Lauren Shannon’s eventing blog: when to move horses up the levels?

  • Well, it’s been a good couple of weeks since my last blog, and life has been flying by like it always does during the season.

    I have just enjoyed a lovely long weekend in Portugal for my fellow event rider — and best friend — Charlotte Castle’s hen do. It was great to have a little break and get some sun, although I’m not sure my legs appreciated it as they seem to only have two colours, white and red!

    All the horses on the yard had a well-deserved rest last weekend, as most of them have been eventing non-stop since the beginning of the season. Crunchie (Kilcannon Watlings Crunch) successfully completed her second CIC2* of the year at Rockingham Castle, so is now aiming for Barbury CIC2* in June.

    Quality Purdey and Holly (Riffala Du Buisson) both made the step up to intermediate level. While Purdey is tearing my arms out at every event (hence a silly run-out at her last run at Little Downham) and heading to Barbury for the CIC2*, Holly is lacking a slight bit of confidence, so will move back down to novice for a few runs before going intermediate again in July.

    It is a tough call moving horses up the levels and as both of these mares have jumping experience, they don’t need loads of time at each level moving up. However, it is a balancing act and I would never want to push one of them too quickly. Luckily, I have amazing owners who are happy watching their very nice horses progress at their own speed.

    We are off this weekend to Catton Horse Trials with the younger horses, including my working students’ horses. After that, the “grown-ups” get to run at Aske next weekend after their break.

    Between now and then we have lots of dressage lessons and trips out showjumping to get through. Definitely enough to keep us out of trouble and to keep me looking forward to the next mini-break!


    All Lauren’s diaries

    Full report of Catton in H&H next Thursday, 20 June. 

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