“No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle”
“No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle”
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So, it would seem I have dropped the ball somewhat with my blogging recently…. I am sure you have all missed me terribly! Horsey life is always a million miles an hour chaos but the last few months have been even more so.
When I last wrote it was following Golden Pony’s win at Stafford and then him scooping up 2nd at Frickley. Since then many things have happened, we got a late entry for Skipton and he only went a bloody won again! I would give you a full run down of how the day went but honestly it feels like a life time ago, so one can only assume it went pretty well.
From there it was all change, we had a blip while training (when I say blip I do of course mean catastrophically bad riding causing total disaster) and I landed Goldie in a pickle even he couldn’t get out of. Luckily all damage done was superficial, although I’m not sure he felt too lucky when he had several stitches in his leg and ended up being held hostage in his stable on box rest. Anyway, that was the BE100 runs out of the window! And he missed out on taking part in the BE90 Yorkshire Challenge at Frickley which we were so looking forward to.
Whilst Goldie was getting accustomed to his 4 walls we had to do some entry shuffling around for Bold Heath. Little Lillie got drafted in for the BE80 and Spyder got bumped up to BE90, nothing like in at the deep end. We filled Big Val to the brim with ponies and off we went to Bold for a full team outing. Zena and Diddi joined Lillie and I doing the BE80 and Ally and Gina did the BE90 with Spyder and I. Lillie’s dressage at this stage was very much a perfect impression of what a runaway llama would look like; we did however manage to keep it together as much as we could have hoped and I was quite happy for a score that wasn’t in the 40’s. One down in the showjumping because I totally let her down at a combination (shock Abi messes up in the showjumping again). And then a super bold round on the cross country, I mean we may have total skipped passed the second part of a double, so we came home with a cricket score, but it’s not always about the scores. I was over the moon with her and absolutely loved every second on the cross country. Zena and Diddi jumped a cracking double clear and she was loving life so much on the cross country she came home way too fast knocking her down the placings, but she did get herself their first rosette out eventing together!! Many more to come next season for them!
Then it was time for Spyder to pull up his big boy pants and brave the BE90. We hadn’t been eventing together as a partnership before and he had only been around a couple of BE80’s with Ally so it was a big ask for him. He warmed up beautifully in the dressage, but when we went in we found our self in the arena next to Ally and Gina; Spyder spent a lot of his test shouting at Gina to let her know how well he was doing. Despite him being a little distracted he still put in a respectable score of 30.8 (not quite the 25 dressage Ally got on him but you can’t have everything). Now your going to find this hard to believe…….but……… I completely rode the showjumping like a lemon again. I know you’re all beyond shocked!! So another 4 faults for me! Ally had prepped me for cross country, basically ride like my life depends on it at the first few and then he would be away. So I did, and I was so elated to have made it over the first flying, I may have forgotten to pay attention at the second. Ally and Gina also fell victim to 4 faults in the showjumping which they didn’t deserve unlike me, and then after storming around the cross country and arriving home a little too fast like Zena some naughty time penalties saw them pushed out of a rosette position.
Ill give you a quick low down on what has happened since Bold otherwise we could be here all day! So Lillie went to Frickely (2) for her second event and was a little pro; dressage was still a runaway giraffe but it was getting there. Goldie was back in work now but not fit enough to have a run yet, so we decided the season was over for him.
Then Lillie and I had a stab at Kelsall Hill BE90 because we had a very special hen do to attend at the weekend, so our only option was to run Friday or not at all (When I got up at 5am to rain and howling winds I must admit I wish I had opted for not at all!). Never the less we went, I rode like a I was trying to strangle her in the showjumping which subsequently lead to a demolition derby, but she absolutely flew round cross country. Now if you look at Lillie’s record on paper you make thing she is a 3-legged runaway giraffe with a potato for a rider (half true #potatolife), but if you got to go cross country on this little machine you would think totally differently. With that in mind I would like to announce that I decided to buy her because I think she is going to be an absolute star. I just have to survive a winter of taming her inner giraffe to master the stressage but I’m always game for a little challenge.
My purchase of little Lillie was also somewhat of a coping mechanism for the fact I just made a huge leap into adulthood and bought a house. That’s right a house. I figured what better way than to cope with having no money for the foreseeable future than to buy a horse, natures biggest money pit.
And this brings us to the hyperventilating. Now many of you will know and have seen the mental health awareness focus going around now and with World Mental Health Day just the other week I thought I may as well add to the awareness. I think of myself as a strong person, I generally do what I want, and I don’t bother about what other people think about it. I love all things horsey as I’m sure you have gathered. But this year we have been incredibly busy, which isn’t particularly anything new, and I have been putting a lot of time and effort into everything I’ve been doing. Event season consists of a distinct lack of sleep and a hell of a lot of work to be done. Throw into the mix buying a house and everything just got a bit on top of me last month. I found myself having a bit of a meltdown to the point of breaking down a couple of times a day for no real reason. I am very lucky that I am surrounded by amazing people, I have really supportive family, friends who are there at the drop of a hat and a brilliant team of ponies and people. I feel luckier than ever to have such a strong support team around me because they were all there when I needed them and helped me though a time where I totally hit a wall. The whole situation has brought home to me how important it is to talk to those around you when you are in a sticky spot. I have met so many close friends though riding and I really do thing of the horse community as a massive family. It is hard work to juggle horses around everyday life and I cannot stress enough how helpful it is to reach out to people when you are in need because I assure you they will do everything they can to help.
Now that I have my deep overshare out of the way back onto the subject of the Golden pony. Event season was all over for him but then we remembered he had qualified for the BE80 Blue Chip Championships when he ran at Kelsall at the start of the season. He was back fighting fit now so we figured why not take him for one last blast to end the season on our terms. Gina and Goldie had both bagged a qualification and we set sail for Weston Park. He seemed to be on his best behaviour he must have missed coming eventing with us. Our dressage was not to be sniffed at this time, I was determined to nail those downward transitions unlike last year when we showed the judge what Goldie would look like from below. Transitions suitably nailed and just a wonky halt to kick myself for we pulled 27.5 out of the bag which was our hottest score of the season. Only one major “why are you like this in the showjumping Abi?!” moment and he maintained his faultless showjumping record for the season. Ally and I were the last competitors to go in our section so cross country was not until 6pm. The sun was very low and from fence 4 to 10 we were contending with not being able to see a whole lot. I took my most used method of if in doubt just gallop and Goldie was with me on this. If you go fast enough the fences are all a blur anyway so you don’t need to see them. Goldie was absolutely on fire, he was loving being back on a cross country course and stormed round. To top it all off I used my stopwatch correctly for a change so gold star for me, and we were clear in the time. Much to my surprise we had climbed all the way up to silver position just 0.2 behind the winner (damn you wonky halt!!) thanks to the double clear dream that is the Golden Pony. It was a fabulous way to see the season off and I got to stand on a podium and we got loads of goodies of Blue Chip!
With the end of the eventing season it can only mean the dreaded winter of stressage is looming now, 2 words that fill me with dread! #prayforabi
Goldie with his big boy pants on cross-country schooling
Lillie’s cross-country game face
Me living the dream on a podium
Team AC #squadgoals
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We are proud to offer you this stunning BAROQUE dressage saddle. Designed for Andalusian/ Lusitano/ Friesian types. Part of the exciting Chunky Monkey Saddles range.
Chunky Monkey Baroque Monoflap Dressage Saddle
Fully ADJUSTABLE Tree
Blue and Grey
This example is brand new and available for immediate dispatch.
Click here for more information
Beautiful photos of brand ambassador Abi Clare and Lillie at Frickley BE. Thank you to David Shard for the photos
“We ran in the BE80. Dressage happened and all legs remained in the area and all moves were done in the correct place and order which is always a bonus! A fence down in the showjumping due to the rider being a numpty! And then a super bold xc round to finish just outside the rosettes in 11th.”