Excuse me for starting by reflecting how far we have come together to get to our first BE.
In the winter my confidence was shattered. Yes I have jumped Advanced in the past but I didn't even want to canter Fliss. I spent more time crying than anything and certainly had very little enjoyment in riding. I had supportive people around me and was honest about my struggles. Fliss was an angel very patient but as a green horse did need riding.
I took her to her first XC schooling at Pontispool in the arena in the winter and she refused point blank to get her feet wet or to follow another horse in. Eventually I managed to lead her in (in short boots and it was icy cold). We ignored XC and got our confidence together show jumping.
Finally I felt ready to tackle our first BE event. Huge thanks to the team at Bicton for producing a great event with the best ground possible considering the weather. The track was top end for the level (BE80) and certainly needed riding.
It was hot and luckily Bicton has onsite stables which I was able to book. Not only did this mean she was cooler and more relaxed it also meant the back of the lorry could be used to keep the dogs cool with plenty of shade and air flowing through. With no one to leave them with we probably wouldn't have gone if we couldn't have used a stable.
Dressage warm up was kept to 15 minutes and she was going sweetly until a grey pony starting working nearby, no idea why but she took fright, her head up in the air and really spooked. Luckily she settled to go in the arena and produced a nice test for her stage of training. A bit wobbly at times but great to have a judge that rewarded the good bits so marks ranged from 5.5 to 8. Very pleased that one 8 was for my riding.
We were one of only two combinations to break the 30 mark with a 29.8 to leave us 2nd after dressage.
Show jumping was small for Fliss but was very pleased with how she jumped, sensibly neither treating them as insignificant nor over jumping. She didn't touch a pole though for a clear round.
Cross country was a decent track for the level with lots of questions particularly for a horse that was yet to have any sort of round cross country. 1 and 2 were decent size and she backed off and needed strong riding, however once away she really focused on the job in hand and took her fences on. The water was early at 7 and although she backed off for half a stride she trotted straight in and was away. The rest of the course she jumped sensibly with a big grin on her face, we took it steadily due to ground, heat and experience and clocked up 7.2 time penalties. This was still good enough to finish 3rd which I was over the moon with.
Both of mine will now be focusing on show jumping for a bit until the weather changes to make eventing more favourable. Very good point for both girls to be having a mid season break.
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