Graduated and Raring to Go: It’s all in the preparation

Our blogger Heather isn't planning on slowing down anytime soon. This month, she and her horse Socks have been preparing for a one-day event at Isleham by working on jumping corners...

 Socks performs great at home but not so well when she's away at events

Socks performs great at home but not so well when she's away at events

Although we had a far quieter month compared to the May, I still had a big target in mind - the one-day event at Isleham, Cambridgeshire, which has a few tricky fences I wanted to try out. 

At the beginning of June it was Socks’ birthday. So to celebrate her turning thirteen and really not being able to use “a bit young for her age” or “green” as an excuse any more, we went cross country schooling at Milton Keynes EC.

I had Isleham on mind, as it's well known for having the scariest ditch in the area, so I wanted to make sure Socks was really was happy with jumping everything she might come across.

It turned out that ditches, drops, and even drops into water were all absolutely fine - but she was struggling a lot with corner fences. 

At first, I got a bit cross with myself. Were we ever going to have a schooling session where Socks didn't stop? Why wasn’t I just better at riding?

And then I realised that it's not that we’re going backwards or not moving forwards, it’s that everytime we go somewhere, I show Socks something new or challenge myself a little bit more. I was looking at the fences I was nervous about jumping at camp last year and thinking that I now wanted to jump bigger, so we are improving. I just forget that sometimes. 

I told myself to cut us some slack and get on with it.

After the issues we had at Aston, I organised a clinic with Phoebe, my instructor so we could work on a few things together.

Phoebe built a skinny corner with the narrow point toward the gate of our school,  and Sock's managed it fine. 

I think it was interesting for Phoebe to see how much more confident Socks is at home and so I decided that I needed to encourage this so I could help her when she was out at an event.

 Next month Heather and Socks tackle a one-day event at Isleham

Next month Heather and Socks tackle a one-day event at Isleham

I practised using my corners to balance her and push her forward and soon we were flying around the course. It was a good start and with a week to our next one-day event, I was feeling determined...

Stay tuned for Heather's next blog next Sunday...

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