We went to Hartpury a couple of weeks ago with Leo and Tiny to jump the British Novice. A couple of days before I'd had a jump lesson practicing turns to get them thinking which really brought my competitive side back out! Both were brilliant, jumping clear, and Leo did a fantastic, quick and clear jump off, coming 8th out of over 100 entries! Tiny was actually up on the clock, but my competitive side took over and I didn't balance her quite enough to the last and she had it behind. It's easy to forget they're only 4 when they always act so professionally but she probably wasn't ready to jump from that pace.
I seem to have ended up with a lot of jobs at the moment, but although busy, it's very good fun. I start at Boomerang at 6am and feed and turn out my four horses. Luckily, the three that live in fields miles away (bearing in mind it's pitch black at 6am!) are all very good and lead out as a three and wait patiently while they're all turned out in different paddocks. Then rush off to work for 7am to ride two or three lots of racehorses, then quickly home for breakfast, back to Boomerang, muck out and ride and by the time that's all done it ends up being pretty late!! There's usually a few lessons or competitions in between so it's always very busy.
On Saturday, we took Tiny to The Hand to do the British Novice and Discovery. Leo is off to Addington next week but as I'm sharing transport at the moment there's only room for one and with a 17.3hh on the lorry it made sense to take the little one! She was a little superstar. After a few high jinks in the outdoor warm up, she settled well in the indoor warm up - luckily she seems to know when she can have fun and when it's important to be good, thank god!
She was so brave, at only her third proper show jumping competition she stormed straight into the ring, looked at the viewing gallery (where people are very close to the ring), had a look at the jumps, realised why we were there and off she went. She has an unbelievable attitude for a four year old. She jumped a stunning round with just one down because I went to hold down a distance which then ended up being too long, but I rode it better in the discovery and she popped through like it was nothing, jumping another lovely round.
We got back at 3:20, and I was quite conscious that I had four to muck out, three to bring in and be at work by 4pm for evening stables! Somehow I did the mucking out and luckily grabbed a friend who brought them in and managed to arrive vaguely on time! After work, I rode Pig (my new livery) and pulled his mane for this dressage competititon the following day, leaving the yard at 8:30pm....
So, back off to work early the next morning, quickly drive back to Boomerang, bring Pig in (thank god he is a well behaved grey horse and hadn't rolled), quick tail and socks bath, leave him drying, get changed, tack on, trot him over to East Soley in the rain, reading the test that I had in my pocket on the way and unbelievably got there with 15 minutes to spare! He did a perfect warm up and two beautiful tests, finishing 2nd and 3rd.
He's not been back in work that long and this was his first time out since his last event and his first time out with me, so in theory there's lots of room for improvement which is quite exciting. He goes back to his owner for Christmas and all mine will go home for a holiday before their busy 2013 season, so at least I might have a chance to earn enough money to pay for their 2013 season while they are enjoying their rest!
As soon as we got back from East Soley, it was back to work...muck out the four of them and ride Leo before going back to do evening stables at 4pm again. I also had 2 new liveries arriving on Sunday so now I have 6 horses it really will be full on....especially now between three of us we have ended up with an entire yard at Boomerang so we've decided to do it all up and paint it and make it really homely, which although will be a lot of work it will look lovely in the end...so 'Facilities' page due shortly!