So this weekend saw us at Rackham Horse Trials. It was to be a weekend of challenges; Trojan Odyssey was to tackle his first BE100, and There’s Waldo, owned by Sally Warren and Mike Burgess was to make his BE debut in the 90.
Now, Troys Saturday competition didnt quite go to plan. He performed admirably in the dressage, and warmed up brilliantly for show jumping…. But after that, the pressure started to tell. We had a bit of a cricket score show jumping, but he tried. Then it was off to his favourite phase, cross country….. but today I let him down. I hadnt adjusted his tack and schooled enough at a higher level, he is a heroic little chap that does his best and tries hard. I didn’t let him down by forcing him to do things he didn’t want to, I let him down by not teaching him enough, resulting in a slight lack of brakes! I am 100% proud of how he tried to achieve for me, whilst being mortified at my own short comings, and I apologise to anyone that saw it. The pictures alone show how much of a hero he is, how hard he tries, even when he is let down by his rider. Don’t judge the horse, judge the person that let it happen, but be proud of the size of the balls on this little fella! I am so proud of how hard he tried. We have a lot of work to do, but we will get there. He showed how much heart he has, and how much potential he has to give, and he still doesn’t think the jumps are big enough!
Now on to Sunday, and the artist occasionally known as the Waldosaurus Rex…. Dinosaur…. or just Waldo…. introducing “There’s Waldo”. This fella has big heart and a sensitive soul. He has been brought on slowly since he arrived with us in February, working on the basics (like how many legs he has), and this was to be his first real test. His dressage test was sweet and true, babyish at times with some dodgy shapes, but a triumph to his attitude.
Next it was on to my favorite discipline…. SHOW JUMPING!!!!! YAY!!!! But today felt different, we have worked long and hard on his training under the watchful eye and guidance of ever patient trainer Caroline, and as soon as we got in the warm up, I knew it had all been worth it. The arena turned out to be a little spooky to start with, but he settled into it and started to listen swiftly. We popped into canter and he proceeded to give me one of the most relaxed and accurate show jumping rounds I have had in a long while, with one very unfortunate pole (100% rider error!).
Now cross country time! Normally the bit I can’t wait for…. but today, I was nervous! I was expecting a few problems from such a green horse, but he soon showed me he was more than up to the task and took on every obstacle with a really positive, forward thinking attitude. We just need contract him to cover the ground a bit more now to avoid those pesky time penalties. I am really keen to see what the future holds for him.
A huge thank you to the owners of these two magnificent beasts, for allowing me to take them out and play. A huge thank you goes to Duncan Riley (Duncan the Farrier) for sorting Waldo’s feet out for me last night after he decide to try and rip all of his shoes off!
We learnt some lessons this weekend, but these boys made me proud. We had highs together, and we had lows together, but whatever we did, we did it together. We will not be defined by success or failure, we will be defined by our ability to learn from everything we do, so we can do better next time. Bring on Brightling!!!!