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Finn's August Blog: A steep learning curve!

August has been a steep learning curve, however, one I believe will improve my partnership with Jack. It started with a fantastic dressage lesson with Hannah Esberger working on Jack being a little more submissive! This led to a great time at Bold Heath with a personal best in the dressage at BE100 level of 25.3, followed by a foot perfect double clear within the time to come 5th in a very large and competitive class.                                    

We had an unreal jump lesson with Alan Fazakerley the chéf d'equipe of the GBR Pony showjumping team. We were jumping courses of 1.15-1.20m. Jack and I felt perfectly set up for our first novice at Shelford!

At Shelford we did a fab dressage test still with a lot of room for improvement, getting a 29.3. Followed by a great showjumping round that felt much better than it looked on paper as I had 2 annoying poles and an extremely frustrating miscommunication at a big Oxer off a sharp left turn, where I just lost his shoulder meaning we missed our stride and he couldn't jump. He came round and then jumped it beautifully, frustrating but that's how we learn. We then set off really well around the xc and came to quite a simple line and I was so worried about striding I underpowered him massively, so we were all wrong to the second part meaning a disappointing 20 penalties, we then carried on flying all the big fences and hard lines, came yet again to a straight line combination where I was worried about a bounce drop on the other side I underpowered him again resulting in another stop. So I decided to retire saving his legs for another day. 

Although the day didn't go according to plan we learnt a lot and we now know how good we have to be, to be competitive at this level. So we are going to train and train towards this goal and hopefully, the lessons with Izzy Taylor will help! However, I can't beat myself up too much because I'm only 13 so I have time on my hands to sort it out.

Luckily there was a great opportunity that was offered from Shelford Manor for those who wanted to school round the course, with everything still being flagged. He was super and we learnt from our mistakes and flew everything getting rid of any bad memories at fences! 

It's been an up and down month but all in all a successful one, where both Jack and l have learnt a lot.


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