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Ella's First Blog!

A roller coaster would be an understatement!

May has been a true experience of the highs and lows of horses! Many lessons learnt and plenty to take away, but it has finished with some brilliant results and plenty to look forward to for the coming months.

Unfortunately, May didn’t start in the best manner, with April off work after picking up a minor injury in the field a couple of weeks earlier. Thankfully we had caught it early enough, meaning it was nothing a bit of rest couldn’t fix but unfortunately it did take out our plans for Frickley teams as it would have been impossible to achieve our MER qualifications in time. This was particularly gutting after being selected for the team the past two years on my old horse, only for him to pick up injuries in the lead up both times- fingers crossed bad luck comes in threes!  However, as always, the horses came first and we focussed our attention on giving April plenty of TLC  as we pushed forwards to concentrate on getting Lexi’s eventing season started- she is a younger horse whose eventing career I had the pleasure of starting last year, producing her up to BE100.

Lexi had had a brilliant start to the season the month before, picking up an 8th place with a double clear at the NSEA ODE at Tweseldown and we were looking forward to stepping back up to BE100. After an amazing session at our pony club area show jumping training, sadly I didn’t feel she was quite right the day after and after further investigation we made the decision to turn her away for a year to have a foal. Fingers crossed this will sort everything out and she will be back better than ever next year, but in the meanwhile let’s hope her baby is just as talented as she is!

The mood was lightened somewhat with a visit to see Happy, (who we did not yet own at this stage) for my second trial and a lesson with Caroline Moore. We had been looking for another horse for a very long time and it was just by chance that we stumbled across Happy, and I’m very glad we did! We had a brilliant lesson on the Friday and on the following Tuesday I was lucky enough to be able to bring him home. I am hugely grateful to everyone who made it possible and am keeping my fingers crossed for a successful future together- he’s definitely a special one!

We were then back into full swing, taking Happy cross country schooling the next weekend, followed by a trip to our local show centre for a go at some dressage on the Sunday. He was perfectly behaved and completely blew me away, jumping everything I asked and on Sunday we even managed to pick up a win in the novice dressage test! The weekend was made even better with the news that April had been given the all clear to begin jumping again. We were both particularly thrilled with this news- April believed the last month had been very boring and it was about time for a party!

Happy was then off to Borde Hill the weekend after for our first event together. We had had Lexi entered, but as this was no longer possible we decided to take Happy and just give it a go! Despite only owning him for 11 days and it being only his fourth ever event, he was a complete pro, pulling out a 29 dressage and a classy double clear with a couple of time faults to finish us in 7th which I was thrilled with- he has a very bright future ahead of him!

The day after was April’s turn for an outing at the NSEA eventers challenge championships at Hickstead. I’d been looking forward to it for a very long time so was very happy to be able to take her- just going with the plan to enjoy having her back out. Despite this, April was feeling on top form and jumped a very speedy round in the 90cm to win the championships individually! I’m not sure either of us stopped smiling all day, she is just so special!

I think this month has been a very accurate representation of what it's like to work with horses- you never know what’s around the corner! Throughout my social media channels I always make a big effort to share the highs as well as the lows so I thought I’d share a couple to key things that I’ll take away from this month;

  1. Everything happens for a reason- Although April’s injury was gutting, looking back I believe it really was the best thing for her in the long run. Despite how boring she believed it was, she has come back so much stronger for a quiet month of flatwork and instead of pushing for Frickley, we can really focus on enjoying ourselves and hopefully aiming for Bicton in the autumn!
  2. Enjoy the ride!- Although a bit of a cliché, recently I’ve really seen the truth in this phrase. I’d become a bit too caught up in pushing for specific goals and being forced to step back and reevaluate my goals has made me take a bit of pressure off myself. I’m incredibly lucky to have two very exciting youngsters whom I’m really going to focus on just having fun with. They’ve both got plenty to look forward to in the future, so I’m going to take them as fast as they want to go and just enjoy the ride!
  3. You never know what’s around the corner- This month has been the definition of a roller coaster. We definitely started the month on a bit of a low, but little did I know that I’d be finishing the month national champion and with two incredible horses and plenty to look forward for the season ahead!  

 

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