Monday, 28 December 2015

It's been a while..

I've had a few messages via my Facebook page as to where I've disappeared to so I'm very sorry - Buddy and I are fine, I am just unbelievably busy in my personal life. I will try and keep this more up to date as we start the run up to the season and start competing again and hopefully my work life will have a lot less travelling involved.

SJ at Moreton Morrell
In my last blog we were headed towards our run at Moreton Morrell so I guess I should start back there! We didn't have the best run and ended up eliminated for multiple refusals XC. Dressage felt good, albeit with moments of tension so I wasn't expecting a stellar score but thought it would be 34-37 depending on how the judge felt. SJ I had a new warm up routine and really focused on getting the canter spot on which I managed and had a spot on warm up. I went in to the ring and it all went to pieces - we ended up having 4 down which is a record for us and most unlike Buddy to knock so many fences. I came out feeling really annoyed as I thought I'd ridden well and didn't deserve to have those fences but hey ho. I had walked the XC and thought it would be a good question for us, definitely a top end BE90, but I was confident that we would get round. How wrong I was! I had the worst warm up ever, totally misjudged it and on our last jump with 1 minute to go Buddy slammed on the brakes as a horse was cantering in front of us and ended up climbing the fence. I got flustered and we didn't have a chance to jump anything else which was not ideal as the first fence was a pallisade with a white top that I knew he'd look at. We came out the start box thinking backwards and a quick slap down the shoulder got us over the first and I think I must have been so flabbergasted (and I got my trusty whip stuck in my neckstrap) that we stopped at the second. Urgh. We continued rather stickily onwards with a few sticky jumps until the two steps downwards - I'd debated which way to come off the bottom step and had thought straight but when I got there I hesitated and B took advantage and we stopped briefly. I don't think he stepped back but it didn't matter in the end so we continued onwards. We were definitely in the zone from there and I was feeling confident that we'd got over all the tricky questions until we came to the ditch. It didn't cross my mind that he  would stop but he said no BIG TIME and meant it and thus ended our journey at MM (although the fence judge kindly let me pop the ditch). After I'd gotten off the course I dismounted and quickly saw blood in B's mouth - he'd bitten a chunk out of his tongue which I am going to put the initial huge NO down to. Very disappointed but nothing terrible happened and we live to fight another day. 

Modelling his new rug from Natures Way and being photobombed by fellow BUBD Indy
The day's events did make me wonder what on earth I am doing when I get to a show as it all seems to be working well at home but something goes very wrong as soon as I set foot at an event! The fabulous Giles had offered to come with me before and so I asked him if he would come to my final event of the season which was going to be Littleton Manor but in the end B tweaked his back after TQ regionals and so I finished my season with MM. Very annoying but I will be grabbing G for my first event next season to see if we can figure it out, plus I've been doing some sports psychology over the winter to help me prepare. I think I have a better handle on my triggers now so just need to test out those coping mechanisms.

TQ Regionals
Next up was our season finale! Team Quest Regional Finals. I have never been so excited and nervous about a competition in my whole life. The BUBDs were all terrible for winding ourselves up - we wanted to qualify for the Nationals so badly - but in the end we all decided that we were lucky enough to get three knackered nags to the Regionals in the first place and we would be really chuffed with a rosette (top 10). The day came and the competition was tough, we were the only team with just three riders in and the pressure was really on to have mega scores. In the end we all did lovely tests but they would have all needed to be mid 70's to stand a chance of a top three finish and I am just not that consistent yet so that wasn't going to happen. As it turned out we came a very respectable 9th place and so got our plaque and rosette. We will definitely be back at it again next year and will be trying even harder to get to the National finals.

Chuffed with our test - TQ Regionals
After this Buddy managed to tweak his back so was off for a couple of weeks, I went to the US and then couldn't seem to get myself motivated so we've had an incredibly quiet few months of hacking and pretty much nothing else. I've done a couple of schooling sessions in the last two weeks and am delighted to report that the break feels like it's done him some good and he's feeling very well so it's back to lessoning in the new year and getting ready for an April/May start to the event season.

Blinged Up Bullet Dodgers Team Photo modelling sponsor rugs from Natures Way

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