Sadly, it is starting to feel like the season is well and truly drawing to an end! My shows have certainly began to wind down, which has given me more time to appreciate the everyday fun things about having horses.

We did venture out on Bank Holiday weekend to Edenbridge and Oxted show, which is only down the road to us, with Toby (pictured right). It is such a lovely show and is one of only a few true agricultural shows left near us, but it is also slightly on the buzzy side!

When we arrived Mum headed off to have a look at the rings, while I started to get changed in the lorry — 5min later I get a panicked phone call from her saying we are next in. Well normally this means I’ve got about 20 minutes until the class starts, but this time she was right!

Poor Toby was dragged out the lorry and with a quick trot down to the ring we were in. He did a nice go round with the others and was pulled in top. Unfortunately he didn’t give the judge the best ride — he didn’t do anything wrong, but could have been a bit more forward going. So we got dropped to second and a lovely show pony came up to win.

Onto the hacks, which were in the really buzzy ring surrounded by the shooting range, dog agility and at the end the hounds! Toby was good with all of this, but decided the commentary box was actually the scariest thing there and tried to look at it every time we went past. We were pulled in second and I was dreading my show and him being ridden, but by this point he had his brain in gear and went well for me and both ride judges. We stayed second and I was pleased with the way he behaved.

Day trip to Wales

The following weekend we had no shows so we decided to head off a day trip to Wales. First stop was into the black mountains to visit the Chinook Stud. I was pretty excited to be visiting this stud, having grown up admiring all the beautiful Chinook show ponies.

As we pulled up we saw groups of ponies grazing in the fields and as we went up to the house, we saw more and more. We were there to look at some 14hh hunter ponies. Beautiful pony after beautiful pony kept appearing and it wasn’t long before we ended up looking at assorted show ponies too. My mum was adamant she was not getting anymore hairies for me, but would take home a nice show pony for someone else instead. Visiting somewhere like that always makes me wish there was no age limit on show pony classes!

Next we drove over to the Popsters Stud, where Jacob is from, to see his breeder Justin Davis and have a good nose around! It was lovely to see all this year’s babies, including one that looked just like Jacob! We had a look at potential prospects for next year as Jacob will be returning to Justin after HOYS to have some fun with the ladies. We also looked at section A’s, dogs and cats, as well as the beautiful mare Justin shows, Rhydeilian Ioneira, who is going to HOYS in the Cuddy.

It was a lovely day and all too soon we were on our way home with next season at the forefront of our minds — Mum dreaming of a show pony from the Chinock Stud, and me clutching a picture of a little chestnut section C foal I have already earmarked for four years time…

Chloe