I was really pleased with Rhingo’s test at Milfield. He warmed up really nicely. Now the ground has dried up it really suits him. Because he is barefoot he doesn’t like it when the ground gets chewed up and slippery in the corners. So, where it had gone hard it really suited him so he managed to do a really relaxed test for him. It was quite weird to ride as I am used to him barrelling round at 100 miles per hour. I was pleased with it despite him breaking in the free walk where I came back to medium walk. I was quite happy with the marks I got (28.3) and the comment from the judge was quite nice too where she said ‘What a lovely horse, super active paces, a well-presented test, shame you lost the walk’. It wasn’t his best but considering we haven’t had the best start to the season I was very pleased with it.
The show jumping didn’t quite to plan. Rhingo jumped everything clear and the faults we had were as the result of a stop. I hadn’t had a chance to walk the course. There was supposed to be a course walk at 3pm and I was doing dressage at 4pm. I asked about it and they said it may be after the planned time but it will be announced. I went to get ready and the course wasn’t announced so I had to learn it by watching people jump round which wasn’t ideal. Rhingo also didn’t enjoy the fact that the ground was so hard in the show jumping – it was like concrete. The fence we stopped at had a downhill run and I held him up too much going to the fence, and then didn’t ride him enough at the fence, and when we got there he said no I can’t do that. When he came around again and rode him at it he jumped it fine and flew everything else so it was just annoying.
Cross country is Rhingo’s absolute forte. I do like the course at Milfield – I try and come to the event every year – it is always a nice flowing course and they don’t ask too many questions but they ask enough to keep your brain in gear. I was quite surprised I only had 0.4 time faults on the cross country because it was wet in places which hold the horses and they need to use a lot of energy.
We’ve just been outside the top ten at each of events so far – nothing seems to have quite gone to plan yet. But we’re at Pontispool on Bank Holiday Monday in the BE90. I’ve decided to stick to BE90 for the first half of the season to try and get some Regional Final qualifications. We haven’t been out as much as we would have hoped this year or do as much fitness work as I wanted to which has proved tricky. Hopefully Pontispool goes a little more to plan and we get into the top ten.