Pippa’s March Blog: Lots of Training

Pippa KBIS NSEA Bursary winner

Hello everyone! This month has been a slow one, with not many competitions but still getting in training sessions (using the KBIS Bursary!) and now we have found a new topic to improve on! Phyllis and I are now focusing on rhythm and balance in both jumping and dressage. This is something we can find challenging at times, particularly in showjumping in the last few strides before a jump and landing it.

At the very start of March, we competed at Keysoe in the 1m eventer trial. In the showjumping, I was really pleased as although we had a pole down or should I say a whole jump down at the first part of the double we were clear for the rest of the course. How I stayed on and cleared the second part of the double I do not know after getting our striding so wrong at the first part. Phyllis was definitely looking after me! In the cross country section, Phyllis was very strong and eager to go. After Jumping cleanly over the first section and going out into a different area for the water and the ditch, we came back into the main arena and we had to make a sharp turn to get to the fence. Phyllis wasn’t focusing on the jump and instead was spooked by something in the woods right next to the fence. This caused her to miss the jump completely as she couldn’t take her eyes off the wooded area. Not our day for prizes but still super pleased with how she coped with the metre course.

The following day, we took part in a showjumping training session. My goal was working on rhythm and straightness towards the jumps. We worked over cavaletti which is really useful for straightness and direction. By the end of the lesson, our lines were much straighter and our rhythm kept to the same most of the way around the course. I had another lesson in the same place with the same instructor a week later, working on the same things and perfecting straight lines and round corners.

Two weeks later, I had a dressage lesson again (my third one might I add – not exactly Charlotte Dujardin!) In this lesson, our goals were to maintain an outline or should I say get an outline and encourage Phyllis to keep her head lower and not stick her nose out in the air. I was thrilled as I managed to get her head down and in outline without my instructors help (physically). By the end, I could walk, halt and trot keeping her head in the same position.

A few days later was my birthday! I was very lucky and got some new jodhpurs, long riding socks, a belt for my jodhpurs and a new bridle bag and lead rope for Phyllis so she will look very smart when she goes out to shows!

Although this month has been a slow one with only one competition, I hope we have made much progress in the areas we wanted to improve in. I wish everyone luck in upcoming events you may have and I hope you have a good Easter and lots of Easter Eggs!

Until next time,

Pippa x

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