The horrible events at the weekend really bring home how dangerous our sport is and prove that you can be at the top of your game or jumping relatively inconspicuous fences and the worst can still happen. Thoughts with all their families and connections at a time like this.
However, life can end in the blink of an eye and my theory is that I can do everything in my power to ensure me and my horse are as safe as possible but for me these events have just proved that we should live every single day to the full and enjoy every second we have. I am on such a high after all my time with Buddy this week, I am so proud of the horse he is, the horse he is becoming and our future together and I appreciate every single second.
We started our XC adventures back at Wheatlands Farm at an XC clinic with Ginny Howe. I had taken a place on this at the last minute as I had been indecisive about which class to enter at Buddy's first ODE and couldn't decide between the 70/80 class so wanted another opportunity to go round so I could make my mind up. The M4 was horrendous so I arrived just as the clinic was scheduled to start but luckily the other people in my group were also late so I had time to get ready!! Our group was a couple of more established ponies competing at 100 level so I was a bit concerned my baby would hold us back but I needn't have worried. Ginny started by asking about our history and she had heard of Rockley and was interested in how we had used the rehab to bring him back into work. We started off warming up in walk, trot and canter - ensuring that the horse was off the leg and thinking forwards - and lots of forwards and back in canter. Then we warmed up over a roll top - we went straight in at 80 and stayed between 80-90 the whole session - and I concentrated on keeping my shoulders back and thinking forwards.
Buddy started off a little bit green, especially over a line of skinny doubles, but as the session went on he was really starting to get it and was taking me into fences he hadn't seen before full of confidence and started showing the type of horse he is going to be. As long as I rode positively and kept my shoulders back with a supporting leg then we were flying. Ginny thought he was fab and that my ambition of getting to Badminton Grassroots (or Novice) wasn't entirely unrealistic and actually pretty achievable. She also told me I should enter the 80/90 class so I have amended my entry and gone for the 80 - eeeek!
Then onto Saturday - I had arranged with a fellow Rockley Rehab to pop across to Boomerang. We had a fab time and Buddy was feeling more and more confident and happy to tackle the fences. This could also be because I am also feeling more confident ;o) We popped up and down some steps, managed to canter through the water and popped his first trakener. I was really chuffed with him and he gave me a sneaky peak on the horse he is growing in to. I am excited!!
I will update the blog as soon as I have the video from Wheatlands and I'm just editing my headcam footage from Boomerang so it will be on here ASAP.