Breakdowns, spring time MOT and qualifications in the bag…
So in my last blog the last thing I mentioned was that we should all travel our horses with breakdown cover just in case the worst should happen. Well… Not long after that we were on our way to a competition with Bam Bam to try and get some valuable Able Bodied BD Summer Regional points at PSG level. Given that we are quite busy with para competitions and training, (and work!), it makes days like these quite valuable.
As we were en route to said competition the jockey had a bit of a moment and realised we / I had forgotten something. After a couple of frantic minutes thinking about how I was going to resolve the situation I realised we were only about 5 miles away from R&R Country so off we went on our ever so slight diversion. With forgotten item replaced we were ready to set off on our way to the competition again…or so we thought! Anyway, all I am going to say is MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BREAKDOWN COVER!!! Something fairly crucial to the steering broke which meant we were no longer going anywhere. Luckily as we were covered for breakdown and recovery for the lorry and horses we were very quickly back on our way home and the lorry was en route, (with a little help of a recovery lorry) to the garage. We were very fortunate as we were in a car park, but the situation could have been so much worse if were we on the side of the motorway. Having the peace of mind of knowing that we were going to be rescued always makes these times so much easier. Phew!
When the lorry finally made an appearance back at home after its little week’s holiday it meant we could get back on the able-bodied qualification trail again. Bam and I already had half the points we needed at PSG so we just needed to get a solid score next time out and it would be all done. Anyway, he far surpassed that, we got a 67%+ which was a PB for me at this level. I was absolutely thrilled with him as I am still getting to grips with the finer details of riding this test. Each time I do it I gain more confidence so hopefully, we can keep building on it. To get this score from the judge it came from as well made it even more sweet – Well done Bam.
Not to be outdone LJT Simply Red was also on the hunt to finish his qualifications at Medium level. Conveniently the venue we were heading to get the final few points were also running some para classes as well. With both boys already qualified for the Para Summer Gold Semi-Finals (equivalent of able-bodied regionals in order to qualify for the Nationals at Stoneleigh in September) we did not need any more points but as the test is quite tricky I thought it would be worth running through our Championship test again for good measure. Well, what a little star he is. Not only did he nicely complete his medium regional qualifications we also got my highest ever mark in the Para Individual test 71.66%!!! To say I was excited is a bit of an understatement. The para test is technically only a medium as there are no flying changes in it but the trot work effectively follows the pattern of the Inter 1 test and believe me there is no hiding from the judge anywhere! Canter half pass to the centre line and then a simple change on the centre line right in front of the judge is not forgiving! No wobble room that is for sure.
So my superstar boys are now both qualified for the para gold semifinals and in able-bodied, Red at Medium and Bam at PSG – to think that I’ve been riding both of them less than 6 months is a testament to what fabulous horses they are – I am so very lucky and I love them to bits.
Finally, we had a bit of an open day at home; I liked to label it as a horse MOT day. We had Angie Johnson from my generous feed sponsors Baileys horse feeds on hand to weigh horses and give feed advice and also Patrick Wilkinson our saddle fitter to check the fit of everyone’s saddles. The day went really well and I think everyone who came really benefited from all of the advice they were given. Feeding and saddle fitting go hand in hand really so we hope to do another day towards the end of the summer. KBIS kindly donated a prize for whoever guessed closest to the combined weight of Red and Bam. Amber Scott was the lucky winner who took home a numnah big enough to cover her pony – but she was very happy! Amber is a big supporter of my horses, she has lessons with mum and all through the winter come rain or snow she was there and more often than not we would be riding at the same time so she’s got to know the boys quite well. Red loves his cuddles with Amber – so cute.
So what next – we have a busy time ahead, next we head to Wellington Equestrian for the para semi-finals…fingers crossed for a good show.
Charlotte, Bam and Red xxx
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