So much has happened since my last blog. I have been training Hummus for only a short time but thought we would take him to Myerscough premier league to compete him in a five-year-old class.
We changed our times as it was an early slot with a one-and-a-half hour journey so we took the place of someone who had withdrawn. Unfortunately that placed us in a pair with a Mount St John horse so it was tough to catch the judge’s eye. But Hummus behaved very well and we scored 71%; he shows talent for the future.
I haven’t had much experience riding in young horse classes but they are a little like a hybrid of showing and dressage. It’s not always easy to have a horse that is able to score highly at this age especially if they have an amazing hind leg which drives them onto the forehand and they are not yet strong enough to hold all of that activity. Those scoring well seem to have a higher degree of self-carriage but perhaps are less better at something else.
Since that competition I have taken Hummus to a local show to do a couple of novice tests. He is quite distracted outside and this is something I need to work on with him by exposing him to different conditions. The combination of a stallion and a young horse is interesting as they show young horse traits such as getting tired and losing concentration as well as their stallion distractions at times.
Hummus is the third young stallion I have ridden so I am getting more used to any flash points. He scored really well at novice level getting well over 70% in both tests so I enjoyed a good scoring day and will now try to get the few remaining points needed to qualify for the regional championships.
Later in the month I ran my first ever dressage to music clinic with Gaynor Colbourn where I did the floor plans and Gaynor did the music. We had a great day which ended in a demonstration involving Dan and Alice, Pony Club stars and Ciara on her horse and the yard manager Nicky and my two rides. It was a great chance to use our indoor arena at the yard which is stunning and entertain dressage enthusiasts at the same time.
Straight after that we left for an international show at Keysoe. Kaja was feeling lively with the first grass coming up and Keysoe has never been her favourite place in the past for some reason.
It was not a show I want to remember as although our scores were OK Kaja was difficult to warm up and she was distracted all the way through all three of our tests — the team, individual and even the freestyle, although I managed to be placed eighth in the latter.
Carl Hester helped me try to stay positive in a warm up that was upsetting and disappointing (pictured top). As horses take the same amount of work and dedication whether they perform well or not, dressage can be difficult for everyone at times and there are always times you want to give up.
I think it must be time to concentrate on my A-levels for the next two months. Hopefully the fact I passed my driving test on my first attempt this week is a sign of good things to come!