Hunter trials start again!
By Sarah Houlden
You never know what life has in store for you and I write the following paragraph with a great sense of achievement and very proud of son James whilst he competed at the BSPS Summer Championships in several cradle stakes classes. The last diary mentioned our trip south to the “big country” with one little white pony, lots of mascots and hopefully lots of luck. Little did we know our four days “pony camping” in the lorry would turn into a marathon endurance with extra championships to participate in . Our glamorous thoughts of relaxing in the evening and having a holiday turned into more shampooing, more white chalk and preparing James for two evening performances finally ending the day more than often after 10pm. Before long and by 7.30am James and Sidan were jumping round another clear and contributing to their amazing collection of three trophies, seven sashes and about fifteen rosettes and then the finale was to stand reserve in the Little Stars Championship, a very proud mum. Just to think he was just” going to gain experience and get a feel for what it was all about for the future!”
Now back on home soil and boys returned to school, life gets back to normal for us all. Olivia and Jan, the girls in the yard held the fort and we returned to an immaculate yard and happy horses and ponies, I must stop worrying about leaving home when we have two very able girls. Whilst the season is coming to an end the warm weather continues which means many days enjoyed in the numerous stubble fields on the farm. Hacking is bountiful and for the first time James can escort mummy on a hack, however he rather prefers the trail bike tracks forgetting he’s on and 11.1hh pony and I am on a 16.2hh, my reactions have become very good to the word ”duck mum”, never sure though if its “head down” to avoid a low branch or “sit tight” – birds in the undergrowth! Oh what an adventure.
Cali and Gus did well at Blair, although at approximately 17hh his strength and power was shown a little too much in the dressage with frustrating canter work, but once the cross country machine steps up to intermediate Cali will find better collection and obedience from his double bridle, snaffles only permitted at CCI*.
An exciting new addition is a race horse who we are helping to strengthen up by more collective work, supplying up by flatwork and transitions and gridwork to help his straightness and engagement from behind. “Harrys” trainable attitude has attributed to him working well through grids and introduced to a few cross country fences. Racehorses are often schooled on the flat to improve suppleness and steering which is paramount to shave of seconds. Jumpers must jump economically but clean if they are to make a career on the race track, Sarah would like Harry to be an event horse, although I know trainer and owner have big hopes for him racing. Strathearn Eventing will be betting on him!!
The Hunter trials autumn season kicks off with Craigie, followed by ours and they keep going until end of October, great news to reduce the length of the winter. Good Luck to you all and I look forward to publishing our results in next edition of Equi-Ads.