After a successful year, our season finished with a busy October. We competed at the Quest Regional finals, where we qualified for the My Quest Championships at Bury Farm and were delighted to finish 5th in the Novice. We also competed at the Area Festival Finals won our Novice class, giving us a direct qualification to the Area Festival Championships in April. However, camping at a show in October in the middle of a storm isn’t recommended!
October also saw Sherbert and I taking a trip to Aston-Le Walls for my Dengie competition winners’ day. I had fabulous lessons with Dengie ambassadors Hannah Esberger-Hancock and Lucy Jackson, who are both amazing trainers and gave me plenty to take home and work on to help me with competition season ahead. Sherbert had his nutritional assessment with Claire Akers from Dengie and loves his new diet plan.
Sherbert had November off and came back into work at the beginning of December with a fresh clip, lots of hacking and a trip to the beach, which he really enjoyed! He also had his jabs, his teeth done and a massage to ensure he was in top form to start our competition preparation. I was all set for our first dressage training session of the year, but then Sherbert went lame. Typical! Luckily with a few days rest he was sound again, so let the training commence!
I find it very difficult to ride on weekdays during the winter due to the limited daylight hours, so I’m really looking forward to the spring. However, the dark evenings have given me time to start planning my season ahead, including the shows I hope to attend to get my qualifications at Novice and Elementary. I’ve also mapped out a training schedule working up to the Petplan Championships in April, so although I haven’t competed through the winter months, I’ve still been busy planning for 2018.
Sherbert is looking and feeling fantastic, all thanks to his Dengie diet, and I’m really looking forward to the season ahead.
Natalie and Charlie
Happy New Year everyone! I’ve got one New Year’s resolution and I’m firmly set out to tackle it head-on – to get Charlie fit and ready to compete again, and step up to 1.20m classes by the end of the year.
We’ve had some real ups and downs since our Dengie training day in September. We’ve been working on our schooling homework from Dengie ambassador, Hannah Esberger-Hancock, and Charlie is definitely straighter and more supple as a result.
We’ve also been competing and our first competition went brilliantly – we had a fantastic round, putting everything Dengie ambassador, Lucy Jackson, taught us at the training day into action. It was very clean and fast, but I let Charlie get a bit long to fence 11 and we tipped it, incurring four faults – a good lesson learnt!
Our next competition went just as well, until I forgot the course (always walk your course!) and sailed past fence seven – oops! We picked up 14 time faults for that, but Charlie jumped clear otherwise and I went home happy.
Third time lucky…or not. Alarm bells rang when Charlie reared before going into the arena and he then proceeded to launch me into the first fence, despite my best efforts at a good canter. Rearing is always a sign that Charlie’s hurting somewhere, so he’s had some quiet time and a vet visit, including more hock injections and acupuncture. Fingers crossed he comes back fighting fit in the next couple of months, but least his Dengie diet means he is happy, healthy, and shiny inside and out!
Heather and Taz
Catch up with the Dengie ambassadors again next month!