Since my last blog, I took Lola to the Sheepgate under-25 championships where we competed in the young rider championships.
On the first day, she warmed up beautifully and was really listening to me. However, when we entered the show arenas she got quite tense and this resulted in us making mistakes in our three- and four-time tempi-changes but we showed a great improvement in our canter pirouettes scoring 7.5s. The changes became quite costly but we still scored a great 66.7% which put us in third place after the first day.
The second day was more of a challenge. Once again she warmed up very well but as we walked to the arenas a wasp stung her shoulder and unsettled her for the test so I decided to retire her which took us out of the running for the young rider championship but it was a very good experience for both Lola and I to compete in different test environments so early in our partnership together.
At the start of September, it was time for me to travel to Milan to model. The city is beautiful and it was so warm every day which was hard when you were walking around the streets all day long to go to castings! I made lots of friends from different countries and I had a lovely time there. Although it was hard work and stressful to make sure you got to all the castings on time but the shoots were great, working with some fantastic photographers.
After getting back from my trip to Milan, I took Humus for a lesson with Carl Hester for the first time in preparation for the nationals. His owner, Marleen Smith came down to watch the lesson too. Humus was a star and we worked on establishing his self-carriage as he is only five-years-old. I also showed Carl our lateral work which is one of Humus’ highlights because he is very supple through his back. I am going to start competing him at elementary and medium level and hopefully qualify for the winter regionals .
Then we were ready to go to the nationals. I have only been there once before when I won the advanced medium class on my horse Kaja.
We travelled down on Thursday lunchtime and I rode him in the warm-up arenas that evening in order to show him the venue and stretch his legs following travel. This was exciting for him as the arena was full of horses with little space.
The next day was competition day. We had a few cheeky moments in the warm-up due to the noise of the flags blowing in the wind but as soon as he entered the atmosphere and went into the arena, he behaved impeccably. We suffered from clapping from the end of the test in the next arena which frightened him so we had a few mistakes and green moments but I knew that would happen because he’s only young and a stallion and not fully established yet so I was really pleased with how he went and I was so lucky to have even made the nationals on him. I appreciate the support from owner Marleen Smith who has trusted me with his education and training. Now it’s onwards and upwards with elementary.
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With my training at home, Kaja (pictured top competing last year) and I are establishing our Inter 1 movements in preparation for our small tour season this year. Her pirouettes have come on leaps and bounds since last season and as the marks are worth double this will significantly improve our overall percentage so I cant wait to put all our training into action.
As I have now finished my A-levels and achieved my dream university place the time has come to conclude my blog. Thanks for the support of all who have followed my story over the past five years and I wish you all success in your riding journeys.