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07 April 2009 – 6th April

We arrived late last night after a manic day preparing to be away for a week with three horses for training with Emile and then onto the Winter Champs at Hartpury College. As I was still a bit sketchy with my music and floor plan for the Inter 1 music on Saturday, I was very relieved that Emile agreed to have a look and help me! The music was actually made for World Classic who is a lot smaller than Aristo. He was so experienced that I think we did something like 22 two time flying changes on a very curvy line to finish, erm not something Aristo appreciates doing just yet! So we had a bit of a task trying to make it a bit more challenging than the floor plan I used at the summer National Championships, but not quite as difficult as World Classics! In the end I felt a lot better about the music coming up very soon on Saturday but only after a serious wake up call about how I ride when I get into test mode, remembering the changes we had made to the ground pattern, keeping up in time with the music, oh and making sure Aristo stays on the bit and looks presentable too!

30 March 2009 – 28th March

Even windier today and we were back again to Richmond, this time with the two girls. Feine Dame and I had been to Emile?s for training and then off to World Class and were finishing off the week with two easy novices as a warm up for the Winter Championships next week. Ohhh how wrong of me to expect her to behave! Forty minutes in the warm up and I still felt like a little rag doll on top of her having no influence whatsoever on her actions! There was no point trying to do a test on her as the lights were on but she wasn?t home! She was far too concerned about screaming to the other mare that was back on the lorry to bother about concentrating on me! In the end, after a lot of debate about what to do, we decided to put her back on the lorry and wait until the end of the day to get her out and work her again when things were a bit quieter. In the meantime I competed the other mare Royal Alliance (Royale) who was brilliant. I had expected her to be spooky in the wind but she came up trumps and gets the Gold Star of the Day! We got Feine Dame out again when everything had finished and I gave her a good lunge before getting on her. She spent about twenty minutes calling to the other mare before I could get her concentration on me again. At least on the lunge I can send her forward and wear her out! She was much better when I got back on this time. I kept her in the warm up as if the competition was still running, then went into the competition arena and ran trough both novices she should have done earlier in the day. They always say the best horses are the most difficult and I definitely know this one is the most difficult. I?m just really hoping that means eventually, with a lot more hard work she will fulfill the other part and be the best! Now off with her (with slightly wobbly legs on my part) to the Winter Championships?

29 March 2009 – 27th March

Off to a two day show at Richmond today. We took Show Boy (Sunny) for a Novice and an Elementary. He is ready to move up to Elementary and maybe some of the easy Mediums so I thought we could warm up with a last novice and then put that to bed! He hadn?t had a huge amount of work this week as I have been away at Emile?s and World Class training with the other horses so I thought he might be a bit excited, especially outside with the blowing gale that was going on! I was actually gob smacked as he turned out to be Mr. Perfect and didn?t put a foot wrong the whole day. He finally felt grown up and his little hooves didn?t leave the ground once, even when some of the other horses in the warm up were a bit sharp his focus stayed totally on me. His novice was old hat and as the elementary was an easy one, he took that in his stride. No earth shattering scores both around 68% but it was so nice that the whole day seemed to flow and mum wasn?t stressed about the potential problem of me being ejected out the saddle!

16 March 2009 – 14th March

Today we went to Myerscough Premier League to do the Inter 1 with Aristo. We haven?t competed since the Nationals in September last year so I was really looking forward to showing off all the training we have worked so hard on during those long winter months. We arrived in a blustering gale and it looked like the roofing on the temporary stables was close to disappearing, and this has been known to happen before! After a lot of debate about weather Aristo might decide to vacate his stable when the roof flapped, we decided that we would give it a go as it doesn?t really suit him competing straight out of the lorry anyway. It turned out we needent have worried as he wasn?t at all frightened and was instead bucking in his stable at the excitement of seeing about three blades of grass in there! Bearing in mind he is 18hh plus and those stables are tiny, seeing him do this is pretty spectacular. I do wonder sometimes though, why they don?t make temporary stables more horse friendly? Flappy roofs, chunks of sharp metal holding them together, always that big plank to step over in the doorway and either tiny doors or flimsy catches. Where is the sense in that with a competition horse?

Stable aside, it was time to get down to business and focus on our test. With all the tests changing this year, this was the first time I rode the new Inter1 in competition. I found it really hard to remember because the test is pretty much the same just everything comes in a different order now! Aristo was beautiful in the warm up and we did some brilliant canter pirouettes, when they are good they are spectacular! In the test, the trot work was lovely, I really tried to get more power out of him in preparation for when we move up to Grand Prix so that he really takes me and I don?t feel I?m nagging. (One of my specialties!) The canter started off well, but when we got to the pirouettes the first one ended up a bit muddled because Aristo lost his balance a little. In the second one we got distracted by the photographer whose camera was clicking loudly and ended up doing one time changes whilst executing the pirouette! Very fancy but not required! I think we need to do some sound training at home so he gets more used to outside distractions. All in all I was thrilled with him as I really felt he tried his hardest for me. I worked out that I lost about 39 marks in total with those mistakes so was still pleased we came out with over 66% though slightly disappointed as we might have cracked the 70% barrier if things had gone perfectly. Am really looking forward to the next competition so we can have another crack at it!

23 February 2009 – 21st Feb

Its was finally Regionals day today at Addington and I was on at half ten in the morning leaving me plenty of time to fuss, faff and generally jitter about before I got on to warm up! Feine Dame can be a bit prone to young chestnut mare syndrome so I wasn?t sure what sort of behavior to expect. Although the test was inside we had to warm up outside as both Indoor arenas were being used for the competition. Given that we have hardly worked outside all winter, she behaved very well, only a little bit explosive and giving me a lot of passage for a 10! The main problem I have when she is fresh is that her back arches exactly like you spend so much time trying to teach them in training and then the more transitions etc I do for control, the more under she comes behind and the more up the back goes! I was actually very glad when mum said it was time for the bandages to come off and to go for the test. I know as soon as we come away from all the horses, she turns her full attention to me and we can actually concentrate on the job in hand. We floated through the Novice test in the Indoor school and I couldn?t believe how ?with me? she was. Often I pilot her through the test getting the high marks on her quality but today in addition to the quality we were actually very accurate in the movements! I was thrilled to bits when we came out as she had given me such a fabulous feeling. It turned out we had got 74.28% and gone into the lead. I had to then sit trough another three hours of competition before finding out we had stayed in the lead and won. So its off to the Winter Championships for Feine Dame!

20 February 2009 – 19th Feb

After a really busy and eventful couple of weeks, including getting snowed in down at Emiles during the World Class training sessions and eventually managing to battle our way home I was very glad all the snow had disappeared! We were back on the road again today with Feine Dame and Aristo to go back to Emiles for two days training before Feine Dame?s Novice Regional Championship at Addington. They have been going well at home, though Feine Dame?s last run out to a local show was well and truly cancelled due to frozen arenas leaving me a little nervous as we have had hardly any runs yet this season!

03 January 2009 – 2009!

Happy New Year! I am really looking forward to 2009, my first year in seniors and I really think I have a fantastic team behind me. I am confident in my horses; they are all very special (each in different ways of course!). My sponsors are so supportive and I couldn't ask more of my back up team at home - without them I'd be lost! BRING IT ON!

09 December 2008 – Olympia

I'm not sure what I've let myself in for! We had our first practice today for the Scottish themed Olympia Finale where four of us emerge through the tunnel filled with smoke to a big stage in the middle of the arena, with four Scottish dancers and bag pipers! Not to mention the spotlights, 'erm interesting costumes and of course the imminent crowd that will be watching us while we are doing our quadrille! Then we stay in while John Parker's famous Stage Coaches come in, the Shetlands from the Grand National, children, ponies, dogs and of course Santa and his sleigh?

News Archive

Latest results

  • Feine Dame: 1st / 69.45
  • Divine: 1st / 72%
  • Aristo: 4th, 6th, 4th / 70.4% (music Final)
  • Aristo: 2nd overall / 72.9 + 70%
  • Show Boy: 1st / 68.92%
  • Feine Dame: 1st / 68.88%
  • Feine Dame: 1st / 72.07%
  • Show Boy: 1st / 71.47%
  • Aristo: 1st / 70.38%
  • Show Boy: 1st / 72.8%

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