Although Ferro jumped very well at Hickstead I wasn’t entirely happy with the way I had ridden her. I think I look a bit of a mess and am a bit too busy so Shane managed to fit me in for
a lesson before he went off to the British Masters at Southview. I took the view that there is not much point practicing doing it wrong. We concentrated on making me interfere less and see a stride much further away so that Ferro can use all her scope without me pulling her about and getting in the way! I find this very hard work for my brain, it always involves quite a lot of “I can’t do this” from me, and lots of Irish patience while I do do it, again and again until I get it right, and then again until I start to make a habit of it.
Obviously I have now practiced it at home, and practiced it on all the others and so the Summer Classic at Addington was a good chance to see if I could do it in the ring. Although I have done dressage at Addington back in the eventing days, I have never jumped there, but I hope Emma will go to the Young Horse Championships at the end of August and so I was anxious that she should have had a jump in the arena there before. I left home at 5am on Wednesday to jump Emma and Biscuit in the Newcomers and Ferro in the Foxhunter and 1.25. Sadly Biscuit was totally overcome by the arena and stopped twice going in one direction, but did finish the course, over a very strong Newcomers. Emma however apparently failed to notice that the course was very strong or that the arena was spooky and jumped easily round for 2nd place. Ferro was very spooky in the Foxhunter and then jumped beautifully in the B & C just stroking the first fence in the jump-off.
An easy day on Thursday was followed by leaving at 5.30 on Friday to return to Addington. Once again Emma took it all in her stride for 8th place, but Biscuit was very green again. Luckily as they were less busy than on Wednesday they let me jump again at the end when she jumped round much more confidently. Ferro then went straight into the B & C sadly just knocking the front rail over the water tray. I think I over rode it – I don’t know why as she is the most superb water jumper. All in all it was a very constructive few days. Ferro went beautifully with me just riding her forward and seeing a stride much further away, Emma just gets more classy and more rideable all the time, and Biscuit just reminded me that she hasn’t been doing this for very long, and maybe her foundations are still a little shaky.
They will have a fairly quiet time now, as my boss is about to arrive in England. We will probably go to Crofton Manor on Friday, then Homer to Felbridge on Saturday and hopefully the girls will jump on the Tuesday of the RIHS, and for the rest of the week I will be working. Emma will have a few weeks off while I hopefully will have time to tick Ferro over and improve Biscuit and Homer on the flat. Homer has become a big part of the set-up now – he is so lovely to ride and both Sophie and my neice Lilac have had a great time hacking him in the forest.