Let the Competition begin!………….So September the 7th finally arrived, and we dragged Prince across the borders into sunny South Wales for our first competition together at Mount Ballan. Prince warmed up beautifully and was so well behaved throughout the whole thing, as we entered the arena his shoulders came up as if was showing off and I actually had to half halt, but he soon settled back as soon as we got inside the white boards. We scored 70% in the Novice test and 68% in the Individual test, so both tests achieved our target scores from World Class, hence the big smile on my face in the picture below.
At home we have been working hard on the walk pirouettes, Prince finds this movement a bit tricky at the moment, as his legs are quite chunky and close together, so he keeps knocking his knees as he steps sideways, which makes him worry a bit, so the emphasis has been on keeping everything calm and relaxed to keep his confidence. So with the pirouettes slightly improved, we headed down to Windmill Farm on the 21st September in South Buckinghamshire for our second competition. The organisers altered our times slightly to avoid keep changing the arena boards, which meant we warmed up a little longer than intended and our test was going to be straight after each other without a gap, but Prince felt great during the warm up. The first test was fab but Prince was a little on the lazy side and my hip has been playing up for the past few weeks, The pain had me in tears in between the two tests as my leg had gone into spasm. I quickly had to get myself back together and it was as though Prince could tell I needed help, because in the second test, I hardly had to use my leg and he really carried me through. I was so pleased with him not just because of the test but because of how he reacted to me, plus the arena was a bit spooky, but he didn’t bat an eyelid. On the way back to the lorry I was stopped by the judge and steward, as they wanted to know what breed he was, they thought he was Welsh or Spanish, and seemed surprised that he is Friesian, which was great as we were a bit concerned that some judges may find him a bit like marmite. Well this judge certainly loved marmite, and scored us a whopping 72% in both tests, so we were all on cloud nine.
Life has a funny way of bringing you back down to earth with an almighty bump, and the day after such an amazing high came the biggest low. On the morning of the 22nd my Mum and I, for the last time went to see the beautiful Bongo at Three Counties Equine Hospital, where he had been having a scan to try to get to the bottom of his ongoing lameness. The news wasn’t good and we made the awful decision to have Bongo euthanized, a bitter end to our time together, he was a remarkable little horse that taught me so much and I will be eternally grateful to him, RIP Bongo.
The following week started more positively as I eventually started my new job after being made redundant earlier in the summer, my new role is as Sport Development Officer at Steps 2 Sport, where part of my duties will include visiting Primary schools in my region to encourage more children to get involved with sports. Its so nice to be working again, and paying my own way. On the Tuesday I had my final competition for September, which was down South again, this time at Widmer Equestrian centre. Luckily we left early because Leonie had an address for another Widmer farm in her satnav which was a 30 minute drive from the venue we should have been at, (what are the chances?). Anyway we arrived with plenty of time, and warmed up nicely although Prince was lacking a bit of energy and sparkle, I know this might sound crazy but he really becomes a showman when he is in outdoor arena or lovely bright indoor arena, I think he is a bit of a snob secretly. I don’t think he though Widmer’s indoor arena was befitting of his presence, and though although his test was good, and the walk pirouettes are definitely improving, the tests weren’t as good as the week before and we finished on scores of 67 and 66%, but you’ve got to admit he does look smart in this photo?
By the way have I told you lately how great my home team are?? last Sunday, my physiotherapist (Louise) gave up her whole morning to come out to visit me at the yard to go through some warm up exercises and to treat my dodgy hip with acupuncture. I’m so grateful to all of my team who always go the extra mile to help me, Thank You all.