SUPPORTED RIDERS – Hannah Townley, July has been a good month! 

It started with a trip down to Bicton Arena which is always a pleasure! The facilities are great at Bicton and the course was lovely, the team had put a great deal of effort into the ground and it was very much appreciated by us riders!

We had a great dressage, with a score of 26.5. We seem to getting more consistent in our relaxation now, which is really helping to bring those additional marks in. Unfortunately the cross country was another matter!! Rhingo was very strong and pretty much pulled me 80% of the way round the course, with a few hairy moments riding or should I say going flat out through the wooded area!! Im not sure what caused this, it could of been the flies as they were quite bad or just the fact he was feeling very fit and well, but whatever the reason it was an experience I would prefer not to repeat in a hurry!! 

Show jumping was good, just one fence down where we got our striding slightly off, so he backed off and consequently notched up the penalties. However, overall we came 6th, so I cant be too disappointed!

Our next stop was Launceston, and I was prepared! A slight change in bit for the cross country and I defiantly had my breaking system back! The dressage was in my opinion a good solid test, and I felt a little harshly marked with 27.5, but thats dressage for you, it was very very hot as we rode midday, but I was pleased with him and how we rode the test.

The change of bit proved costly in the show jump arena, and we had 2 poles down. I felt in the arena that Rhingo was not listening to me, although not as strong as at Bicton, he felt like he was gathering too much speed, and this was making us flat and he seemed to be a little distracted, but again, sometimes things just don’t go according to plan and I have now switched back to my normal bit for show jumping, and is far happier and back to his normal self.

Our next competition is Homme House which is a regional final, so we are very much looking forward to this. I feel that we have learnt a lot this month, and we are ready. Obviously the standard is going to be really high, but I am just thinking of it as a normal competition and will ride as I usually do, and hopefully our training and last few results will put us in a great position to perform at our best.

After this Rhingo will have a bit of time off competing, we usually take a little break around this time, and then will return to competition in September. 

Rhingo will continue to be worked as normal at home, I like him to have a really varied routine, so we school once a week, he goes on the lunge once a week, and I have one jumping lesson a week and then we also get out hacking once a week. All of this in addition to his weekly water treadmill sessions keeps him fully fit!!

Outside of horses and competing, my life continues as per normal!! Work is busy, there’s plenty of dog walking in this gorgeous weather, and I also sing in the local choir once a week.

Fingers crossed we do well at our Regional Final next month and then we both enjoy a bit of down time in August.

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