Well they say no week goes by without some drama, and that was true for this week .. starting off on Monday, when I was riding in the school with my cousin and the snow had nearly cleared, Lily had found it great fun to follow Katie (my cousin) round the school on her pony. So we had finished and I was wandering round to cool her off when suddenly she lept in the air, did a huge buck and whipped round, well needless to say I ended up on the floor when she whipped round! Great, two falls in 2 months, I need to fall off in March before the eventing season starts!
Obviously the snow has made life rather difficult with the horses, but we managed to bubble wrap a track round the school, so we were lucky enough to be able to ride throughout. However Lily was on enforced box rest during this time as she is a bit slow and would end up falling over in the field! This is where Simple System's feed was brilliant. We fed her a Lucie Brick a day - which she thoroughly looked forward to, and it gave her something to do other than stand and watch the world go by.
All the horses were on good form this week and I was excited to be able to get out and compete again after all the snow. On Friday we went to Felbridge for some Combined Training practice. I rode Paddy for Jacqui Sasserath, and unfortunately in the dressage, a cement mixer and men flattening cement the other side of the arena fence provided too interesting, however to be fair to him he did cope very well with it and came out with a respectable score of 38. He had one down in the showjumping, but he hasnt showjumped since December so it wasn't a bad effort. Lily was doing the BE100. She was good in the dressage, a little bit backwards but generally much better than before, to get a 37.5 and she is very good as thats only about the 6th dressage test she has ever done! She had a couple of poles down in the jumping but it was good practice and she was just happy to be out. Punch was fantastic in the dressage to get a 33.5, so I was really pleased as he went brilliantly and got a good mark.. Sadly he spoilt that in the jumping by stopping at the 2nd fence, however although it was frustrating on Friday, it ensured I was awake and ready to ride for my life today! So Felbridge didn't look great on paper but it was a very constructive outing.
Yesterday they all had an easy hack to give them a leg stretch, but it was an easy day ready for the JAS today. The day didn't start well when we had to jump start the lorry as it didn't like the cold, before making it just half way up Reigate Hill before the cab filling with black smoke and the lorry grinding to a halt.. great! After various phonecalls, eventually the police turned up and closed the road and Sally and Eric George kindly turned up to take the horses in their box back to their yard. When we got there, Punch stayed in a stable and Jacqui Sasserath took Lily, me and all the kit to Merrist Wood, where we threw the tack on and got going, having already missed my time. I didn't get to warm Lily up as much as I would have liked and have never run round a course so far, however it worked out perfectly and Lily just had one fence down, which was down to rider error more than anything, she just got a little long and flat at the end of the course. Paddy was also very good, having never seen anything like it, but he took it on and just had a couple down behind as he got a bit flat, but really pleased with him. Lily ended up finishing 4th and qualifying for the final next weekend, so very pleased with that.
It was just Punch in the BE100, and after Friday he was not going to stop today, I got him really wound up in the warm up with lots of transitions to really wake him up. He was fantastic, jumped like an absolute stag and had the 3rd fence down as I pushed him a little quickly down the distance to ensure he didnt stop! However he got a style mark of 11 and one time fault left him on a total of 16 and was good enough for 6th place, which means he has qualified for the final. Both him and Lily are qualified for the BE90 and BE100 Finals next weekend, so I am very excited.
In the Novice, Lily went in and went very green on me, she hasn't jumped that big since before we got her and she ended up having a few stops and a pole. But she was extremely genuine and once we got into a rhythm she was just gorgeous. I definately think increasing her Total Eclipse in her feed yesterday gave her that bit of energy she required when she has started to get tired. I was very pleased with her all the same. But Ozzie was the superstar of the day .. again .. why does he have to be sold, I have so much love for that pony! He jumped double clear and just added 2 time faults to his style mark of 13, to finish 5th. I dont normally get nervous, but I was seriously nervous when I was about to go in on him, I had no need to be as he was flying, and he was in his snaffle but I could stop - it was a miracle. We need to find him a lovely new home as he is a cracking pony and I love him to bits.
Well this concludes my ramblings, absolutely exhausted but I can go back to school for a rest now. Videos and pictures to follow shortly I hope.
Love Georgie x
Ps. I nearly forgot, I got interviewed by horse and country tv about the hat debate and what I thought. Look out for me and Lily in Rudalls Round up at the end of this month, as well as some action from the JAS today!