holiday weekend it was another chance to jump on Monday and perhaps my best rounds with Posy to date. I am not going to bore you with all the videos but we won the 95cm open with the only double clear. We then jumped out biggest class to date the 105. I have to say it wasn’t the smoothest round, she is not always easy to turn right handed and the turn to the second fence was more a question of pulling her round and losing her through the shoulder resulting in a total miss and taking off a stride early! We landed on the back rail which bounced back in the cups and jumped 3 on a long rein - luckily the round improved after that and we finished clear.

The jump off was a good 110 and pushing my comfort zone as been a while since I have been jumping this sized course. Luckily it wasn’t outside Posy’s comfort zone who made it feel very easy and jumped a super clear round, no placing this time but I was over the moon with how she went.

A quiet few weeks now with some flatwork polishing is on the cards aiming towards the Burghley Young Event Horse at Chepstow in July.

24th May

Good dressage lesson last night with Stef Eardley.  I asked her to sit on Posy and have a feel as I have never found her contact easy. She just walked her in a 10m circle and analysed what her body and contact was doing (all wobbly). She had a very simple ethos in that if the contact was not as you wanted it or being fought you opened the hands and offered a steady but firm contact and as soon as they gave you just softened in a normal hand position making a reward for the right feeling. The leg straightens them round the circle so with posy even on a left circle it is outside leg to inside hand to straighten her. They should then smoothly change from circling one way to circling another. After 5 minutes playing with 10m circles in walk on both reins I hoped back on to a much improved contact. We agreed the outline was a bit babyish but for a minute that is where she needs to be. I certainly had the best contact in walk trot and canter that I have had to date.

This is a little clip of the canter and whilst not the best work you can see (with Stef’s voice in background) how we were trying to progress.

So onto today and we went show jumping at our local centre Colraine. The main aim was to get a double clear in the British Novice and hence complete 4 for next years second round. She jumped a nice first round and here she is in the jump off jumping another clear - as you can see the Cornish fog was rolling in off the coast!

Despite not hurrying we came second which means some prize money and a few more points. We are hoping to stay in the top 15 of the bronze league so we can have a crack at the HOYS qualifier later in the year. I believe it is the end of June that is the cut off point.

The Discovery was a fair track and the weather was quite miserable by this point (hence the change to waterproofs). Jumped another clear round although we did have one lucky rub.

I was really pleased with her in the jump off although again the rider spoilt any chance of a result. We were drawn second and the person before me had done a reasonably quick clear. I intended to have a bit of fun and have a slight go against the clock, came into the first too causally and had it down then turned far too early to the double and had to circle. After that she jumped fabulously and made some good turns and angles. The really annoying thing was without my missed turn we would have been second as only one double clear - grrrrrrrr!

Really pleased with the progress we are making. There is another day jumping at Colraine tomorrow so going back for a 95 and 105 (our biggest class to date). Then a few days off for the girl and no jumping next weekend. Very hard to balance not doing too much with giving a good education, I do feel at this stage the ground is very important as don’t want to jar her up but the surfaces are good and she is clearly enjoying things!

21st May

I don’t think I have mentioned Sarnie for a bit (trying to forget all the problems she is causing!). As you are aware we didn’t get her in foal last year so this year we decided to try a totally natural route, this came to a sticky end when she tried to kill the stallion (or at least made her opinion v clear). We decided to have one last go and use the stallion to help her come into season then do the deed by AI, literally take the donation from Nippy and put it straight into Sarnie. So guess what she is now not coming into season - what other tricks can she try? She is currently at stud out with cycling broodmares, being teased and scanned regularly but no sign of coming into season. I think we can only wait a little longer and then the vet will inject her to bring her into season. If this doesn’t work, or for any reason we can’t AI her or if we do and she isn’t pregnant then we will call it a day. I simply cannot afford to keep trying and also there needs to be a point when you accept that nature is telling you that something isn’t right. So please keep fingers crossed that our luck changes.

Bobby meanwhile is having a few quiet weeks whilst he is having some acupuncture to help his nose rubbing. As the summer has advanced this is bothering him more again and I would love to find a way to ease the irritation. It is not stopping him perform but we are not at the worst time of the year yet and acupuncture has been quite successful in similar cases. He seems quite reactive and has been very good to do, having around 10 needles in at any one time.

Posy I am trying to focus on improving the flatwork and having a better contact. Although it has improved greatly she is still quite one sided and doesn’t give a great feel in the hand. I have a few dressage lessons booked with different trainers so will be interesting to see how they want us to move forward, I am at the stage I need some fresh ideas.

18th May - Bicton report

We have just returned from a busy but enjoyable 3 days at Bicton with both Posy and Bobby. I guess on reflection it was a really good few days to progress our show jumping and get some quality rounds together. However me being me only one frilly in 10 classes is a poor return, however competitive the classes were and well the horses went - need a change of mindset I think.

Drove up on Thursday and settled both in, although Bobby has had a few trips away this was Posy’s first trip with me and she really was very easy and settled. Friday was our first day jumping and Posy jumped a nice double clear in the British Novice, we weren’t placed but trying to get my 4 double clears for next year before our points run out.

We then entered in the 4 /5 year old handicap. It was not against the clock and a double clear was placed equal first and qualified for a final at their September show in the main ring.

We jumped a lovely round until I forgot where I was going and then remembered the planks a tad too late had to angle them causing her to tap them behind. I don’t mind mistakes but get very annoyed when they are careless jockey mistakes!

Talking of jockey mistakes poor Bobby had a lot to put up with and the end result was a dressing down from the judges!! He only did the British Novice on the first day and I was half way round when I noticed another horse in the ring, now I realise you can let other horses in early but up until this point they hadn’t been doing so. I then heard a buzzer and stopped thinking I had been eliminated - confusion ensued and it turned out the buzzer was for another ring. I eventually continued and although we had a pole (luckily otherwise would have been more pig sick) I added another 4 for a circle and 26 time penalties - lesson learnt never stop unless you are sure. (That would come back to bite me)

Next day with Bobby in the British Novice the judges were having problems with their radios. The bell went and then I started and then the bell seemed to constantly go. After yesterday’s experience I kept on going (had they announced over the loudspeaker I was eliminated I would have stopped). Anyway turns out I had heard a bell again from another arena and was eliminated, the constant ringing was them trying to eliminate me. We finished the round (4 faults) before I was summonsed to the judges for a dressing down. Luckily they put me in the idiot / simple category and after much apologising and a dressing down I left determined to make sure I heard the correct bell!!

Posy came out and jumped another double clear in the British Novice again unplaced before we had another crack at the young horse class. This time I remembered the way and we managed another double clear and qualification for the September final as well as a frilly for equal first and a share of the prize money (£10).

Bobby jumped a good round in the 95cm and we were clear until the final fence of the first section which we just got a bit long to. As it was a two phase we stopped quickly as the last thing I wanted was to annoy the judges again!!

Sunday we were in a different ring ( a grass ring) which meant the lovely job of studs! It was good though for both horses to see another set of show jumps and jump in a different area. Both horses seemed to enjoy there stay and certainly Bobby was very chilled. (See right)

Sunday was my chance to get the final double clear Posy needed at British Novice and typically we were just a bit causal over the second fence and tipped it, this was rather annoying but in this case just one of those things.

Bobby jumped another good round and his style is improving all the time, he just got a bit stronger in a grass arena and we had 4 faults again. Overall though I am very pleased how he is coming on and he just needs more time and miles and one day he will totally fly.

Bobby British Novice

So the final round of the weekend was Posy in the Discovery. It was a decent track and as most of the classes single phase with the jump off in the second part. I think it was one of her best rounds, the canter was purposeful and we did a few tighter turns and angles nothing stupid, our time though would have been placed. The final related distance I kicked on when I should have sat up and held for 6 strides rather than flatten on 5 and half so my last competitive jump was another sack the jockey moment.

Overall I am really pleased with both horses who are now having a few days off. Lucky them they don’t have to catch up with washing, cleaning tack and lorry as well as the mountain of work that a few days off has generated - they eat grass. I am equally frustrated with my inability to be perfect but am slowly realising that maybe it is not perfection I should strive for but an understanding that mistakes will happen and it is the learning from them that matters. This always has been and will continue to be a concept I struggle to master.

Thanks to Nick Perry for the fabulous photos.

13th May

So packing for a different kind of trip away, 3 days show jumping at Bicton Arena. In an effort to really polish my show jumping skills I am hoping that 3 days with two horses jumping could finally get my eye in (or maybe not).

This is going to be Bobby’s last competition for a few weeks and we have sadly withdrawn from Millfield BE the following week. His nose rubbing that caused us such bother last summer is returning and making the poor boy quite uncomfortable at times. I have turned to an alternative therapy to try and help the problem and he is having acupuncture. The vet that is carrying out the procedure will be treating the affected nerves next week and wants him to have a few quiet weeks so we can assess the effectiveness or otherwise of the treatment. Fingers firmly crossed please.

So we head to Bicton tomorrow to get the horses settled and then have classes Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Posy is entered in the British Novice classes and some 5 year old classes that are a 1m, Bobby is entered in British Novice and we will add classes depending on how he is going.

I hope to add some updates on Facebook and Twitter but not sure if I will have the signal to add anything here until we get back. You never know next week it may be Shoestring Showjumping!! (Not likely)

11th May

This weekend was quite successful which was much needed. Been going through a phase of severe beating myself up and deciding I am useless. At least this weekend showed that the horses can cope despite my inadequacies!!

We headed to Tall Trees show jumping with Bobby and Posy. Bobby has had a very quiet few weeks mainly chilling and hacking in an effort to take the pressure off and try and chill him out. I also tried him in a new bit for show jumping, a tom thumb which can be quite severe but in his case allowed me to sit him up and then ride forward.

He was just entered in the British Novice and I have to say jumped the best he ever has with me and did two superb rounds for a double clear and 4th.

Jump off round

Really delighted and hope we can maintain that standard of jumping.

Posy meanwhile jumped an easy double clear in the same class and was a few seconds faster for 3rd place.

She was also entered in the Discovery which was a decent enough track for a 5 year old. She jumped another good round and was double clear for another 3rd in a 7 horse jump off. I even did a few turns just to test out the jump off ability for the future.

Discovery first round and jump off

So a pretty good day, 3 double clears and 3 frilly’s. Hopefully this will set us up nicely for a few days away at Bicton BS show where we are hoping to polish our show jumping even further.

8th May

Lets start by backtracking to last weekend and reporting on Posy’s first rail down BS with me! We did our first outdoor show on grass at St Leonard's. In the British Novice she nearly had me off before we started by spinning round at some horse eating poles that were at the side of the ring. Later in the round as we approached the poles from the other direction she dropped her front legs on the planks for our first fault BS together.

Luckily we redeemed ourselves in the Discovery and despite some rain arriving jumped a good double clear for 2nd place.

The jump off

No prize money unfortunately as very small entries but don’t need to try for time at the moment and the jumping is more important.

6th May

Apologies for a lack of updates, just seem to have been really busy both at home and work and had a bit of a horrible bug that has been slow to shift. Off to Badminton  for the day tomorrow but will catch up with updates and news Friday and Saturday.

April blog click here

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