Finally home from Allerton Horse Trials with the wonderful Dwinababes. 🧡
Lots to learn and plenty of mistakes but we have just completed our first Advanced!!!
My ramblings, thoughts, positives etc from the weekend. Apologies for the long post!
The most important thing to me is that Dweens is happy. And I won’t truly be happy with our weekend until mon/tues when I can assess her and see that she is all ok and has no tweaks or niggles from the weekend. She is incredibly important to me and her being fit, sound and happy makes all our outings end on a positive one even if they don’t go to plan. I’m an optimistic person and will always find positives! My horse being happy is most definitely the main one! 😍Edited to add that she is feeling fab and recovered brill from her weekend ☺️
Headed down to Allerton on sat only to meet a road closure and detour taking us 5 hours instead of four to get down to the stabling. Weatherby racecourse is lovely although Dweens didn’t like the shredded paper bedding so much!
Dropped her off and drove over to Allerton to walk the course.
In a random ‘I’m 40yo, Dwina is going well this season and you never know what’s around the corner’ type of moment I actually checked to see if I was eligible to ride in the advanced 🙈 errrr when did that ever become a possibility.... 🙈 so it turns out I am. And with that in mind I thought I might just walk the Advanced and see what it looked like...
Not going to lie. Some of these fences were huge! But most looked perfectly jumpable so I went and asked if I could move sections which was confirmed and immediately I felt slightly sick!! 🤢 Back to the stables to learn my dressage test and a restless night riding it (and the xc) in my head!
Getting up this morning I was slightly disappointed that Dwina hadn’t found the stabling and paper to be satisfactory. She hasn’t done the usual rolling or laid down to sleep so cue a bit of inner worry that I was now doing too much (those pesky mind games you play on yourself!! 😬). She seemed happy enough though despite my worry so plaited, loaded up and headed over to the showfield.
Went for my number and saw the intermediate showjumping. Thought ‘hmmm that looks decent, oh wait, it’s going to be bigger for mine, oh crap crappity’. And then quickly walked away .......then checked the rule book and repeatedly told myself it would only be one hole higher...
Dressage first. Was lovely to ride in a long arena. It’s definitely easier for us. Considering we can’t do flying changes I was pretty happy that we got 46.5. Obviously plenty to improve on but I’m definitely much better at riding through some tension and allowing us to pull some better marks later on rather than carrying it through the whole test 😄😄 oh and I didn’t go wrong! 🤣
After dressage we had time to walk the xc again. Usually the fences look smaller but they didn’t! Some are just fecking massive! And to top it off the SJ was fairly meaty too!! Despite me telling myself it would be fine😆
I’m slightly disappointed with the SJ. We had two fences down that I definitely deserved as I got us a bit deep and then two that we really didn’t but left us with 16 faults - but the positives - we pinged the biggest fences (1.30m square parallel!) on the course and Dwina felt awesome 😄
On to XC. Well the usual misser I seem to get at the first fence still happened! Even when they are bigger I still manage to f**k up the first fence! So onto 2 and a much better stride. Pleased to say that we nailed all combinations. I wasn’t so keen on the skinny boxes at 4A and B that were a curving four strides but we got it spot on and she was amazing. Same for the two stride rails at 5 and all other combinations were met really well 😄. Dweens got a bit sticky at the fences through the tracks outside the walled garden but kept jumping when asked. I did land at the drop at fence 12b and didn’t present to fence 13 to give me time to collect knitting (a 2m drop is quite big!🙈) this section of fences really slowed the pace and I just didn’t ride away like I ought to (something to work on!). Jumped everything really well until we got to the saw bench. I think Dweens couldn’t work out what the massive wheel was and scooted off to the right. As I need to be fitter to ride Dwina at this level (another take home from this!) I just let it happen! Totally let her down and should have been on it to give her the reassurance she needed 😕. Re presented and she pinged it. Continued on and a few fences later was caught up by a rider. The route ran along the side of the pond and I veered off to allow them to pass but they vanished in a different direction! So I continued to the next fence and as I came over the brow of the hill they were just in front of me! A safe enough distance so I continued along. I should have taken note that if a rider is catching me up I must be going slow! (Numpty jockey!) anyway popped the last few and finished! We had completed an advanced!!! I’m so proud of Dwina for being so amazing, slightly disappointed in myself for letting her down but also pleased that we did this together. 😍
I won’t be doing another advanced for a while! Will stick to Intermediate and aim for 2* next season all being well.