Spot of show jumping? Ive finally found my brave pants and we’ve been out jumping a few times this year already. We’ve had a couple of great lessons and jumped some great clear rounds! Ive been working on keeping our rhythm the same and not letting Gerry pull his head down after fences. He likes to pull his head down and get faster to head to the next fence, he’s a cheeky wee thing! He just absolutely loves his jumping and he is so good at it. He doesn’t care what stride he is on and hasn’t touched a single pole yet, he’s so clever! I’m not challenging him much, sitting at a comfortable 80cm and 90cm in training and at clear round jumping if I’m feeling brave on the day! He is more than capable and has plenty of experience, he evented 100’s and jumped some 1:05 BS in his past life, though he hasn’t since 2012, he certainly hasn’t forgotten how to!

Training at home

He has finally started to settle down at the new yard and ive been able to relax a bit more now too now that I know its not going to be a battle before and after ive ridden. I managed to get him clipped out as he just stood there happily eating his chaff and hay. I wasn’t sure how much I would be able to get done before he started kicking off, but give him his dues he was an angel. He still has his moments when he hears something he cant see or similar, he gets a bit anxious, but really we are in a much better place and his behaviour is less erratic and more manageable. I really felt awful about moving him, and potentially part of the problem could have been that I didn’t want to move to that yard either, and my head wasn’t in it. However we are both a little happier now and hopefully Gerry will continue to improve and be more comfortable in his surroundings.

The diary is filling up for the year ahead, there is so much to look forward to. Gerry turns 16 this year, so I’m planning to do some veteran classes. I think I’m going to head in the direction of the SSADL , having met the SSADL team while we were down at Your Horse LIVE in November, they are really lovely people and I really like what they have going. They offer the opportunity to qualify for their finals at Olympia too, which I don’t consider myself to be capable of – but I love that there is the potential for amateurs to end up at prestigious events like that, and have some fun in the process winning some beautiful purple rosettes! Thankfully Gerry is in fantastic condition for his age and is showing no signs of slowing down. There is a great feeding guide for veterans on the Honeychop website, have you had a read? Sometimes, they just need that extra helping hand to keep them comfortable!

Jump training

I would also like to get out to a hunter pace or ODE this year, really find some BIG BIG brave pants!!.. I guess possibly the riding club area championships where I could compete in a BE 80T class as part of a team. Gerry adores cross country as much as he does show jumping so I think he would be totally in his element to get back out eventing (even if it is just an 80 to keep me sane!) I am really enjoying planning my year ahead, and hopefully we have as fun filled and successful time as we did in our first year together! I cant believe its been a year already to be honest, Gerry has changed so much since I got him and he is just the most loving and honest boy! He fits perfectly in to our family.

I found a lovely rug down at Your Horse LIVE in November, which team Honeychop got embroidered for me! Its super smart, cant wait to get it out and show it off! We love being part of the team and are proud to wear the Honeychop brand name!

Until next time

Grace & Gerry x

Cheeky face!