Where to start! It’s been a long and slow process getting back into competition fitness following a bad fall off a young horse on New Year’s Day – not the start to 2016 I had planned! Having previously broken my back things take a lot longer to heal and I’m pleased to say I’m finally getting there!

It meant I wasn’t able to take Billy to the Winter Regional Finals, something I train hard to get to, so it was disappointing, however I’m hoping we have many more ahead of us!

We finally returned to the competition circuit a few weeks ago at Eland Lodge to win the Advanced Medium 90 on 68.5% I was delighted with the score considering a few costly errors. This gained us 5 points and over half the points required for Summer Regional Qualification in 1 outing.

So decision time! I had intended on aiming for the Area Festivals at this level due to the slow start to the season, however gaining such a good result I’ve decided to head out for another test to try and complete Regional Qualification. If we do we do if we don’t we don’t! I have different aims for this year, I have stared shopping for a tailcoat eek!! Taking the plunge is hard as I can’t bare not doing well and competitiveness for me unfortunately eats away at me! It’s something I’ve been working hard at and try to be happy with the fact I’ve trained my boy to that level, however the little demons in my head keep nagging at me that just ‘having a go’ isn’t an option!!

Training is going well with all of the boys, Donny my little Dutch pony is slowly but surely gaining confidence (and weight!) and I’m not far off ready to start his ridden work. I’ve sat on him in the stable and he was fairly chilled about the whole thing so fingers crossed!! The ugly duckling is becoming a swan thanks to fantastic products from sponsors Equus Healthcare. Otis is doing amazingly well, since our accident he became totally frightened by life and nothing short of dangerous to ride! I enlisted the help of one of the most inspirational people I have ever met -Mickey Gavin, who was recommended to me and man what a difference! I’ve changed my whole approach to training and how important ground work is and we’ve been doing lots of flag training which is making him much less spooky! That combined with my amazing husband Dan who has helped us both immensely, we are now getting there again.

Billy and I went for training with Pico Hannover who came over from Germany and it was amazing! We gained so much from the lesson I can’t wait to go again in August and show him our improvement (hopefully!)

As ever with horses, its one step forwards and two steps back, but at the minute the dressage side of the yard seems to be progressing in the right direction!

The eventers are also in great form, Oscar has been placed at all of his starts so far this season, narrowly missing out on a win at Shelford two weeks ago. Bailey is consistent as ever in the dressage and cross country but does still struggle with the distances in the show jumping, being so big and not strong enough to collect the canter enough yet, but he is getting so much better. Pete has taken to the eventing business brilliantly and was placed 9th at Brand Hall last weekend in a very tight section. Fraam was second at Eland Lodge Open ODE in which the show jumping and cross country were absolutely huge!!! She took it all in her stride though and was awesome, pity she added her own extra moves in the dressage but hey ho the loose horses behind the hedge were a bit too much for her to cope with so she bronked around most of the test!!

Oscar heads to Speetly this weekend and then they all head to Eland Lodge in a few weeks. Fraam has the Hunter Trials at Eland Lodge next weekend so all systems go!

On the other side of the job, I’ve recently completed a level 3 Pilates Instructor Course to enable me to complete the Equipilates Biomechanics course in October. I’m so excited to do this! Rider alignment sessions are proving to be hugely popular, as are the weekly pilates classes. Equipilates has helped me so much following my injuries, I really don’t think I would be riding still now without it, I love it!!

Feel free to come and join us and improve your balance, stability, core strength and performance in the saddle. Contact me for details

Jo x