Graduated and raring to go: Everyone meet Gem

Our blogger Heather didn't manage to find her Mum a horse before camp, but that didn’t stop them from having a whale of a time while they were there...

It was hot while we were at the camp, so on Friday night, we all went down to have a splash in the water complex - but I had a plan for when we got there. To tackle another corner! 

From our training with Petros a couple of weeks before, we’d found out that Socks had taken a dislike to corners. So, of course, me being me, I was now fixated on it.

I just had to jump a corner, but I did and it was fine. 

  Mia the SuperGroom came to take pictures and I’m so glad she got this one! #weargreenforjonty

Mia the SuperGroom came to take pictures and I’m so glad she got this one! #weargreenforjonty

First up the next day was show jumping with Rowena Ockenden-Day, who was lovely as always.

As it was so hot we didn’t jump particularly big and just jumped some fillers instead. 

These are the type of things we wouldn’t have had a hope of getting over first-time last year, and thankfully Socks didn’t seem to bat an eyelid!

Off to cross country!

For the cross-country, my instructor Tiny Clapham gave us all sorts of challenges, and Socks took it all in her stride. I can’t believe what a different combination we are to last year - when I started being nervous about jumping 60s and was now jumping 90s and 100s!

Toward the end of the session, Tiny asked if there was anything we wanted to work on specifically, and of course, my answer was corners.

“We’ll go down to the bottom,” Tiny said. “There are some good ones down there.” 

“How big are they?” I asked, tentatively.

“Novice!” Tiny said, with a grin.

At this point, I had to come clean. You know it’s a good session when you have to tell Tiny Clapham that you haven’t actually completed an 80 yet, so jumping Novice corners might be a bit of a stretch! We compromised with a 90 corner and a 100 palisade.

 Socks and Heather nailing the dressage together

Socks and Heather nailing the dressage together

After that it was time for dressage. 

Mum had a lesson on Socks first, working on their leg-yield.

Our weekend was topped off with Lili Brooksby-Dalby teaching us a neat little trick for our medium trot - Socks had flicky twinkle toes! I can’t wait to get out to some pure dressage and try it out. 

Finding Mum’s new best buddy

  Gem (Heather's Mum's new horse) and Socks having a chat!

Gem (Heather's Mum's new horse) and Socks having a chat!

After camp, I was on holiday for a week, but that didn’t stop Mum sending me horse adverts to follow up. The week I got back, we had three viewings booked.

The second horse we saw was the one, and thankfully she passed the vet and we brought her home a week later.

Her name is Gem, and she’s a five-year-old Welsh D x TB.

She’s settled in really really well so far, and I can’t wait to see what her and Mum get up to together!

Although, that being said, I can see her and Socks getting up to mischief as they seem to have hit it off really well…

In my next blog, it’s finally judgement time (again). That’s right - we’re having another crack at an ODE, at Keysoe this time. Find out how we got on in my next blog!

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