Since my last blog Sandy (Welsh B) has been to two shows, Sir Francis (Dartmoor) has been to a show for a ride around, and Pop (Welsh C) is now cantering and has been in the brand new school, so it would be fair to say we have been busy!

Pop has come on in leaps and bounds and I am really thrilled with his progress. He looks completely different again and is now cantering happily out on hacks. When I went down to ride him, Ollie had just had the new school finished, so I took him in for a quick spin (see picture).

It was great to finally have a proper ride on him and get a feel for what he is going to be like. He was so sweet and honest and did everything asked of him — we even managed a little canter around the school. He has the most fantastic trot and I can’t wait to take him to his first party so he can see what it is all about!

Sandy has been out to two shows, where he was second and third and kept up his good behaviour. His second show was NPS Area 20 at Ardingly, which I always look forward to as I get to see so many friends, plus the chance to take a look at the lovely old and new ponies out this year.

Unsurprisingly, the classes were packed. The novice class was won by Foxleat Victory (Vic), a Dartmoor I’m riding this year, who was partnered on this occasion by Lauren Kingston, while I was riding Sandy. It was great to see him win and go onto take the championship. All of Steven Hulston’s hard work producing him appears to be paying off as he behaved impeccably.

After coming out the class on Sandy, I got quickly thrown onto Mandy Burchell Smalls’ Welsh section D for his novice class. The class was huge, with everyone nose to tail. After a pretty hairy go round, with novice ponies ending up here there and everywhere, me and Del got ourselves together to do a nice show and finish second. Not bad for a completely last minute ride!

I had also decided to take Francis along so I could give him a bit of a ride around and a chance to see what everything was about. Although we aren’t ready to go in the ring yet, it is good to get the youngsters out for experience, even if it is only getting use to travelling in the lorry and hanging around at shows.

He was a really good boy standing on the lorry, until it was time to take him off. He coped well with all the others in the sand school, although he did take a bit of a liking to a grey Shetland who looked incredibly like his field mate. Fingers crossed we will soon be ready to get in the ring — now that will be a story to tell.

We have a few weeks off now, with our next show being the PUK Winter Champs where I will be riding Sandy and Vic. I am really looking forward to it as then it may really feel like spring has arrived, and the full season is only just around the corner!

Till next time,

Chloe