Wow! What a month. Lots of exciting things happening here, so lets get caught up..

If you remember back in June in my last blog, I mentioned some changes on the yard left just Hector and one field mate in their field with tooo much grass! So he moved field, settled into his new herd well after a few days and thankfully there wasn’t too much dramatics! His new field has far less grass which will be a huge help for keeping his weight down, and its also on a bit of a slope so that will help keep his bum muscles peachy!!

We have jumped Hectors first ever working hunter with two double clears at 50 & 60cm and great placings in strong classes, even though he showed some exuberance when I asked him to gallop! The course was great and there were lots of scary things under all of the fences, I was so pleased he jumped them all! A few weeks later we did another round of workers, this time on grass at 60cm and had another clear round but he was hard work that day, I had to pony club kick him round!! Ha ha.

Most exciting news this month is that I have entered Blair Castle International Horse Trials side saddle classes. If you have been following me through the years as a Honeychop star you will know this is my all-time favourite show, and it’s a big deal for me personally to ride there again! Though my side saddle was with the saddler from April until the start of Aug, I managed to start practicing with another one. Hector has taken to it really well and we have even had our first ever virtual lesson in side saddle! I am now knuckling down to practice hard before the big competition at the end of August. I’ve been out at a show on grass and also entered some local dressage on grass sideways too, just so he is getting some more experience out and about in side saddle. As long as he behaves at Blair, I will be so pleased. I don’t mind if he’s really lazy to be honest, I want to be able to enjoy my time in the ring! The show has such a huge atmosphere and he has never been anywhere like it before. I reckon I may have some hard work on my hands persuading him to enter a temp stable!!

I am just back from a lovely short holiday to the National side saddle show down in Buckinghamshire. It was 22hrs drive as a round trip there and back..but so worth it! As side saddle is really not that hotly entertained up where we are, it is just amazing to see classes with 10-20 riders competing in them. The costume class even had 40 entries and had to be split into 4!! Unbelievable. The standard of riding is just phenomenal and its also a fantastic chance to buy all things side saddle, which you cant really do online the same. I took well over 1000 photos and you can see some of them on my Instagram account.

I have not only Blair but also an exciting new job to look forward to starting next month. It felt like time for a change and I am really looking forward to starting afresh. Off to place my order now for some more Lite & Healthy as im down to my last bag!

Hopefully next months blog will be all about our time at Blair!

Until then, keep feeding honeychop!

Grace and Hector x

Stephen Hammond Photography