A little bit about us;
I am extremely excited to say that I have been given the opportunity to be a part of the Equine Academy at Writtle University College starting 2019/20. Being a part of this Academy will allow me to have more exposure to training sessions, nutritional advise, fitness coaching and most importantly be surrounded by not only knowledgable and experienced people, but others that share the same interests as me!
So, for at least this year (and hopefully following years to come) my journey that I share with Dolly through the Academy will be documented in this space.
At this point, I feel I should introduce you to ‘Dolly’, the trusty steed in which I am sharing this wonderful journey with. Dolly is a 15.3 warmblood x thoroughbred, 11 year old mare. I have had the pleasure of owning Dolly for 3 years and it would be an understatement to say that the last 3 years have been challenging but undoubtably brilliant. For at least the first year and a half of owning Dolly we were just training and competing at low level shows. I had never ridden anything like her so it look longer than I anticipated to gel with her. Over the last year and a half we have really started to click and began to progress up the showjumping heights. In doing so, I joined the British Showjumping Association and begin jumping Dolly in the British Novice rounds. It was clear that this was very easy for her. We very soon moved up to Discovery and 105cm. We stuck at these heights for quite a long time mainly because the thought of jumping 1.10m always seemed almost impossible to me. Nonetheless, in March 2019 we decide to give it a go and believe it or not we went clear. At any opportunity given since then, I have competed her at Newcomers (1.10m) and she is doing very well at this height. The reason way I say ‘at any opportunity given’ is because I decide to give eventing a go this season…
Eventing… wow, where do I start. In all honesty, I have always wanted to event. The thought of doing three disciplines in one day always excited me. But, I had always assumed that you needed a very flashy horse accompanied by an equally flashy horse box, various sets of tack and the list goes on. But in reality, all you need is passion for the sport. In November last year, I began working for a event rider local to me. I was lucky enough to move Dolly there with me and essentially watch and learn how it’s done. More than anything this gave me more drive to give it a go myself! I Started my season at Swalcliffe park on March 17th – we did an ok dressage to score 34% followed by clear showjumping. At this point it was all going far too well as we got eliminated on the cross country course before we had reached jump number 7… this result did not dishearten me in the slightest as I have continued to event her this whole season. Our dressage scores have only decreased from 34% we have (almost) always gone clear in the showjumping and Dolly is really starting to gain confidence running round the cross country. So much so that we may have even picked up a few top 10 placings! In actual fact, this season has gone so well that we have also managed to move up to BE100 just half way through our first ever season. This is an achievement that I will forever be proud of.
So, with this introduction part over – my overall aim with this blog is to create a space online where I can share the highs and lows of owning and still competing a horse whilst studying for an equine degree at Writtle University College and I hope you enjoy following my journey!