Our Badminton Grassroots Blogs this year are brought to you by our Supporter Gemosi. For more information please see the bottom of this post.
We made the long trek over to Isleham, having never ventured there before but read plenty of good reports and been advised that their ground would be best for the time of year. I opted to go straight in at BE100 – I still don’t really class us as ‘experienced’ at this level, but I decided that he’s big enough just to get on with it now, and it’ll hopefully set us up perfectly for Badminton.
Our journey was made even longer by some major road closures and diversions – thankfully I’d left early so still arrived just about on time. Power walked round the course to find it looked quite a bit bigger than the pictures(!) and had several questions in the middle with combinations including angles, a drop to water and a coffin, which seemed to be catching a fair few out. Tacking up right next to the XC tannoy didn’t help the nerves much!
Tally was very happy to be back at an event and thought hacking past the XC warm up to get to the dressage was rather exciting! He warmed up really well, just dropped off my leg a bit in the test, but still did everything in the right places. I was disappointed to come out with 37 as watching it back on video it looked fine (and my instructor agreed), however the judge had used his full range of marks for the section (26 to 56!) and seemed quite hard to please. I do have an issue with Tally ‘dying’ in the arena and would welcome any suggestions on how to combat this?
We had a bit of a wait to SJ but Tally warmed up well and jumped a confident clear in the ring. My super SJ trainer Ian Wills had put the jumps up really high in my lesson that week so the course would look small and it did the trick!
Before I knew it we were out of the start box and away. I took one fence at a time but Tally answered every question and I finished totally over the moon with a double clear. For the first time away from home he wasn’t at all spooky and left me feeling like he really knew what he was doing. True to form we got some time penalties, but I know that I over slow down for the technical questions and set him up too early, which I can afford not to do now – I think our general pace is good I just need to keep kicking on! I’m glad I made the effort to go to a new event as I feel like I have a much better picture of where we’re at, and I’m pleased our winter work has paid off.
Last weekend we headed off to our local gallops in an attempt to discover his inner racehorse. They measure a full 5 furlongs uphill so it was great fattening work, and Tally managed to beat his mate each time so maybe there’s hope for us yet!
Our next event will be Swalcliffe. I think it’s one of the nicest events on the circuit, and holds lovely memories as it’s where we got our Regional Final qualification last year. Aside from all things horsey, I fly off on Honeymoon to New Zealand in 10 days so the excitement is really kicking in now! When I get back it will only be 3 weeks til Badminton so it really is all systems go trying to fit everything in!
This post was bought to you by Gemosi who make beautiful products such as this beautiful Gemosi Eternity Horse Hair necklace with silver toggle and crystal heart . Please take the time to visit our supporters to see what they can offer you as without them we wouldn’t be able to to run e-Venting.