- 19th April 2016 by Rowen Barbary
And we are away!!! - Sarah Tomkins
March has seemed a long month which thankfully started with me getting my driving licence back after a health technical hitch since the beginning of December.
I had to put all my freelance riding and teaching on hold so it's all go again with no rest for the wicked!
We made the 4 hour trip down to our first event in Cambridge at Isleham Horse trials where we stay with friends for 3 days, consumed wine, share stories and ate lots of delicious meals. I was entered to ride Cathy's homebred mare but she was sold a few days before so it was just Holly in the Novice and Lulu in the BE100, the girlies were fresh to say the least and we lost Lulu in the lorry park before we started. Luckily she's no loony so she only cantered around making sure everyone knew she had arrived and then came back to the lorry in time for a quick work in before dressage which was also a little fresh. We were last to compete in the BE100 so I was worried about running as the showjumping had become very deep and was causing some real problems and horses looked uncomfortable but Lulu was OK in the warm-up so I didn't over jump and decided that a good forward rhythm would get me around... Which it did and she jumped very nicely, unfortunately rolling 3 poles, we went on to the xc for a fab clear. I am very happy to have Lulu back in full fitness and thrilled she got talent-spotted.
Holly competed on the Sunday achieving an average test as she was tense but then did a fantastic show jumping round just rolling the last pole. We then had an unsuccessful xc, she felt brilliant but the water was very early on and included a log in the water which Holly took a dislike to so I walked away, she felt good and I decided another trip schooling isn't a problem and at least her showjumping showed a massive improvement.
Straight on the drawing board and the following week we were up at Somerford park farm with Holly and also Brady for his first schooling session, Holly was truly awesome.
In-between competing we have taken in new schooling and sales liveries and have been busy doing maintenance on the yard getting the arena re-fenced and my track fenced, it's all coming along nicely but it does mean working twice as hard as timber is so expensive.
I'm very excited that my yard is improving all the time though.
Next event was Lincoln Horse Trials, another 3 1/2 hour journey. There was a very cold wind but the ground was fantastic. Lulu stormed around the BE100 giving me a pull and kick-free XC round for 7.2 times to fast, unfortunately, we rolled two silly small poles in the show jumping but onwards and upwards......Weston park novice next.
Holly was still a little fresh in the dressage but got an okay 33% to then jump her first clear Show Jumping round in a very long time, the novice XC was up to height and quite technical but she gave me a fantastic ride and we were really enjoying ourselves making nothing of the combinations OR the water but then very near to home took a massive dislike to a John Deere tractor, we only use red ones at home... Gutted as would have easily made a top 5 placing but I can honestly say she feels her best ever, this is the dreaded fence.
As Holly has been so fresh in the dressage I entered her into a RC dressage qualifier at Medium level, we started practising half past the week before as this was our first attempt at Medium, she pulled out all the stops giving me an impressive ride for 1st place with 69.45%
The same day I rode Hazel Radfords Raya in the combined training competition, I've only been back riding her this month so this was her first jumping competition and considering we had no shoes in torrential rain she jumped beautifully so a very successful day for my Dolfor riding Club.
I have 10 horses in with a couple due to go home this week, along with teaching and freelance. Neo and Joey have been just ticking over but I am hoping I can put a lot more into them during April as I have a little more help on the yard.
Milly has been riding a lot threw March and has done the PC Easter rally whilst I taught another group and like her mum had another pony to ride in one session!
We have consumed a large amount of Easter eggs over Easter and I hope everyone else can say the same!