I still haven't fallen off - so that's beaten last year record by 18 days already! 2013 must be a good year! On the 6th of January we headed to Felbridge for some more dressage practice! I got to ride the lovely Business as well as Coco! Business hadn't been out competing in over a year and his only outings had been hunting! Considering he was very well behaved! In the first test he was very tense and inconsistent in his head because of the tension! However he still got over 64% and finished 4th which was great. In the Novice he settled down nicely and performed a beautiful test with fantastic mediums. He just started to tire in the canter work which was a shame. But still finished with over 65% and finished 3rd! He is a really smart horse and I feel very privileged to get to ride and compete him. Coco was also good, especially considering we were told we had 2 horses left when we had 3 - so we kept stopping and starting which confused him a bit. There were a few small mistakes but nothing that we can't work on. Sometimes Coco just tries too hard. Which is lovely. But it does sometimes result in a slight misunderstanding of my aids - so I must learn to make them much clearer so he can understand.
Then last Sunday we went to the first JAS at Merrist Wood! The JAS series are my favourite indoor competitions and the horses find them great fun, but they are also really educational. Lily went for the BE100 and the Novice and Coco went for the Open. Lily was great apart from having a mad moment in the warm up where she insisted she couldn't canter round without bucking and kicking out - but luckily I had time to just let her get it out of her system and she settled down nicely! She jumped a beautiful clear in the BE100 to finish on her style score of 9. Unfortunately 3 others had done the same and they were also closer to the optimum time than me - so we finished 4th. But still a qualifying place. In the Novice she actually started to really jump which felt fantastic. She just rolled one pole but she jumped so well so I couldnt complain. She got a style mark of 6 plus 4 which left us on 10. This was still good enough to leave us in 5th place and another qualifying result! I wasn't sure how Coco was going to get on with the JAS competition as he can sometimes be a bit tappy over fences, not in a careless way but through tension. However he jumped better than I could have imagined. He rolled one fence near the end where he was a bit flat and tired. He also had the out of the bounce down but it was 1.10m and we through him in at the deep end by failing to practice one which was a shame. However he still got a style mark of 10 and finished 6th which meant he has also qualified for the final at Bury Farm. Just got Punch left to qualify now.
Although this snow is slightly inconvinient I feel the horses have had plenty of basic groundwork already this winter - so hopefully it wont effect us too much. They were also quite fit already so we should be able to pick it up as soon as the white stuff melts! I have made full use of the snow and built an igloo in the garden - see the picture below!!
Thats all for now!