I haven't ridden 3 horses at 3 different levels for a while and luckily it was over two days, but it was a lot of learning -
luckily I went to Stonar School for 7 1/2 years, so I know the course pretty well!
There were some interesting changes including a new turn back on yourself at the quarry, but it was a nice new track and the horses went well.
Armani produced a lovely dressage test scoring a 32.5 and although he wasn't massively keen on the turn back to the quarry, he jumped a confident double clear with a few time faults. His next run will be West Buckland BE100 in a couple of weeks time.
After an early start to cook cocktail sausages and a busy morning riding as many as possible before we left, Jess (who owns Armani) and I had a lovely picnic which we'd decided to make to try and save money having had a very expensive 'fast food' weekend eventing previously!
Picnic baskets, thermos flasks, food, £100 and many hours of cooking later, we decided to just stick to garages and the crepe and ice cream stands!
As soon as we arrived, we quickly grabbed numbers and chucked the tack onto poor Leo, but despite a brief warm up he did a lovely test for 28...despite my accidental attempt to skip the medium trot, meaning 2 penalties for an error of course which left us on 30 :( But I was pretty pleased for a 5yo at his first attempt at Novice level.
Maybe a short warm up is the way forward with Leo, who can't really see the point of trotting in circles.
Leo then jumped a classy SJ clear, ignoring all the marquees and taking his first proper treble in his stride. Despite being on a very competitive score, I had to be realistic and give him every chance to understand the questions, so we got a few time faults XC, but he jumped an easy and accurate clear to finish 9th.
JP performed a much improved test, also taking a step up a level, to score a slightly disappointing 35. I thought his test had been better than that, but there is still a lot of room for improvement and he is sure to be very competitive at this level soon.
He had just one pole down, which is ok as he is still fairly inexperienced, and generally he jumped very well. Right at the end of a nice XC round, we had a silly glance off at an angled house, but he came straight round and popped it nicely, and although slightly disappointed, Katya and I were pleased with his first BE100 run.