It’s the time of year I say to myself: “Phew that’s showing over and I can spend a bit more time at home.”
The reality is quite different. I actually love this time of year, if the weather isn’t too unkind, as the new combinations of horses and riders start to emerge.
My daughter Alice has moved on from 13hh to 14hh ponies. It’s the biggest gap we have had to accomplish so far and more difficult than coming off the lead-rein in my opinion.
She has at last grown legs but still needs some more upper body strength for the bigger ponies. We have a few exciting new ponies headed up by the lovely Romanno Romany Gypsy who was champion first time out this autumn. This combination looks extremely promising.
We also have several novice 143cm ponies for show hunter and working hunter classes next year, all of which I am very excited about.
Wycroft Beethoven (pictured top) made a great start to his showing career too at the Area 6 show behaving beautifully and picking up a couple of wins. Comberton Coda and Battleship will be making their debuts in 2016.
The recent Irish three-year-old horse purchases are being broken now. Some have already been sold and I obviously look forward to seeing their progress.
We have an exceptional young heavyweight and small hunter among the last lot to work on. With a full yard each day is certainly very busy. Everything is in now as I only have young horses and ponies about who need feeding and keeping in top condition to be ready in the spring.
Hunting also fills up time. What great fun we are having with the Warwickshire hounds on such great form. It can be a great day or a frustrating day but also character building when different situations have to be dealt with such as falling off, loose ponies and getting lost!
The HOYS judges and the new Mountain & Moorland class have just been announced this week. There seems to be plenty to talk about. Perhaps sealed envelopes with predicted difficulties should be submitted now to be opened after 9 October next year once HOYS has finished for another year? Let’s look forward to the 2016 season as a whole not just one show.