Laura Tomlinson: we must continue to make do *H&H Plus*


  • Laura Tomlinson on pulling herself together, taking time out for hedge-hopping, a spot of polo and reasons to be excited for the last remaining weeks of 2020

    As I write this piece, I am already starting to have to pull myself together and not let the dreary November weather and the shorter days have a negative effect on my mood. Luckily, there are some great events coming up that really are something to look forward to.

    The “TRT Live Worldwide” is taking place on 28 November and it is a chance for the whole equestrian community to come together and enjoy a hugely educational and wildly entertaining show, via Zoom.

    Tristan Tucker and his team are aiming to break the world record for the number of people being live together on Zoom, so this really is a big opportunity for equine enthusiasts from all disciplines and abilities to be part of something virtually, yet in an interactive way with questions being answered live.

    I personally love it when different experts from opposite ends of the equestrian world get together and share their knowledge and experiences, as we can learn so much from one another. It is easy to become embedded in one’s own little world and what we do with our horses, and to forget that there are so many more perspectives.

    Spicing it up

    I have been lucky enough recently to have a non-dressage horse, Dan, who I can take for a gallop and enjoy jumping around the hedges on the farm. Towards the end of the summer, I was also playing a little bit of non-competitive polo with my sister-in-law, just for fun.

    It feels so great to remind myself, amid all the work I do with my dressage horses and juggling my three children, that simply taking a moment to enjoy horses in any capacity is such a blessing. This is something that we should be aiming to share with as many people as we can, making the joy of riding ever more accessible.

    Despite all the fun I have been having outside my usual discipline, I am also really enjoying having an aim that is actually in the near future.

    On the 21 to 22 December, Hartpury College is hosting the LeMieux Grand Prix National Championships, and it is so nice to be working towards something real after everything that has happened this year.

    I have not yet competed in a grand prix freestyle with my 10-year-old mare, Rose Of Bavaria, but I cannot wait to do so. I may have been a little gung-ho in my choreography and made the degree of difficulty in my floorplan quite a challenge, but “Betty” is the kind of horse who always wants to perform.

    It is a real shame that this event will be behind closed doors, but we are so lucky to be able to compete at all. Hopefully, plenty of people will be able to watch it online and while it certainly won’t have the atmosphere of a normal championship, something is much better than nothing.

    In the same vein, the team behind Olympia Horse Show are also doing their best to create entertainment and bring us a festive, pre-Christmas feeling, albeit online. In these strange times, we must continue to make do and keep being inventive.

    ● Have you tried something different with horses this year? What did you learn? Share your experiences at hhletters@futurenet.com

    Ref: Horse & Hound; 26 November 2020

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