28th September 2018

How can it be blog time again already? I feel like all the months are passing so quickly at the moment, there is hardly time to stop and think!

September’s been a reasonably quiet month for us. Though we have still made it out on an outing! This month we decided to take a step in a different direction, the dressage direction! One of my friends mentioned she was going along instead of heading to one of our local annual shows, and so we decided we would join in too! It was a dressage festival, where you ride two tests in two different arenas with different judges, then your scores are combined and you are given an overall placing. We haven’t done any dressage together yet, and I’ve hardly schooled at all really since I owned Gerry. We’ve just established the basics and formed our partnership. Although we have done some showing throughout the summer, dressage is a totally different ballgame! The horses really need to be balanced in their paces, and Gerry’s not quite there yet. We “entered at A in working trot” and rode a reasonably consistent first test. The surface on both the warm up arena and the test arena was awful, it was really deep and uneven, I was actually a bit worried for Gerry, I sadly wouldn’t go back to that venue, which is a shame as there aren’t many other places so close by. Gerry coped well and although I didn’t feel delighted with how the first test went, I was still pleased that I remembered the test and that Gerry did everything I had asked, in fact, the judge felt our test was worthy of a 70% score!!! I couldn’t believe it, I was so chuffed with that and it gave me a little boost before our second test later on. I was happier with the second test, but under a different judge we scored slightly less on 67%, but it was still a great score! We placed 3rd and 4th individually, which was a super result with 18 riders in the section, but not only that… we placed 2nd overall with our consistent scoring and were also awarded reserve champion!! Our first sash! I’ve wanted for a sash for my whole life, never did I ever expect it to be won in dressage! It was a really great feeling. Gerry has just turned out to be so perfect for me, and he has now won me my first sash too, that was a great day, I’m now looking forward to working on some schooling over the winter and will hopefully get out to do some more dressage too, I quite enjoyed it, it was nice to have a ride time allocated as well, instead of the hours of waiting around you can endure when out showing.

Dressage

Dressage

On a less pleasant note, Gerry’s had a little bit of thrush in his hooves, thankfully we managed to spot and treat it quickly, I think its just been with the dramatically changing weather. It was an important reminder to always keep an eye on their hooves, and I’m super cautious now when picking them out to make sure im checking for any changes. His feet are overall looking better now than when he first arrived in November last year, and he’s really muscled up and is looking really healthy just now, hopefully we can keep hold of that over the winter. Good feeding really makes such a difference to a horse, and making sure you are feeding your horse right is vital. If you need any feeding advice, the team at Honeychop would be more than happy to help. Their vast range of chaff products has something to suit every horse or pony and the team are always on hand to answer your questions. I’m looking forward to flying back down to Honeychop HQ in November, I’ve been roped in to help out at Your Horse Live again, and I cant wait! I had such a great time with the team the last time I was down, and It was amazing to see the Honeychop base and see the chaff being made with my own eyes, it made my love for the company grow even more.

October is just on the doorstep now, and we have the Caledonian Showing Championships on the weekend of the 13th. It’s a great show, held a couple hours down the road in Fife, with draped arenas, disco lights and evening performances. My side saddle class is held in one of the evening performances, so I’ll get to glitz up my side saddle attire and rock some sparkle! Hopefully Gerry will behave himself and we will end our show season on a high. I’ve entered a working hunter class too, since we will be making the journey I thought it would be worth entering a second class. Gerry will enjoy his jumping too!

Evening jumping

So you’ll have to come back next month to find out how we got on! Until then, stay warm!

Grace and Gerry x