After a busy summer training, XC schooling, hacking and going out to little shows, Basil was ready for the NexGen young horse final held at Hickstead. After a long drive down, I had a look at the arenas and the course whilst Charlie got him looking super smart for his last event of the season. It was always a big ask for him as a horse who, at the moment, does get anxious and nervous in atmospheres and in environments where there is a lot to look at.
He was a star when it got to the competing. With his huge stride, he found it a little tricky to balance around the circles on the day during the flatwork element so wasn’t able to truly show himself off. He just showed a little bit of that anxiety in the jumping meaning he didn’t achieve the score I know he is capable of, however, he still finished very respectably and within the top 20 so did us all very proud. When they are as naturally talented as Basil it is easy to forget that he is only 4 and after a busy year, learning so much, I think it was just a little too much for his brain to handle on the day – a sign that he was definitely ready for a break.
He went home and got to enjoy a few days hacking where he showed his cheeky self again, he then had his shoes taken off ready for his holiday. To start with he went out in the fields at the yard and had the best time following us around poo picking every single day, however, he has now moved, along with my top horse, to a big field local to my yard where they can be turned out together. He will have a few months in the field, growing and thinking about everything he has learnt this year before coming back in 2022 ready for his 5yo season. I think this holiday is so important for him, and all young horses, as it allows them to develop both mentally and physically and gives them some much-needed downtime.
He has done an amazing job this year, impressing everyone everywhere he goes and has worked up quite a fan club so I cannot wait to see what next year brings!
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