Well wow, wow, wow what a great start to the season I have had so far. The ponies have been on great form with the novices going from strength to strength and Bam, my open for this year, is really stepping up and filling her big girl boots!

Bam (pictured below) had a great start winning her first RIHS class of the season meaning she claimed her ticket to Hickstead. She also was third in the huge first HOYS class of the season at NPS spring festival and was also top mare, which is something I am always proud of against so many boys. She then she won her second RIHS qualifier at our area show.

She has really matured on again this year and I look forward to her progress during this season. I have been promised if we manage a HOYS ticket I can do some worker classes, so watch this space!

Chloe-Chubb-Bam

Flute or my ‘Barbie pony’ (pictured top left) as we call him has also been doing well contesting novice classes, picking up his Picton Show ticket in a very strong class the other day as well as his intermediate.

He has turned into such a sweet pony and I love schooling him at home. He has a great attitude to work and I am hoping will also turn his hand to some dressage soon.

We decided to take him out at the weekend to do an RIHS qualifier just to see how he faired in a big open class. We couldn’t believe it when he was pulled top and then went on to stay top taking the qualification! What’s more he went on to end up reserve champion too.

Mum and I were both thrilled as I do him myself from home and sometimes I do wonder if I am doing a good enough job so it was great to see the hard work paying off. He is still yet to lose all his winter coat — is anyone else having this problem? — and he sort of looks like a patchy giraffe on his bum! Hopefully this warm weather will help shift it.

My novice Dartmoor Shilstone Rocks Snow Owl, or Leo (pictured top right) as he is known due to his curly haired resemblance to Leo Sayer, has really come on over the past few weeks. I am so thrilled with how he has grown in confidence from his first show where he could barely canter to putting in foot perfect performances and galloping with others without even batting an eyelid.

He was a bit of a slow starter to begin with and wasn’t easy to back, proving nervous and cold backed. Ollie and Jo have spent a lot of time allowing him to grow in confidence hacking around the farm and going around the gallops and I think it really has all clicked.

Although still very much a baby, Leo has had some great results with the classes he has done recently winning his first Picton class and intermediate class. He had some great results at the NPS spring festival winning his novice final. He was also pulled top in his pure novice final but sadly a baby wrong canter strike-off dropped us down to third.

Leo is now back home with me for some chill time. Although he has been very good there is nothing better than a pony – and Dartmoors in particular – to remind you every now and then not to get to comfortable. Leo certainly reminded me the other day when he happily decked me in the sand school.

Although it’s not far too fall, there is also not much to hang on to and after a moment of thinking I might just make it, I was soon rolling onto the sand watching my pony look at me in shock and horror. Thankfully there were only bruises so after a brush down I was back on and keeping my wits about me. The annoying thing when you are riding alone is when stuff like that happens you don’t really know why or what caused it. It all happened pretty quickly, but next time hopefully I will be a little more ready!

And finally the old boy Jacob. Well what can I say except Jacob spent a few lovely weeks at my friend’s house enjoying the company of the other ponies. This was until upon moving him into a new field and he decided he didn’t want to be in that field and after pushing down the top two rails he jumped over the bottom and headed up the field to find the others. Somehow he then managed to get himself into their field where a chase ensued! Thankfully mum was there and was able to rescue Flute and the two other elderly ponies in there — one being a mare (it was almost a complete nightmare) before Jacob managed to actually reach them. I have never seen Jacob move so quickly or use so much energy before! As they say there is still life in the old dog yet!

Aside from escaping, Jacob was due to go to Windsor to have some fun but sadly the veterans were cancelled on Wednesday due to the wet weather so after a quick trip around the M25 we were back home turning one very clean pony out into the field!

Chloe