Well what a turn around the past few weeks have been – It really is amazing what you can achieve when you put your mind and your energy into something!
After my “blip” in the earlier months of the year, I have well and truly tried to sort myself out – to help me relax I have started Pilates (yes…you heard me right…I am doing Pilates!!) What a great way to spend an hour in the evening relaxing – never have I used my pelvic floor so much or made myself so aware of my posture when riding – it certainly is food for thought if you have “posture” anxiety! Learning to ignore work after hours and focus on Casper has been very hard, but the results he has produced speak for themselves and this is definitely something I feel all amateur riders need to learn to be able to do battle with the big guns!
Casper has had a busy month again – lots of flatwork and showjumping practice (our Achilles heel at the moment – or rather mine – he has the scope I just don’t think I do). He has been to Pontispool, West Wilts and Nunney BE events and has been improving each time. He topped off an 18th place at Pontispool (owing to my problems and dodgy striding in the SJ) with an 8th place at West Wilts (time faults this time – riding round the SJ like a granny in a mobility scooter does not help your horse to jump and can rob you of a 1st placing) and a 5th at Nunney (this time a double clear – I couldn’t have been happier!) He really seems to be getting it now! The Area 12 competition at Bicton this weekend was the icing on the cake – 2nd place and a win in the team competition. What more could I ask for?? Well….Marie coming 10th in her first 100 competition with Danny on the same team! I always thought I was the event rider in the family and I am worried that she is now breathing down my neck!
Now as a team we are Championship bound and I really cannot wait – it will be so interesting how Casper finds doing the long event format (something I have not done for a number of years!).
One thing that people have asked me about Casper is whether or not I will go Novice BE with him this season – the answer I give is no. In my eyes he is still a young 6 year old and he is too innocent and honest for me to put him in at the deep end (although I am sure he would relish the challenge). I want to maintain the novelty factor for him this year and push him the years after when he has had the winter to mature and come out stronger again. This is something that I imagine we all think about with our horses and ourselves – pushing oneself is the best motivator, but making sure it is done at the right time is so important. We have all seen people at competitions who are way out of their own and their horses comfort zones. When it goes wrong it can be very demoralising and getting the timing right is key. Food for thought for all perhaps?
Casper now has some BSJA (for the SJ practice), Hatherleigh and West Buckland as his future events, leading up to the Championships – here’s hoping the weather improves somewhat – I’m getting a little bored of the rain and miserable days, as I am sure we all are! Congrats to the Greenwoods on a fantastic combined training competition – more please, and warmest thanks to Tracy Scammell for organising the teams for the Area 12 – how she manages this; eventing and working full time I will never know!
Good luck to all, keep smiling; sit back and kick on
W and C