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Cirencester BE

Posted: 27 Mar 2022 - Comments (0)

Well who expected such amazing summer weather and near perfect ground for our first BE of the season in March. Also rather excitingly a new event for us at Cirencester Park. It didn't start that well as we missed the turn to the event off the main road and did a rather long detour before we realised meaning we arrived on site with less than an hour to dressage. Luckily I had already ridden her that morning at our nearby stabling and we had only planned a short warm up.

I know how much my dressage has improved and her way of going, I was really disappointed then to go in the arena and she became a bit tense and running forward then there was too much hand and the tight frame came back. I didn't feel I tensed up but something changed and although we scored 33.8 we ended up 36th out 42 albeit in a red hot section of top riders. I am a big step forward from last year in that I know we are working at home that much better we now need to produce it in the arena. Hoping to set up a grass arena at home to try and at least get the feel of the tests in the correct size arena. Also on the next outing we are doing intermediate novice which means I can give the double bridle a whirl. Anyway the test.

Plenty of time to walk the course before show jumping and get a feel for a lovely event. Show jumping itself was in an atmospheric arena and considering the standard only 41% were going clear. Fliss maintained her excellent record in this phase jumping a smart clear round.

Cross was a nice early season Novice, it was up to height but not overly technical although a tricky box fence to corner caught a few out. The water was also strong and considering where we have come from in the early days when she would only paddle in after me it was a fence I was wary of. A big solid log directly into water. My fears were not eased when walking the course poor Kitty King came back soaked through after a fall in the said water and she wasn't the only one. 

There had been a couple of delays on course and XC warm was crowded, numbers were going down rather than time order and I had 18 in front of me. I didn't feel too bad when I realised I forgot my watch so meandered back to the lorry to fetch it. It a tough one when things get behind as multiple riders (there were a lot at Cirencester) have to get through but at least another 12 multiples were put in front of us meaning a real lengthy wait for those single horse riders and a few horses really went off the boil. Fliss was a proper pro and switched off but when there were finally 5 to go she was all systems go and ready to rock.

I knew from dressage we weren't in contention for a place so intended to just let her cruise round and not worry re the time. What can I say she skipped round and really enjoyed it. I was getting braver with good forward strides until fence 8 when I saw a real long one and she had to chip in, that got me focused better and she cruised through the water with no hesitation. The box to corner was easy and just jumped out of her stride finishing bang on the optimum time. We were one of 7 combinations in the section to finish on our dressage to move up to a very respectable 14th place. 

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Dressage training

Posted: 19 Mar 2022 - Comments (0)

Really feel we are progressing in the dressage at home. Huge thanks to Andrew Lovell for the ongoing patience and support.

Whilst it is nice to see the improvement in her way of going, balance and outline I still hate watching the videos back. Why are we our own worst critics? All I see is the sack of spuds riding that looks lumpy, uneven hands and legs stuck forward. Whilst I tell myself the huge improvements have come from my riding I still get frustrated what I see.

Anyway some proper lightbulb moments this time. It seems as we started a movement I was leaning in on the turn, to sit up and go with her made such as difference as did ensuring I was looking ahead and not done at what she was doing. I may not like what I see but it is getting there.

We were meant to be at Duchy putting it into practice today but she managed to take her shoe off in the field and whilst it didn't save her from the lesson it has saved her from the competition! A week today we have our first BE of the season and we follow William Fox Pitt in the dressage- don't think he has anything too much to worry about!

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Back to Bicton

Posted: 14 Mar 2022 - Comments (0)

Fabulous day at the BS Devon Area 50 at Bicton Arena yesterday. The trouble with advance entries is you have to make up your mind a bit in advance when you are going to be brave and step up, then you have a week or so to worry about it.

Well this was me for the first time together we went in at Foxhunter level and I thought it was a decent track. It wasn't a track that suited us for speed so jumped round steadily for a lovely double clear (1 time fault).

I had then entered the next class our first 1.30 together! It was a pick your own line so you had to jump all 9 fences in the quickest possible time going through start and finish. I just wanted to jump round a bigger course, a couple particularly the green planks were over 1.30.

What can I say she is just mega and popped round making it feel very easy not touching a pole. In a class of 10 we even managed 5th place so in the prize money as a sponsored class (Thanks to Powerboat & RIB Magazine) I may be an eventer at heart but finding this show jumping lark great fun.

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Bicton BS

Posted: 2 Mar 2022 - Comments (0)

Had a really good jumping show on Saturday at Bicton. The courses were testing and the jumping competitive so never expected to come away with two second places!

1.10 Open

The 1.20 was a proper decent track so not quite sure why I got carried away in the jump off but she answered all the questions so well.

We won £90 so more or less paid for the day which is always a big bonus. 

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Course Pictures

Posted: 19 Feb 2022 - Comments (0)

I have for many years now (probably more than 10) uploaded courses from BE events and shared them via Shoestring for the eventing community to see. It has been a very popular resource and really given Shoestring its name and and reach. However with digital technology advancing I can no longer keep up with the likes of cross country app and it is time to call it a day and let the more advanced platforms do the work. I realise there is a cost element to having some of these apps but equally realise the time and commitment needed to keep up. In the event season I could spend 10 or more hours a week loading pictures and that is just not sustainable any more.

The present database will remain in place for viewing but will be closed for further additions. Thank you to everyone that has helped contribute courses over the years.  

Site Stats

  • 10-years of events in the database between 2011 and 2021
  • there are 1,192 galleries,
  • just short of 71,000 photos stored.

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Pontispool Training

Posted: 14 Feb 2022 - Comments (0)

Pontispool has one of the best arena XC set ups and very lucky to have it in striking distance from home (2 hour drive). They usually have fences 70cm to 1m but last week they built some bigger combinations and was a good chance to get Fliss to have a taste of solid fences. The weather was kind and we met Sarah Thorne for a session. Much as I am probably capable of training on my own I do much prefer to have a good eye on the ground and Sarah gives some really insightful feedback.

Fliss was on fire really up for it, bold and focused and gave me a great feel. 6 weeks to our first event and certainly feeling well prepared for this part of the season.


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