In this month's issue of Your Horse magazine, we launched our new series 'Hairy Hopefuls', with trainer Alison Short. This series is all about normal horses with normal riders who hope to do something brilliant together.
Here, we meet rider duo Kim and Martini, who've spent the winter training and are now ready to show the judges what they're made of.
I’ve been having regular lessons with our trainer, Alison Short over the winter. I find that this ensures no naughty habits creep in and has made sure we're ready for competition.
Our first show was mid-January at Oldencraig where I’d entered two novice classes. Martini didn’t disappoint and I couldn't have been prouder of her scoring 69.495% and 68.10%.
The following week we set off to Pently Wood for another two novice tests. Our scores weren’t the best and it can be easy to become disheartened, but it’s important to remember to be your own judge too.
The judges don't know your journey and are only seeing you for the five minutes you’re in the ring. On the plus side, I now have three test sheets with scores over 62% and this has completed our necessary qualification for the area festival at novice level.
Next stop, we were back at Oldencraig to do a novice and an elementary. One of my goals is to try to qualify for the Area Festival at elementary level too.
We came away with 66% in the novice and an amazing 68.36% in the elementary. Scoring an eight for her canter, just shows how far we have come, thanks to the training Alison has given us. Martini used to really struggle with canter.
I’ve planned to try and get all my qualification done before the end of March so Martini can have a break from competing and we can try and fine tune our test riding ready for the Area Festival first rounds that start in May.
At our next outing, we scored 65% in our novice test, in my opinion I thought it was worth a bit more, but that’s dressage and I was really pleased with Martini.
In the elementary I rode a very accurate test, but martini can lack a bit of oomph in her second test, so I was really pleased to score 67.74% and to finish off a great day the judge put some lovely comments on our score sheet.
Don't miss our Hairy Hopefuls series launching in the April issue of Your Horse and see what you and your horse can achieve!