2018 Year in Review

I recently shared this on my Instagram story but I thought I would share it on here and add a little more explanation to the photos. (If you click on the images I have linked a few to blog posts)

This year I was hoping we would sort out our dressage a little and push the jumps up, well we definitely pushed the jumps up. But at the same time I came to the realisation that it is jumping that we both enjoy.

I would still love try some eventing with Eva – which I’m hoping I can sort my own transport in 2019 and get out to some – and while dressage is obviously a part of eventing, comparing myself to pure dressage riders is not going to help us any. At the end of the day Im glad that this year we did give dressage a good go and I will be entering competitions during 2019, but I also wont be too disheartened if we miss some.

Eva isn’t particularly convinced by dressage and you have to use a lot of persuasion to concentrate during the test. Starting this year I really was wanting to see if she could come round to the whole idea, I was even feeling slightly more like a dressage diva!

The ‘ Beast from the East’ didn’t effect Eva much in fact she and her pals enjoyed having a frolic around in the snow when they were allowed out for a short amount of time. Eva is not a horse that feels the cold easily in fact she tends to run quite hot so that I actually more worry about her being too hot rather than being too cold. Once the snow cleared I had a kick in the ass from a friend of mine about my jumping – read the post about it here– which was needed.

We haven’t entered many showing shows but I quite enjoyed scrubbing her up for it. When I was younger I helped out a few times grooming and riding at local showing shows, mostly in the Highland or Clydesdale classes. Eva I had only competed one showing show before but I wanted to have another go – in fact I think the same show is on in 2019 so I will probably enter again. Personally, showing isn’t for me I like doing it once and a while but I’m not interested in going down the showing route…. unless perhaps the working hunter classes – a.k.a jumping.

We started consistently jumping a little higher. Ok, the photo isn’t a high jump but I love it because you can see how happy Evas face is that she is jumping. The past few years we got stuck at 80cm and that became a comfort zone for us. I did have help from friends this year getting me to get on with it and it was the honesty I really needed. We have successfully become unstuck and are now finding 90cm quite comfortable, in fact when we jump we regularly jump 1/1.10m without a second thought. The only reason I haven’t gone higher at the yard I am currently at is the size of the indoor school. Yes it is big but because it is a more a long school sometimes the jumps can be encouraging you shorten up your canter to get round a corner or be jumping into a wall a little which is the opposite of what I want to do. When the jumps are in the outdoor and we have more room I think I will be entering us in a 1m class. We also achieved a new record in how high we have jumped which was 1.25m!

We had a lovely hot summer so Eva had rugless days for months. During this month we also went xc for the first time ! It was fantastic and I’m really hoping to get my ass in gear to get out to some more in 2019! Eva was absolutely amazing and popped everything quite happily.

I was determined to enter every dressage competition that I could at the yard, basically all the unaffiliated that weren’t championships.

While our flat work was coming on, we started encountering some issues. Long story short, our canter was getting stuck. Then because it was getting stuck when I asked Eva to open it up and try to help and Eva would then get frustrated and buck to get out of the difficult part. It was a big learning curve in my riding, I was getting lessons from a guy at the yard and the focus of the lessons was mostly for me to stop doing so much and to get Eva to work things out for her self. This has helped us so much and I’m looking forward to getting more lessons from the same guy next year. 

During August I also took part in my second ever common ride which was great fun! And of course ….. BLLAIIRR

We joined team Boudica Equestrian as a brand associate! Did a post on the items from my first order. I recently received items from my second order, the equetech headband and snood and the very smart looking Lauria Garrelli Moena Saddle cloth both of which I am enjoying using. (Remember use the code MAC10 for 10% off your order.)

We took a break from jumping to sort out the whole getting stuck in canter thing that we had going on. I had had the vet out for a general check up and dental work during September, during that appointment she was checked for soundness e.c.t so I knew everything was ok and that I was able to push forward with sorting out the canter. What I have discovered really helped us is giving Eva a little blast in canter on each rein with a light seat and a long rein when warming up. This seemed to set us up for later when I want to start working the canter.

After a month of not jumping I was keen to get back to it and so was Eva. In fact I really think our jumping was better because of it.  I think its good to take a break from jumping every now and again to really focus on the flat work then you can apply it to when you go to jump.

We finished this year by coming 3rd in the in the 90 cm at the Christmas unaffiliated showjumping competition! Going round it felt like Eva was giving the jumps plenty of room and we didn’t touch a single pole. Unfortunately it was a bit of a hurricane during the warm up so we didn’t have much of a chance to warm up the canter so we kept dropping it, even though we kept trotting Eva was quite happy to clear one of the jumps from a trot! 

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