I don’t want to speak too soon, but I think we are finally beginning to see the arrival of spring!

It is such a joy to get to the stables before work in the light. I have finally managed to ride in the field and have a bit of a blast with Jacob, who was a bit shocked to be going faster than a trot after months of hacking.

It has been a bit of shock to my system too, having to get up to ride before work! I realised a few weeks ago I couldn’t use the light as an excuse any longer so both myself and Jacob are getting back into a fitness regime.

Show time

Before this slightly better weather, I was coerced into going to a couple of winter shows with Bam (pictured top). After a good clinic a few weeks ago with Richard Telford, we decided to take Bam out to her first show of this season for the BSPS winter qualifiers in the hope of being able to take her to the championships in April.

As Ollie and Jo were busy that day, mum and I took Bam ourselves. My first class was the open/restricted ridden in which Bam was the only one in the snaffle against all open ponies.

She had been working nicely and I was really pleased how well she coped with all the others in the indoor arena. She generally likes her own space and it was very tight in there. We were pulled in top much to my amazement, but as we came into line the in-hand classes which were in the next door ring decided to get a bit rowdy! This ended with a fair amount of scattering in our line up and one poor pony having to leave.

Luckily for me Bam took it all in her stride and although she did a slightly novicey show, she coped really well. I ended up second in the class and first restricted which I was really pleased with and most importantly the judge was full of praise for her, which is always nice with novices.

I would say I am still very much getting used to mares and after a very, very, very long wait for the novice class, Bam had had enough. I have definitely learnt she is not so keen on hanging around. Although the class had far less in it, she was much more stressed and didn’t want to relax. We ended up third — but again with great comments from the judge and a learning experience for me.

As she hadn’t gone so well in the last class (and I needed some practice!) we decided to take her out the following week — it was freezing. Luckily for me my classes were first thing and I managed to avoid all the rain.

This time we had a bit of change around. Ollie had tried her in a different bit, which she seemed to love. She is definitely a big ring pony and loved strutting her stuff around the large ring at Addington Manor. She was pulled top in her class. After a really nice show, we stayed top and went on to win the championship too against all the other novice winners. It was definitely worth the outing, regardless of the win, which is obviously nice to have. It is so rewarding when novices get better and better each time they go out.

jacob

Jacob schooling at home

Planning ahead

Like many other showing people, I have been scouring the schedules as they have started to come in and trying to plan out the season.

I am really pleased to have Windy (Shilstone Rocks North Westerly) back for a final season under saddle, although he will be having a little break for covering this year. I am also lucky to have one final season with Chief (Moelview Chieftain) before he retires back to stud. He also won’t be out until he has finished covering so at the moment it is full steam ahead with the novices and the old man!

I am attempting to take Jacob out this weekend for a little outing. After our slightly precarious trip home from Olympia, the lorry has had ‘Jacob’ maintenance done to it in the hope he starts travelling better in it. So this weekend is going to be the trial. Keep your fingers crossed everyone!

Chloe