Graduated and Raring to Go: That’s enough weather for now, thanks

Come rain or shine, this week Heather learns the benefit of getting out of her comfort zone. 

I was raring to go at the beginning of the month. We went for a showjumping lesson with trainer Phoebe where Socks absolutely outdid herself - she was mega!

When we first came into the arena, Phoebe asked if I was happy with the height of the jumps.

Frankly, I was looking at them thinking we’d never make it over, but this thought came out as a vague “er, well if we drop them down a bit I could work up to it…”

I was told in no uncertain terms that we weren’t going to drop them down because I won’t learn anything in my comfort zone. Good point, I suppose. 

As it turned out, we did a long warm up over just the one fence, building up slowly until we were jumping higher than the rest of the jumps in the arena anyway.

And of course, after that, the rest of the fences looked like barely anything at all! And I only doubted myself once. Look at me go!

  The matchy-matchy wasn’t planned, just a happy coincidence. But I was still very proud of it!

 The matchy-matchy wasn’t planned, just a happy coincidence. But I was still very proud of it!

So after that, I was buzzing and ready to take on all sorts. Sadly, the Beast from the East had other ideas. I had some cross-country training booked at Ely, but that was snowed off.

Although I was gutted to not go cross country, nothing compares to the sheer joy of watching Socks roll for the first time after she’s been in for a few days.

On this occasion, Socks simply couldn’t wait to get to her field and went down for a roll as soon as we got outside the yard gates, with me still on the end of the lead rope.

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As we all know, Socks loves a roll, but I’ve never known her that desperate! Sandra came running over, thinking Socks wasn’t well, but she was just having a wonderful time!

We had a bit of a difficult time in the middle of the month after the snow blew over, as I wrote about in my last blog, but we weren’t going to let that stop us.

Towards the end of the month, I had yet more cross country booked, with Petros at Milton Keynes. And guess what? The Pest from the West rolled in. So no jumping over things for us.

I had one last chance left. My friend Rachel and I had planned to go cross country on Good Friday, and I had everything crossed as hard as I possibly could.

At the beginning of the month I’d planned to try a one-day event at the beginning of April, but by now I just wanted to jump over something, anything.

The day before, it rained. All day. But it didn’t dampen my parade! And boy, was this session worth waiting for.

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The plan wasn’t necessarily to jump anything big, but to check if our hacking training paid off - would Socks feel better about ditches and steps now?

Answer: absolutely.

The first lot of steps she barely even dithered, and bopped up and down like a pro, no problem at all! We had a little bit more stickiness jumping into water, but nowhere near as much “discussion” as before. And ditches - well, ones without water running through them - all in her stride.

There was just one problem, and it seems like it’s a bit of a theme for this month, but when we got back to the lorry, we found Socks was minus one shoe.

Boo, that put paid to my plans of a fab long weekend’s hacking!

Looks like I have no excuse to not get out there and do some competing! Well, that’s if the weather will let me…

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