My Diary

Winter Championships 2017 17 Apr
Well the week of the Winter Championships is here!
The week started with a quick trip to Ems for a lesson. Well its save to say the nerves kicked in and I decided to forget how to ride!! Ooops! Apparently I wasn’t as bad as I thought but to prevent the wave of self destruction I was put on a schooling ban. Now I’ve never not schooled in preparation for a big competition but it seemed like a better option than trying to make everything ‘perfect’ and then becoming frustrated when it doesn’t work. So the next few days consisted of a lot of no stirrup work and really focusing on my seat (never a bad thing).
On Friday afternoon we arrived at Hartpury and settled West and Minnie (the miniature Shetland) into their stables for the next few days. After talking to the stewards I found out I could use the warm up arena after the days competition had finished for an hour. As you can imagine everyone had the same idea and it was a very very busy arena. This lead to a very hot West, which in one way is great as she needs the ‘big’ show experience but not so great for settling her in! To be fair she did settle down after I thought a little outside the box about the best way to avoid peoples lines (left rein on the track!). Then we did a few exercises Jane and Gareth had suggested which really helped to keep her attention. 
Saturday started very early with the arena walk starting at 6:40! We know that West can be spooky in tests so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity so I spent all 50 mins I could walking around and around the arena!  Helpful piece of advice for everyone – don’t arena walk with friend- the horses have to get used to facing slightly scary situations without their best friend at their side. West then went back to her stable for some breakfast and super groom (mum) and myself went to find our own and do a bit of shopping. My PT Tiff gave me some great advice of doing some yoga just before tacking up and I have to admit I think it made a difference to keep me nice and calm J Thanks Tiff! My warm up went to plan with mum being my eyes on the ground – West actually felt a little bit too chilled which although isn’t 100% ideal, it’s great that I know I can get her to that point. My test was much like my warm-up; good but lacking a bit of umph and sparkle. However I was absolutely thrilled that West went in there and produced a nice clean test, very proud moment!! It was an hour or so before I found out my score, mainly due to West having a pamper session, I was chuffed with a 68+% and was in the lead! It was a long wait until 4 when the class finished … and drumroll …. I won! Topped off an absolutely brilliant day!!
West was brilliantly behaved in the prize giving and acted like a pro, then I had a few interviews with Horse and Hound, BD and a radio interview! It’s going to take a lot to get a day any better than that!
I’d like to say a massive thankyou to all of my support team who work so hard to help me achieve great results and have a brilliant time!
Next week is a quiet week having a bit of down time before we gear up ready for Keysoe Premier League!
  Posted by CMS Admin at 19:06



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