We got away on the boat on the 17th June. We were kindly leant a Land Rover Discovery by Mylchreest Motors to pull Anamour in the trailer, the sailing was nice & calm, we arrived at Heysham at around midnight & had to drive down to Knutsford to put Mr G in a stable for the night before our drive down to Vale View. We got to Vale View the next day without a hitch & Mr G settled in nicely, he went out with George for the afternoon, and I took him out for a hack the next day, while riding along the bridle path I was faced with a little fox trotting along towards me, as we don’t have foxes on the Isle of Man I’m not used to seeing them, so it was a nice surprise to see one so close.
Monday was when the hard work started, I had two lessons with Julie, one in the morning & one in the evening, Julie had a ride on anamour in the evening lesson to get a feel for what he was like. He was moved over to the Dressage yard & as he hadn’t really lost his winter coat he got clipped as he would’ve been a bit uncomfortable with all the work in his woolly jacket. Tuesday I had a lesson with Andrew Fletcher & we went through bits of my tests. Wednesday I had a lesson with Ian Woodhead & Thursday I had another lesson with Julie in the morning & Ian in the evening, poor Mr G wasn’t sure what’d hit him, all that work. Friday I took him for another hack & saturday we ran through my tests.
So Sunday, time for the competition. Lucky for me Sara plaited him up for me, my plaits can be a bit dodgy, but I’m working on them, it’s quite hard to plait up when your right hand doesn’t want to work properly. After warming up in a busy arena it was time for my test, I decided to use my snaffle bridle as he’s been hiding behind the contact in his double & seems to tense up in walk. It was a good choice as we came away from the warm up class with 70.95% & first place. We then did our second test, this was the qualifier for the Nationals, I thouught my test went pretty well & I got 66.43%, another good score, but not quite good enough, two other riders were joint first with68.33% I wasn’t very far behind & I was really chuffed with our scores, I haven’t had him very long really so it was a great result & shows our partnership is blossoming.
Anamour stayed at Vale View for another week of training & then we took him back up to Knutsford on the 5th July for Myerscough on the 6th. I plaited him up & we got on our way on Weds morning, the traffic was nice & quiet so we were at Myerscough in just over an hour. I didn’t have very long to warm up though by the time I’d tacked up etc, but we did our first test & it felt good, all though I didn’t think I’d got medium trot. My second test didn’t feel to great, he got a bit stuck in his turn on the haunches & again my medium didn’t quite feel so good as it did when we were doing it around the outside of the arena before the horn went,typical. I’d decided to put his double on him as he’d been quite strong the day before, I think I’ll stick to his snaffle though in future para tests. We won both classes, 69.05% in the warm up & 64.76% in the qualifier, unfortunately not enough to qualify for the Nationals, but we’re showing promise. I got my first 9 too so that softened the blow of not qualifying, it was for halt rein back, I was way happy with that.
I’ve also purchased a wagon to get me & Mr G around, it’s automatic, I was lucky that my aunty Kath spotted it in the Farmers Guardian, as auto horseboxes at a decent price are rare as hens teeth. It carries two horses & has fab living, Rodney can now come travelling with me instead of sulking at home, very exciting, here’s a pic.
We got home with Mr G yesterday, I was relieved it wasn’t blowing a hoolie as I really wanted to get my horse home & I didn’t want to puke on the boat!! I think he’s happy to be home, but he can think again if he reckons he’s going back to happy hacking, sorry Mr G, but the hard work is just beginning!!!