Kirstie Leightley’s international showjumping vlog: on flying form in France

It’s been a busy couple of weeks since I last vlogged, and there’s so much to tell you all about.

After a quiet January, we set off to Royan for the two-star competition. Compared to a lot of the shows we go to the drive isn’t as far for the horses as they can be. However, something I always like to do with all the horses when they’ve been travelling for any amount of time to a show is hack them out on the first day. I find this makes a difference for them in helping them to relax and stretch out after being on the truck.

If you follow me on Instagram (@kirstie_leightley), you will have seen that while at Royan I got the exciting news that I have been selected to be an ambassador for Equine America. To me, deciding to be an ambassador for a product is a really big decision and I only want to work with brands that I use and love. This why I am over the moon that Equine America chose me. It is no secret that chestnut mares aren’t everyone’s first choice to ride, but I seem to have a strange attachment to them. I have always used Equine America to help me make sure they are fit and healthy, while slightly taking the edge off them!

So, for this show I took Thais, Love and Roaletta. Rosaletta is a horse I haven’t talked about in my blogs before, but she is one of Guy’s home-breds. This was her first show back after a while off and she jumped superbly.

My main girl Thais finished in the placings in every class we competed in, which is something I am really proud of as we have been working so hard together. To top this off we won our first world ranking two-star grand prix, which nicely rounded off the week after Love and I jumped our first ranking class together. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve any of this without Guy and everyone at team Williams, and I know I say this a lot, but I am hugely grateful to them for the opportunities that I am getting.

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Speaking of the team, we are all now looking to work on our fitness and nutrition to maximise our performance. With so much concentration going on the horses’ well-being, and getting them competition ready, it’s so easy to forget that we ourselves are athletes and we need to make sure we are as fit an healthy as we can be in order to the horses justice. To help us achieve our goals we have partnered with Intergrum Nutrition and I can’t wait to keep you all updated on our results (although I already miss the cheeky plate of chips that we all know and love to indulge in!).

Next up we head to Le Mans two-star then I’m on to Lanaken for the under-25’s. I’ll make sure to keep you posted with how we get on, and I promise to be honest if I break my nutrition programme!

Kirstie

Music credit: Purple Planet

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