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Ella's August Blog - Highs and Lows!

August has been a very successful month with plenty to be proud of however, we've also had a couple of large reminders that sometimes things don’t always go to plan!

The month began with a trip to Smiths Lawns BE with both horses competing in the novice.  It was a fantastic day with Happy stepping up to novice in style to finish 5th and April 9th in two very competitive sections. They both pulled out lovely dressage tests for Happy to sit on 32.3 and April 32.5, neither of them are the easiest on the flat so it's very rewarding to feel the hard work paying off. The two jumping tracks were causing lots of problems, so I was thrilled with April just rolling a pole show jumping and jumping clear cross county and Happy jumping a brilliant double clear, feeling like a pro despite the fact we only jumped our first 90 together 3 months earlier!

Whilst the horses enjoyed a well-earned day off, I headed off the next day to complete my Pony Club Level 1 coaching certificate. I’ve always enjoyed helping younger friends and family with their riding, so I’ve decided this is something I’d like to pursue professionally over the next couple of years. It was a very enjoyable and informative day and it was good fun getting the opportunity to teach some pony club children in the afternoon. Having gained this qualification, I am looking forward to gaining some more experience helping out with Pony Club before hopefully completing further coaching qualifications in the future.

Sights were then set on the excitement of the upcoming pony club championships with a trip to my dressage instructor, Melissa Beer’s yard to have a run through of my dressage test. It was going to be the first time I’d ridden April in a long arena so it was very beneficial to have a practice in an unfamiliar arena as well as both April and Happy picking up some invaluable tips to put into practice at the champs the next week.

We then headed north for some jumping lessons with Caroline Moore before leaving for the champs later in the week. Unfortunately, on the journey up there we received the gutting news the pony club championships had been abandoned due to adverse weather conditions. It was very frustrating with both horses feeling so well and a hugely disappointing, yet understandable decision for everyone involved. Despite this we enjoyed brilliant lessons, working on keeping Happy’s extravagant jump contained and trying to help April to open up her stride a little more to shave the last couple of seconds off cross country.

After a quiet weekend, we were lucky to be able to reroute to Keysoe BE with both horses. They both did nice tests with a little tension in spooky arenas. An unfortunate mistake from Happy gave us a fair 36, however I was a little disappointed with April’s mark. Luck wasn’t with us in the show jumping arena, but I was pleased with the way they both jumped for a couple of rails each. Happy gave me an amazing feeling round by far the biggest track he’d tackled to finish just outside the top ten with a handful of time penalties. April was absolutely flying and really feeling the benefit of our work with Caroline, making everything feel easy. However, sadly a miscommunication at the penultimate meant I took a nasty tumble, resulting in a partially dislocated shoulder and mild concussion. Thankfully April was absolutely fine, just so frustrating when she was going so well!

We then spent for a couple of days away as a family, whilst the horses enjoyed a well-earned holiday. Thankfully I’m well on the mend so am hoping to be back on board very shortly- much to the delight of everyone at home who I’ve been driving mad with nothing to do! I’m very lucky to have such a talented pair of seven year olds to compete and am looking forward to squeezing in a couple more events to finish off the season!

Until next time,

Ella x

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