“It’s been a while since my last blog and I have a lots to tell you! Sadly we said goodbye to the wonderful Wisch last September but I am glad to say he is being loved and enjoyed in his new home. After Wischie left the stables we began the hunt for my next horse and, with the help of Stal Brouwer Holland, we managed to find my Grand Prix prospect DJ.
DJ arrived in December and has been a dream ever since, he is incredibly cheeky and loves to play with his ball but occasionally he uses it to tip water all over the stable, which is less then helpful! With such big movement it was impossible to find the right saddle, however PM Equestrian built a stunning Antares saddle in the space of a week so I could get on and ride without the saddle ending up on his bottom! They has also provided me with my awesome Antares hats and gorgeous Parlanti boots.
Riding DJ is like driving a Ferrari; he has a lot of energy in his tank and sometimes all he needs to do is take a breath and relax, which is what I have been working on with help from Gareth Hughes. We must be doing something right as last weekend I took DJ out to his first indoor show and with a few mistakes due to tension we managed to gain scores of 69% and 70%, winning both our Medium classes. I am absolutely thrilled with how he is going and I can’t wait to see what the season holds, next stop regionals!
It seems Flo has been swapping notes with DJ as he has also been improving with every ride. Flo and I competed at the regionals in February and I am glad to say that we will be competing in the restricted section at advanced medium at the Winter Nationals after coming a close second by only 0.5 with over 68%. After the success of the regionals we worked on improving his canter and headed off to compete at Myerscough for his first Premier League Show. Flo was very excited to compete (maybe a bit too excited) so unfortunately we received 5’s for our walk work, however we still managed a 2nd and a 3rd!
With GCSE’s looming around the corner, everything has been a jumble of horses, revision and friends. I am now officially 16, after my birthday on Thursday. I had an amazing day both at school and home followed by Friday night when I participated in our school fashion show modelling two amazing dresses and the designer even won an award!
Flo and I just got back from our first international at Addington CDI and I am glad to say it was a success with Flo looking absolutely gorgeous in his new Wolds exclusive Bling bridle! After an unfortunate team test with Flo deciding he was not going to play ball, we managed to redeem ourselves in the Individual gaining 66% and coming 5th with a few mistakes. I had an amazing time riding my music however the judges seemed terrifying to Flo, who decided to spook twice! Unfortunately we lost a few marks, but we still came 9th with 68.3% scoring 70% from all three judges for our artistic! I also won the “most fashionable lady” at the gala evening chosen by Mrs Price, a huge thank you to Mooi en Lief and Equestrian Vogue for the amazing prizes!
Following our first international, Flo and I headed to the Winter National Championships. He was an absolute superstar and we did probably the best test we have ever done! Unfortunately if the horse is on the ball the rider is not and going down the final centre line I went wrong as I was supposed to do medium trot but was on autopilot so I did an amazing canter halt instead. Sadly that meant minus 2 from each of the three judges meaning I finished 8th instead of in the top three! Although I messed up, I was incredibly proud of Flo and how he behaved, he has developed into such an amazing, rideable horse and always tries his best.
After a successful beginning to the FEI season Flo and I were selected to compete in the CDI at Saumur, France. This was his first-ever abroad trip so I stayed down with him to make sure he was settled and calm (I am glad to say that he slept the whole way!) After a good trip up and sunny weather when we arrived, many of us were hoping that the weather forecast had been a lie but much to everyone’s dread it was about the only time a weather forecast has been spot on.
It rained and rained and rained some more, which was far from ideal as Flo’s stable transformed into a river on more then one occasion! But Flo was an absolute trooper and tried his very best on the river arenas. In the team test we made a few mistakes but overall it was a good test and we finished 5th, only 5 marks away from coming 4th! In the Individual, the heavens opened but that did not deter us as we finished 6th with a personal best of over 67%. His canter was more collected than in the team test, however we did score 5’s for our first centre line as Flo halted and saw the trough of water in front of him and thought he would just hop around it (and I don’t blame him, after all he is a dressage horse who doesn’t like getting his hooves wet!) Coming home from our first abroad trip I couldn’t be more proud of my little munchkin, he worked so well and handled the atmosphere with a very mature head, and we placed 5th, 6th and 9th in the music!
I have some very exciting news! Following our success, Flo and I went to Addington Premier League to compete in the Junior team test as I am unavailable for Compiegne and Somerford as I have exams. Flo did a super test with one or two small mistakes but we still managed to win the class with 72.43%!! (our highest ever score at a Premier League)
Our next adventure will be Wellington Premier League, wish me luck!”
Until next time,