Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 Review

Reviewing 2016 already?! I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone! It’s been a funny one for me personally as I’ve had a lot going on and I’ve finished the year in a much better place than I thought possible. I didn’t think I’d achieved that much with Buddy this year but now I’ve sat down and thought about it I realise we’ve moved forward leaps and bounds.

I started 2016 with the intention of having some time off from eventing and focusing on my flatwork and training. This hiatus ended up with me deciding that Buddy just wasn’t a natural eventer and to make him one I would need to do far more jumping and xc training than I have time for. I like to achieve things and the fact I wasn’t able to meet these aims meant I was no longer enjoying it so I decided that competitively our focus was changing to dressage. This took a lot of pressure off as I was only training for one discipline which meant hacking and jumping became fun stuff rather than another training exercise.

After deciding (or Jane telling me!) that I needed to leave Prelim behind and just do Novice level tests we focused on nailing our training and then made our BD debut in June which B ended up winning! Three outings and three sheets got our AF qualifications nailed and then I decided to focus on getting the AF test just right. I was delighted with Buddy on the day and even though I feel like we deserved a placing it was awesome to come 12th out of 22 great combinations and I am using this as my motivation for 2017!

A random Facebook pop up led to another addition to the team – NS Sundancer or Dancer to her friends. A beautiful buckskin (we think she’ll end up chocolate buckskin) filly by Legrande who will hopefully be my next eventer or dressage diva – she’s bred for both so we will take life as it comes. She’ll be staying at stud for the foreseeable so she can just be a horse and grow up in a herd environment with other youngsters.

We’ve had some great training opportunities this year too – we continued training with Jane and ended up moving to her yard in September, I’ve seen Giles far less than I would like but will try and sort this next year, Central Dressage camp led to us doing the demo with Andrew Gould and Spencer Wilton plus we had sessions with Matt Hicks and Charlie Hutton which led to me starting having lessons with Charlie. Buddy has stepped up his game too and is now training at medium level at home which has also meant I need to step up my game having only ever ridden at Novice level before!

We’ve also welcomed Zecora Photography into the team for the year and they have given me some beautiful memories that I will cherish forever. Natures Way Natural Hoofcare have continued their support and Buddy and I are so grateful that Steve comes all the way from oop North to keep an eye on us and he is an incredible friend as well as sponsor. Thank you so much for supporting us during what has been a relatively quiet 2016.

Looking forward to 2017 I am incredibly excited! We have already started our 2017 Petplan campaign and already have our sheets for one round. I will another set (or two) to maximise our chances of getting into the top 10 and to a second round. We are doing Team Quest again so BUBDs are back together with another addition to the team – a lovely pair from my yard, Laura and TinTin – so we are full steam ahead for our first outing in February. I have also just finished creating my floorplan for our elementary freestyle and am hoping to debut this in Jan/Feb and get our qualifications for regionals. Then, as a non-competitive aim we are doing the Rockley Rehab Reunion Ridgeway Ridge and will be doing 43 miles in three days over the first May bank holiday which should be awesome fun!

Then, for some light hearted relief (and for our adrenaline fix), we are also going to do some of the BD combined training competitions. B has been incredible to jump recently and I’ve had a huge grin on my face every time. Eventing has crossed my mind as he has felt great over SJ’s and XC fences and I miss it dreadfully so we may do a couple of unaffiliated events purely for some fun with zero expectations!

Plans for 2017:
  • Qualify for Petplans at Novice
  • Qualify for Petplan second rounds at Novice
  • Qualify for Team Quest and My Quest regionals
  • Qualify for Elementary freestyle regionals
  • Rehab Reunion Ridgeway Ride (5R’s)
Thank you again for all of your support. I am going into my fifth year of rehab with a sound and very happy horse. I am really excited about competing next year and seeing what our training brings!  

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