Well it all seems to be improving rapidly here at Georgie Wood Eventing! It is funny how it goes with horses, that one minute nothing can go wrong, whatever you do, The next minute one thing after the other goes wrong. However that is all part of the sport and dealing with it all appropriately is what makes the good times even better.
When I left off, we were just about to head to Felbridge combined training with the two horses. We made two trips as it was local and I was doing the two classes at opposite ends of the day! Drew was up first, he is such a pleasure to take out - he is so easy to deal with! I was really pleased with his dressage as it was his first test in dressage boards and he pulled out a very respectable 33. The show jumping was decent and I was slightly apprehensive we may have bitten off more than we could chew! I needn't have worried though, as he was a total pro and just popped round keeping a lovely rhythm but was unlucky just to role the in of the double for 4 faults. It was a big, competitive section so he wasn't placed but I couldn't have asked for any more. Next up was Lily, and the aim was not to let her stop in the jumping as that is the slight trend she has got into recently. Well she absolutely stole the show! She did a 29 dressage - video here (the next best was 33.5) then jumped the most amazing clear show jumping - video here - and felt back to the horse I had last season. We are feeding her Instant Linseed from the Simple System range and I think it has definitely helped boost her immune system and aid her recovery. Also focussing on feeding her before I ride her every time to help soothe her tummy. As a result, she managed to win, with the next best score to her 29 being 35!
Next outing was Upton House BE100 open, with the hope of continuing the positivity from Felbridge and rebuilding her confidence after her scare at BCA. She did another really consistent test, but unfortunately got a horse fly between her front legs during the free walk so understandably was trying to get it but it meant we lost a lot of marks for a movement we normally are guaranteed a 7 for. However she still scored 31 which was 5th after the dressage. She then jumped the most beautiful, confident clear show jumping and just feeling completely back to herself which is seriously exciting. Cross country was the bit where I really needed to rebuild her confidence, and it was a perfect track to do so, lovely and flowing and the ground was great. I needn't have worried though as she was fab. She never took one hesitation the whole way round and was totally switched onto the job. She picked up 3.2 time faults as I wasn't chasing the clock but still finished 5th - and only my 2nd eventing placing this year!
Drews eventing debut was on Sunday the 13th of July and I didn't really know what to expect! He continued his Mr Perfect status, with a 30.4 dressage in his first ever test on grass, which left him in fourth place after the first phase. The show jumping course was so badly built - I have never seen anything like it, and as a result it was impossible to get into any sort of rhythm, because of this we ended up jumping some of the course from trot as it was impossible for the poor pony to keep his balance otherwise. However he came out with a clear round over a decent track. I had no idea what to expect cross country as he has never been cross country in a competition before. He was a little spooky in the warm up but as soon as he left the start box he was a total pro. He just ate up the course and kept galloping. He went straight into the water and no hesitation over the ditch. So a double clear and a good dressage left him in 4th at his first event. He is such a lovely lovely pony and I am going to be very sad to see him go at the end of the summer, but he will bring somebody an amazing amount of pleasure! You can see him strutting his stuff by clicking here.
I am off to Spain on Thursday with my boyfriend for five days which will be a really nice break as everything has been so busy recently. Then when I am back I have got three days teaching at Surrey Union Pony Club Camp, before going straight into two weeks back to back at Mid Surrey Pony Club Senior and Junior camps which I am sure will be fantastic, but fitting in riding 4 horses round that may be interesting - thank goodness for mum! I don't know what I would do without her!
Lily is off to Smiths Lawn Novice on Tuesday 5th of August so we shall see if we have managed to put her cross country demons to bed - fingers crossed!
It has been relatively quiet on the competition front recently, and complete hectic in life generally. I think it is a result of having finished uni for summer and deciding to ride as many horses as I can. Lily went to Aston Le Walls BE100 at the beginning of May, did a good test for 33 and a fab clear show jumping. Slight jockey error on my part (I forgot I was on Lily and rode her like Coco so she had a couple of cheeky run outs to keep me on the ball!)
Our next event was Farley Hall BE100 plus. She did another good test, still with plenty to come for 35. I then managed to fall off her show jumping, I rather galloped down the arena and ended up a long way off an oxer with a long unbalanced canter on holding ground, needless to say Lily stopped and I didn't! That was fence three but I got back on and finished clear (sack the jockey!) Cross country she was mega and just cruised round for a clear inside the time so couldn't have asked for much more.
We then headed to BCA with her. She did a much more consistent test with some real promising moments SEE IT BY CLICKING HERE. It was rewarded with a good mark of 29.5 and well up there after dressage. Show jumping, the aim was to get round with no stops as she has been lacking confidence show jumping and putting in the odd stop. Well we achieved that aim and she was very unlucky just to rub one vertical behind for 4 faults, but I was thrilled. Cross country started so well, and the first four fences I felt like I had the horse back that took me round several novices clear cross country last season. Unfortunately I rather missed her to fence 5, a table, and she hit it hard. This frightened her and also jarred her shoulders. So when she jumped into the combination at 6 she overjumped and couldn't make the distance to the out, however she did on the second fence and continued round the course building confidence again slowly. Unfortunately she rather over jumped a fence with a big drop on landing and that reminded her that she was a little sore. So when she got to the trakheneh at fence 13 she simply said no thank you which was a real shame. So she is dropping back down to BE100 at Upton House. To see her SJ and XC from BCA CLICK HERE
Another reason that I have failed to write a blog is because I have a lovely little connemara project pony called Drew. He is 6 and I have got him on a sales livery type basis to bring on and sell to a lovely new home at the end of the summer. He is a full up 14'2 chunky, old fashioned connie and is a pleasure to have around. So far he has been to two shows and for two cross country schools and hasn't really put a foot wrong. He will make a lovely mother daughter share, pony club or riding club alrounder, a nice hack - anything you want him to be really! You can see him in the videos on my media page under videos (Click here to take you there) He is going to his first event on the 13th of July so fingers crossed!
I have also been to BUCS Riding Nationals in the last month. It is a very complicated system but it does work. You are only judged against the other people on your horse and the winner on each horse goes through to the next round! There are 3 people on each horse. I won the first round by a convincing 21 penalties, and in the first test you ride in a team of three so its quite complicated. See the video by CLICKING HERE. The horse in the 2nd round was much more tricky, you can see the test by CLICKING HERE I still managed to get through to round three, where I got to ride a gorgeous intermediate event horse. I won on him too which put me through to the final where there are two people and you both ride the same two horses. On one horse you do a set test at medium level, and on the other horse you have to do a freestyle test to music! CLICK HERE to see my set test. Thankfully our good friend Lee Frawley was on hand to let me borrow her music and floor plan. Having never ridden a test to music before, somehow I managed to pull it off and the horse could not have suited the music more. At the end of it, my tests on the two horses were good enough for me to win and become BUCS Equestrian National Champion. The jumping didn't go quite as well, I got through to the final 15 but due to it being judged on faults, I had an unlucky two down but another rider just had one down so she got through to the final. It was a fantastic week and I can't wait to try and get back there next year!!
Coco is back home from his month at the water treadmill and is doing 20 minutes walking a day! He is feeling very pleased with himself and we are very lucky that because he is only having limited turn out, the Simple System Feeds allow us to keep him munching all day using Lucie Brix and bowls of greengold to give him a fibre alternative to hay! We have still got a long way to go, but with any luck by christmas we hope to be out doing some dressage and I am sure time will fly between now and then!
So as you can see it has been rather busy, and I am fitting in playing summer league hockey amongst everything else, but I will try and keep more on top of updates now that we have got a bit of a routine going! We are off combined training this weekend with Lily in the Novice and Drew in the 80cm so we shall see how we get on!!