September has been a busier month, including competing at Blenheim horse trials, Little Downham BE100u18 and having a sports psychology talk from Charlie Unwin!
At the very beginning of September, I went to Burghley Horse Trials to watch all the pros on XC day! I had a lovely day out, and even treated myself to a new show jacket. It was amazing to be able to watch the professionals, the way that every single one of them rode around the testing XC track was admirable and really inspired me to give it my all at my next competitions.
We tried to make the most of the final few days of the summer holidays, so we ventured off to school team training in preparation for our next NSEA competition the following weekend. The session was very beneficial as it was based on arena XC/ jumping with style, and it helped me to think about asking for a lead change in the air, as well as thinking about making horse distances down a line of fences.
After a good training session we felt prepared for NSEA JWS (jumping with style) at Forest Edge. In the 90-95cm we did a sweet round but I completely missed at one fence, so had that down- the team still finished 3rd though. In the 100-105cm we jumped a much better round but had an unlucky pole off a tight turn at the end of the course, but once again the team finished 3rd, securing us a place at the NSEA Plate Championships. I had a lovely day out and felt positive for our next competition- Blenheim 100cm Eventer Challenge.
A few days after NSEA JWS, I went to a sports performance psychology talk with Charlie Unwin. Charlie shared lots of tactics with us to ease nerves and improve our performance mentally. He made me realise that I need to focus on me when competing, not others around me. I also decided to practice some of his breathing exercises to ease nerves before Blenheim.
On the 14th of September, we headed off to the beautiful Blenheim palace to compete in the Pony Club 100cm Eventer Challenge. It was an honour to be asked to compete at such a prestigious event, and at such a stunning place. Felix warmed up very nicely and flew round the course to unfortunately have 2 poles- one in the show-jumping phase, and one at the last fence (the joker!). My amazing team pulled it out the bag though, with the other three all going clear around a very tough and twisty course, which secured us 4th place! It was the first time that my Pony Club had had been placed in this event, which made it extra special! We finished off the day, with having a look at the huge XC jumps, and wondering around the shops. It was a wonderful day out, and something that I won’t forget in a hurry!
To finish off September we competed at Little Downham in the BE100u18. I was disappointed with our dressage test, and I felt I didn’t ride as well as I could have, to score a 35. But after the disappointing dressage, Felix redeemed himself with a DOUBLE CLEAR INSIDE THE TIME to finish in the top 15 in a very competitive u18 section. The XC course was my toughest challenge yet, with tricky combinations constantly being thrown at us! I was so pleased to achieve one of my aims of the season, especially after not eventing for two months!
After Little Downham, we have decided to end our eventing season on a good note, as he has worked really hard and we want to focus on training to come out even stronger next season! In October we have a very busy half-term, with the NSEA Championships and lots more training.
Until the next time,
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