Well when I checked my emails this morning it was very nice to have one from the lovely Louise asking for a blog, I didnt think I’d have time to complete that request today but it’s snowing so here goes…
To be honest I’ve needed a kick up the backside to put this all down on paper anyway. Believe it or not I did start this in December but I’ve got a new dog and I can actually use the excuse ‘that the dog ate it’.
‘Useless’ so far lives up to her name, she’s a massive time waster with her mischievious antics, on the otherhand shes beautiful and great fun so on the whole she’s the best! The main reason for being able to have a dog is the rather major news that I’ve moved yards. Even though that was way back in September this is the first time I’ve made it public knowledge, so I’m afraid I am no longer the Rutland event rider, although not moved far just accross the boarder to Leicestershire.
So for anyone thinking that was major news it’s the tip of the iceberg as far as last season is concerned. So much change I’ve not known where to start for a while.
For those who know me, they will know that I started last season (as the one before), with plans and ambitions and with the previous year being a ‘one leg wash out’ I was more determined than ever, but somehow that determination couldn’t carry me through the year ‘blip’ free. Patrik started his year ironing out any of our show jumping mishaps and jumping round some huge 130cm tracks. He developed a lump, we hoped it was a strange haematoma but it turned out to be a growth that needed surgically removing, a set back, but Patrik was fit and well and should have been back for the beginning of the season. However when the stitches were removed in true Patrik style, it all broke down and he was left with a huge open wound that was going to take its time to heal!
At this time the yard was full with horses for schooling and sale but the numbers of eventers dwindled, whilst Patrik continued fitness work, there were two first timers to get eventing. Simon took to it well and was placed at his third event but having not been able to find owners for him he had to be sold on. Luckily the other eventer on the yard wasn’t owned by me and Skyes story will come later. Thankfully, Patrik mended relatively quickly and it was time for him to venture to an Intermediate. We were second after dressage and jumped clear show jumping, having not been XC schooling yet and thinking of our one big aim for the season (mentioned in my last blog) we took it slow XC and skipped round it like a Pre Novice to finish 6th, exciting! Until the next day when Patrik walked out the stable not looking great, turns out he has luck like me and had broken his pedal bone!
So fast-forwarding, I rode Patrik last week for the first time since, he’s been sound for a while but he lives in a field and honestly I can’t face bringing him back into work at the moment, that horse and me don’t have the best injury record as individuals but I trust no horse more so it’s a tough decision to leave him there, but for now thats his home.
Back to last season and with nearly all the aims scrubbed off the board for the wrong reasons by May, there was one left Skye, 5yo’s, Osberton… So in May we tried to step up to BE100 level, Skye didn’t event as a 4yo because she’s the one I fell off at home and broke my leg, and even though what I’m about to type won’t sound particularly complimentary we couldn’t be prouder of her this year, and perhaps she’s more like me than I would like to think.
Having gone reasonaably well at BE90 we started our BE100 with a respectable dressage (34.5), now I challenge everyone to beat this next point. This turned into a finishing score of 260.4, now it takes some real determination to get to the finishing flags when you’re having a day like that, especially when at one point I was sat on my backside looking up at my horse on the XC course! Pointless trying to get to the finish line you would think but I’m stubborn! And now straight on to why we couldn’t be prouder of her, she gave me a challenge, she kept me working at making things better, at a time when I could have given up eventing, she said “go on then”. But gradually through the year we got better and better, until we finished on a score of 29.5 to qualify for Osberton, one aim fulfilled! Persistence does pay off and I’m very excited for her and her owner this year.
Even though I didn’t quite give it all up, I did take a month off eventing! I focussed on the yard and kept busy schooling and selling, sometimes it would be nice to have time to think when your world turns upside down and sometimes it’s nice to be kept busy. Strangely for me I was kept busy at dressage more than anything and unbelievably scored over 75% at one competition. Horses kept selling, a total of 6 this summer, but even with this, motivation was at an all time low and this left the yard exceptionally empty!
It was with thanks to friends and owners that everything carried on last year. Stanley who doesn’t live at the yard, but I get to ride at events gave me my 3 day event fix going double clear at Great Witchingham one star and finishing in the top 50% at Osberton one star, I just need to persuade his owner and normal rider to go Novice this year. (Although they did very well as a partnership at the Riding Club Championships last year, and as newly appointed team trainer the aim will be to get a team there again this year (yes I have become a grown up and am on a comittee and everything)).
I was also very grateful this year to again be leant a horse by a friend to compete at EXPRESS EVENTING at the CLA Game Fair. We went double clear to finish 9th at an Intermediate, Coco ‘the wonder horse’ can pop 1.50m even though she only measures 15.2hh herself!
So now on to this year….Skye has moved with me and as you’ve read I have a new dog, there are also 5 new faces looking over stable doors at me as well as one guest at the moment for schooling, although on the whole they are for me to event rather than sell which makes a huge change, and although there’s no plans to do anything big size wise this year as they’re nearly all young they’re improving each day and I’m very excited to have such a fantastic bunch.
So, keep following my blog to see how 2015 goes, fingers crossed that my horses & I don’t break anything for a change!
Love Jess, the not so Rutland based eventer….! x