Thursday, 2 January 2014

New year, new start.

Ok, I am sorry that I have not updated this in a while. Lots has happened in my life recently, including getting a new job and buying our house; this has led to a lack of input on here. I apologise.

So May saw the show, and everything was pretty quiet then, until August, when we attempted our first dressage test. I opted to try a test through 'Interdressage' an online site whereby you complete a designated dressage test in your own ménage (or section of field etc) film it, and upload the video to YouTube. You are then judged by along with everyone else who has done the same test. I wanted to do a walk trot test with it being my first ever attempt, so I asked my wonderful instructor Claire to film us. It took three attempts to get it as good as I was willing to upload.

Then came the nail-biting 48 hours waiting to be judged.

When the score came up, I was amazed: 69.75% I was overjoyed.

There were 33 in my class and I came either 12th or 13th (can't quite remember). I was so happy to find something we could do together. The score qualified us for a championship in the September, however, Hillary started to show signs of a sore back, which when checked, told me that her lovely saddle no longer fit her. It took me quite a while to find something to fit, and now own a Heather Moffat Phoenix saddle. This is a soft tree saddle, and is quite different to ride in, however, it fits and she is comfortable. It works.

Hillary spent the summer out, and did very well from it. She loved being out, and despite my worries about her eyes, she was fine.

Finally, the winter has arrived. As we all know, due to the cold nip in the air, decreased turn out, and darkness, our beloved horses are a little sharper. I was prepared for this. Last year, I did well keeping her working, however this year, she seemed to struggle with the darkness more. She began to spook but then not calm down; the more I rode, the more worked up she became. I asked Claire for her opinion, and it was the same. It seems that Hillary is really struggling with the dark. Despite ménage lights, she still finds it incredibly difficult to concentrate without worrying.

So my anxiety began to rise again.

The problem was that with me working, the only was to exercise her was in the dark. And there was another problem: turn out. The yard where she was didn't seem to turn out if it was raining or windy.
For me, this did not meet Hillary's needs. Due to her leg, she needed to be out as much as possible. It was a very difficult decision, but I decided to leave. She must always come first.

The new yard is brilliant for turn out and she is out before 9am. Everyone is lovely and we both feel completely at home.

2014 Is an unknown, and as with all unknowns, you can't begin to predict what will happen. I hope to do another dressage test, and take part in the yard show. One thing is not an unknown: I will continue to love, care for and treasure Hillary, and I will always do right by her. I am on the up again anxiety wise, and am looking forward to keep improving :)

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