Sorry for such a late write up, I seem to be doing so much writing for everything but my website!
If you didn’t already know I have recently been offered a monthly column with Equestrian Life Magazine which I am really excited about. My first column was printed at the beginning of October and was such an amazing surprise to get back from Osberton to see a full page spread!!
I have just sent off my 2nd column for the November issue so make sure you pick up a copy.
So back to Candy Blue and her very successful trip to York College.
It was Candy’s last event of the year, her 2nd BE100. It had rained very hard the week running up to the event so the going was very soft on top. I walked the cross country before dressage and it was a lovely course, (see pics) I wasn’t worried about anything in particular. The water caught a few out, you had to jump a decent sized boat 2 strides before the water which backed a lot of horses off, then through and out the water, a sharp turn right and back down a step into the water again.
I would love to hear your thoughts and if you have any requests for future issues. If there is anything you want to know about Evening send me a quick email.
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Warming up for dressage was in another field so you couldn’t see the dressage arenas.A disadvantage for some I thought! Candy warmed up nice; I had to work a little bit harder to get her in front of my leg as she has a tendency to drop off it as soon as I go up the centre line!
The test was sweet, she was accurate and obedient. We did a slightly wobbly centre line and when I had to give and retake the inside rein in canter on a circle we nearly disappeared out the arena but she did a respectful 36.5. The show jumping course was coursing numerous problems with a clear round barely heard off! It was up to height and changed direction a fair few times! I nearly went the wrong way!! There were only 6 clears in my section and Candy was one of them. She jumped out of her skin giving every fence lots of room. Every time I come out the show jumping with Candy I have a massive smile on my face, it really is her best phase, and with it being my worst she really helps me to relax knowing she will pick up whatever the stride or fence and is a real weight of my shoulders! I don’t know how many times I have nearly been sick coming out the Show jumping with Puzzle, everything just seems that little bit tenser and 4 faults can knock you down so many places.
It was time for the cross country and a clear round would stand me in a great position on the leader board. Going round we fell into a nice rhythm and she jumped everything lovely, she really trusts me and as soon as she isn’t sure about something I can feel it, which I guess is her way of telling me! So I just encourage her with my voice and she goes! The water wasn’t a problem she popped in without a second thought. I had to steady her on the corners and tight turns because we were one of the last to run so you can image the ground was very deep. We picked up 4.4 time penalties but Candy did a lovely double clear which is now her 2nd double clear at this level. On our finishing score of 40.9 we were placed 6th! Picking up another 6 foundation points.
So what’s next?
Well that’s our Eventing season over, so I will be aiming to get to some dressage competitions and I am thinking of joining both of them with BSJA for some winter show jumping. This will really help with getting them to the next level jumping up to height courses, I just hope we don’t have a bad winter otherwise I will be stuck at home due to the hill we live on!
WOW well what a weekend...! I absolutely love team events, everybody supporting each other, cheering, giving advice, and this weekend was by far one of the most memorable!
Candy & I were off this time to Stafford Unaffiliated ODE held over the BE course. They had Pony Club sections as well as the option to enter a team. Our team just managed to get a last minute entry and I'm so glad we did! We only had 3 members but I was quietly confident! The team consisted of myself, Learna Frost & Ellie Friend. Learna competes at BE100 level and is about to move up to Novice level where her ambition is to enter our local event Chatsworth next year! After her performance she is well on track! Ellie Friend is new to eventing and I'm sure after this weekend she has caught the eventing bug! For her first ODE she was extremely brave going in at BE100 level but I knew Onkey (Jack the Lad) would be amazing and he certainly was!
We all headed over to the dressage warm up and before we knew it Ellie was called in! She was showing a few nerves before going in as it was both their first time at dressage! We all encouraged her and she came out with a well earned 33! Learna was next and she too came out with a solid 33. I was last to go and even though Candy showed her age in a few places she came out with her best score to date of 27.5, I was over the moon!
Over to show jumping we all headed! The course was built up well and had lots to look at as well as a few tight turns and dog legs. Again Ellie was a first up. She jumped well just knocking one fence as they decided to take a long stride to the spread which was set on a long 5 strides or short 6! Learna next to go and again came out with only 4 faults, just getting caught out by fence 8 the dog leg. Candy was last again to go and really made me smile as she tried so hard and came out with a super clear!
We all were buzzing as we knew all we had to do now was go clear cross country and we would be in with a good chance! Learna was up first this time and tried her hardest to go slower as Max tends to eat up the cross country so fast that she has had time penalties for going too fast! The first clear was in but she had gone a little the other way this time picking up 12 time faults! Ellie was next, she knew as soon as she was over the roll top to angled corner she would be away, and she definitely was! Jumping another fab clear round and spot on the time. Candy was next and just needed to get round clear. This time she really knew what was coming as it was the first time she has ever got excited in the start box! She set of quicker than usual and did not hesitate at anything! we had all gone clear and was just awaiting my all important optimum time, Candy had done it, she was clear inside the time and not only had our team won, Candy had won the section finishing on her 27.5 dressage. We were all ecstatic, jumping up and down when the results were confirmed over the tannoy!
Well done to all the Barlow members who were also competing in each level, some great placings!
Well it was a trip with both the girlies Puzzle & Candy to Bold Heath for the BE 5yo and Novice classes. Candy was up first, and after seeing who was in our 5yo section we knew our chance of qualifying would be very slim! She did a really nice test we guessed around a 34 because it was much more accurate and forward than her last test which scored a 35. I was a bit disappointed with her mark of 39.5 but then I suppose being against Ruth Edge did us no favours!
The showjumping was coursing lots of problems and poles were flying all over. It was extremely twisty and and all sorts of dog leg lines which for a 5yo would certainly unbalance them! Candy jumped a lovely round just catching one pole as I couldn't quite shorten her enough. This is definitely what we need to work on shortening and lengthening so she can get herself out of the difficult strides. The cross country was testing and had 2 waters complexes, doubles on angles and boldly built fences. I came back with a HUGE smile on my face.. Candy was absolutely awesome! She was taking me into fences, no hesitation and kept a forward stride throughout the 5m 18 sec course. It was the longest course she has done and coped so well only 2 seconds over the optimum time. I am so excited about her future and think she will be a really competitive novice horse.... fingers crossed!!
Up next Puzzle! Well she had lots more energy for the dressage then usual.. she was slightly distracted due to Candy being in the next field so I had a fight on my hands! She rushed a few of the moves and I came out say blimey that wasn't great! She still managed to get a 37.5. Its becoming a bit of a joke now.. the last 3 events we have done she has got that exact same score and every test was so different! I really hope it will just drop down to 33 all of a sudden haha.. well I can hope!!
Warming up for SJ was chaos! It was way to small for the amount of people trying to jump so I had a quick jump and went straight in.. she was so up for it and I could hardly hold her off the fences! Pokey is well and truly back!! She was going great until the wall fence 7 when she backed off and totally messed up the stride we were on.. I just kept my leg on and left her to it! She jumped it but knocked it good and proper! After that it felt like a jump off! She was on a right flyer and managed to come out with just 4 faults! I nearly missed the last fence number 10 because it came upon me so quickly! It was a great feeling to have so much power from her and I was buzzing going into the cross country. There was only about 3 clears in my section so I was chuffed with just 4 faults.
I new it was going to be a fast round XC as no one yet had made the time even the professionals were struggling with 5m 22sec. Puzzle was loving it and soon got into her stride. Damn I forgot my watch again!!! We were going a good forward pace so to still get 10.8 time pens I was a bit surprised! What I thought was fence 18 was 3 skinny houses on a very tight curved line.. I was on a complete flyer and new I couldn't make the last house so popped a circle in.. I thought this would result in penalties but when I got back I found out it was fence 18 a b and 19 which meant you were aloud to pop a circle in between the 2nd and 3rd house... PHEW!! In the end Puzzle was still placed 12th even with the time pens only a few managed to make the time and it was shocking how many people got time pens and lots of them! Really pleased with both of them. Tried to book Puzzle into the IU21 at Winkburn however it was full so currently on the wait list and entered into the Novice. Looking for another run for Candy but not to fussed if she doesn't do another until September. Lots of training for her!
Firstly big thanks to the Barlow Pony Club who put Candy & I forward for the level 4 team. Even though we didn't manage to qualify we all had an amazing day!
First up in our team was Hannah Goodman who was very pleased with how calm Kiwi was in the dressage scoring 45. Then I was next, Candy was a bit wobbly and dropped off my leg as soon as we went down the center line (thanks candy!) I was still pleased with her 34 score. Next was Tinky Morris, it was her first ODE and first ever dressage test on her new pony Leo, scoring 46. Last to go in our team was Amy Biggin who did an amazing dressage test of 29, just what our team needed!
Onto the showjumping phase, which was up to height, rammed with fillers and lots of lovely plastic poles everywhere! We were all excited but slightly nervous, Hannah was up first again who jumped a super round just picking up 4 faults. Candy was next, totally missing the stride I was on for the first fence but still managed to jump it clear! She then went disunited and on the wrong leg into number 4 and was too late to change taking off earlier and catching the pole. She jumped the rest of the course spot on so just picked up the 4 faults. Tinky was next and showed us all how to do it jumping a fantastic clear! Amy was last to go and picked up an unlucky 8 faults.
As we headed to the cross country warm up, I felt I couldn't relax like I normally do on Puzzle knowing there were still challenges to come from the xc course! It was a tough course with very uneven ground (imagine how the sea bed looks like under the water then imagine it as grass!) It would be Candy's first jump into water, first jump in the water, first 2 skinnies on angles and lots of going into the darkness (woods!) Hannah flew round but Kiwi was slightly enjoying herself a bit too much and Hannah had to do a few circles but only picked up a few times faults. Next was Candy who started a bit sticky but after fence 3 she was on a roll, she did the skinnies well, although trotted into the second part as she just lost her balance on the turn, she jumped the ditches and coped well with going into the dark woods. Then came the fence two strides from the drop into water she back off slightly having a nosey but with some encouragement popped over it and jumping into the water no problems. She even popped over the jump in the water from trot! She started to tire but we only had 3 fences left so I kicked on and she finished well! I was so pleased! We picked up 6 time faults but id rather her take it all in then scare her half to death! Next was Tinky, who came back with the biggest smile of us all! Completing her first ODE. Last to go was Amy, no problems for Dilana at all, just picking up around 13 time faults.
A really good day for us all, well done team Barlow and to all the other people who represented our branch. Charlotte Heath Smith qualified on Trinny in the Level 5 so we will all be rooting for her at the championships held at Draycott House.
Course pictures below, as well as Show jumping and cross country footage of all our team!
Took Candy to Somerford Park Pony Club ODE to have a go at the Level 4 which I new would be the hardest most challenging course she has done. I was right! Everything was up to height and the cross country had lots for her to look at.
I warmed up for 5 minutes to try a different tactic and being as it was 24 degrees figured she would have less energy than usual! Again I was right!! She did a nice test the trot work good and she really improved with her trot to walk transitions for 3-5 steps. The canter really needs the most work as she is losing her balance easily through the corners and going disunited a little too often! I haven't seen the sheet yet as we had to leave early but awaiting it's arrival any time now!
As we warmed up for Show Jumping in the amazing new huge arena she was behind my leg and I really had to get after her especially with the course being built up with jazzy fillers too! We had a few sticky moments but after I gave her a tap around fence 5 she woke up and jumped much better leaving all the poles in their place! Yey clever Candy!!
It was getting hotter and hotter and trying to find a bit of shade was very difficult waiting for cross country! I was determined to have a good start to fence one so was on her case from the word go! She felt amazing and was taking me into every fence! She flew up the 2 steps to the skinny with no hesitation. She just decided to have a look at the trekaner but apart from that she was amazing and I was ecstatic she completed.
Video below and take a look at the fences she jumped! Very proud of her! Hopefully if the ground softens up she will be going to her 5yo Buckminster BE.
Above is my entry for this years Dodson & Horrell, Horse & Hound Young Rider Bursary. Let's hope this year I can do a bit better than 6th! Hope you like it...
I decided to enter Candy in her first BE100 because if I want to enter a 5yo class she needs to be competitive at this height. I thought Shelford Manor would be a great starting point and I was really glad the weather was dry and sunny for her. I warmed her up for dressage about 30mins before our time, soon as I got on she felt amazing lots of energy and taking me forward, but I must say I think that was slightly too much for Candy as by the time we were going in she was a bit behind the leg and dropping below the vertical. It wasn't one of our best tests but as soon as I had done it I knew where we could improve. She got a 35 which was definitely fair getting all 6's and 7's and that put us just above half way after dressage. We moved onto SJ, it was up to height and had some really testing lines which on a young horse would be difficult as she isn't the most balanced! I was so pleased when she jumped a cracking clear round and really tried so hard giving the fences some real height.
I got her ready for XC and after a short warm up off we went out the start box. I could feel a difference in her already setting off quicker out the start box and jumping the first few fences on a longer stride. We only got close to a couple but she tends to still want to jump them on a shorter stride to make sure she doesn't touch the fence. Candy really flew round picking up no time faults with the optimum being 4m04secs I thought she might pick up a couple as it was a fast time. In fact we did it in 3m55sec which is good to know she can make the time even with the step up to BE100.
When I looked at the results we had finished on our dressage score and was 4th!!!!!!!!! I was soooooooooo happy!! We were only 1 penalty behind 3rd place, My mum managed to get some great video footage (see below) and pictures of the course.
I decided to enter Candy into the 5yo BYEH class. I thought it would be a great event for her to go to with all the busy atmosphere and would be fantastic practice to go round such a full up and jazzy course of show jumps. She was amazing, did a lovely test very still and concentrated well. Unfortunately the marks didn't quite show that and she only picked up 19 marks. I went straight onto the showjumping and she took everything in her stride popping all the fences beautifully clear, thankfully they must of saw potential in her SJ round and awarded her with 32 which was up there with the best. Annoyingly I hadn't planned for the trot up which let her down big time as I was basically dragging her behind me trying to get her trot. If you watch the video she looks so grown up and I was very proud of her. Hopefully she will be there competing properly next year so was great practice for the real thing!!
Candy went to Solihull BE 90 today and brought me back a lovely rosette along with some pennies! (this went straight to mum for "fuel costs"!) We had such an early starting setting our alarms for 5! We got their in plenty of time so managed to run round the cross country before my dressage. The course was really nice nothing to tricky and had a great grass coverage.
We got ready and headed over to dressage she warmed up really nice only having to give her a few taps to wake up! She went in and did a really nice consistent test only to go and pull a 29!! yes 29! Mum & I was quietly celebrating my personal best!!! Candy got lots of 8's and had really nice comments such "much to like, will progress well once flows a little more forward" Nice one Candy. My legs were jelly when I came out because my legs never stopped kicking!!
We were really pleased to here the showjumping was on their amazing huge outdoor arena. She did a nice round just knocked one, not like her to leave a front leg..! On to cross country.. the count down lady set me off so quickly I didn't even manage to get in the start box before she called go! Maybe this was why I got one second over the optimum! grrrr! Candy flew round and for once I didn't have to work as hard.. I think she is finally getting the idea of galloping and jumping!! She was really forward and didn't look twice at anything! After we had finished I checked out the result board where she was 6th out of 36 after the dressage. She finished on 33.4 and came 4th! Really pleased big pat for candy. Check out the course pictures and her round below. Now off to bed as up again at 5 tomorrow for Puzzle's round at Bradwall.
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