Lauren Shannon’s blog: looking ahead to Hopetoun Horse Trials

So we’ve just had our last weekend without an event until after Burghley Horse Trials. It’s scary to think Burghley is coming up so quickly, but luckily there is a lot to keep us busy until then!

Gentel Lux has been re-routed to Hopetoun CIC** after missing Barbury, which means that we will fill the lorry to make the trip up to Scotland. This means unfortunately “Louie” (Zero Flight) can’t get a nice easy intermediate run before taking on the British open at Gatcombe in August. He will instead compete at Aston-le-Walls advanced this weekend. The novice horses will also get a run there on Friday.

Then on Sunday I am heading to the Cottesmore branch of the Pony Club senior one-day event at Fliteriss in Rutland. Pony Club events are well organised and a great learning experience for my younger horses, plus it’s great to be able to watch the kids I teach competing! I can’t encourage people enough to get out there and compete at local events, it’s great to support the local horse community and it’s always so much fun.

I have dressage lessons with my dressage trainer, Judy Bradwell, just about every week now leading up until Burghley. We have to work very hard on Louie’s dressage as he isn’t a big mover, so we have to show his trainability and accuracy, which means lots of preparation! I am finding that having so much help with the “little things” with Louie is improving my riding and marks on the other horses I ride.

Yesterday, I had a dressage lesson with Irish event rider Eric Smiley, as there was a level 3 training examination for the UK Coaching Certificate at Vale View, an equestrian centre very local to me, so I was the guinea pig. It’s always informative to get a different perspective on the work I do with my horses and it’s also great for me to see the way others teach, so that I can make sure I’m doing things correctly. As I am looking to improve my teaching qualifications over time, it’s also good to get the lowdown on how these things work!

I took Lux, and her work is really starting to improve as she strengthens. I can’t wait to get her out competing again.

The horse which was vetted for Watling JCB has passed with no issues, so I can now tell you she is Kilcannon Credit Crunch, a five-year-old mare who is already qualified for the Burghley young event horse final this year. She is a very exciting young prospect and I really think she is one for the future.

So until next time, I hope you all have fun with your horses,

Lauren