So, Bolesworth didn’t go quite as I’d planned - but I still had the best time, despite the weather!!
The weather all week was horrendous, but the team at Bolesworth did the most amazing job to keep the show on the road for all competitors. It was such a shame it had to be cancelled to the public as they really did everything they possibly could.
I unfortunately couldn’t attend the arena familiarisation on the Tuesday afternoon as I hadn’t booked the day off work (school girl error!!). I didn’t think this was going to be an issue as Ozzie doesn’t usually need them. The bigger the atmosphere the better he performs… usually!
The arena at Bolesworth is nothing like I or Ozzie have ever seen before. As you walk into the arena under the arch everything is above you and it’s eerily quiet.
After warming up beautifully, i felt we were in for a great performance. I felt quite relaxed considering where we were, and was looking forward to entering the arena.
As I entered the arena, Ozzie immediately dropped me. Our first centre line was nice (receiving a 7.5 from both judges), we turned right at C and up he went… Luckily the judges thought we “Spooked” when actually he was busy having a little strop and actually wanted to show the judges his tummy (his signature move!!!).
The test improved after we hit canter as I was able to give him a bit of a kick without worrying he was going to stop and show everyone his tummy, like he does in the trot! Apart from the pirouettes his canter work was lovely and we got all of our changes.
I was very disappointed coming out of my test – some might think i was being a bit of a brat coming out cross, but when you’ve worked really hard and got yourself really excited to be competing at such an amazing competition, it’s disappointing when it doesn’t go as you’d hope.
After looking back at my test and taking time to reflect, I was really pleased with Ozzie. Neither of us have ever competed at a venue like Bolesworth and the “good bits” were really nice and please to say we finished a respectable 10th place.
At the end of the day, horses aren’t machines and we can’t predict how they are going to cope with new situations. In hindsight, I should have done the arena familiarisation but this is a big lesson learnt on my part for future competitions.
Overall, I had the most amazing time, it was a fantastic experience and I am so grateful I was given the opportunity to compete there. Next year we will return stronger and ready to show everyone what we can do.
Ozzie has nearly finished his week off and will now be aimed at the regionals in just over three weeks’ time. My babies on the other hand are a little shocked to be back in proper work (after a few easy weeks while I was preparing for my wedding).
I had the most AMAZING lessons on both Flora and Bertie with my trainer Darryl Thickitt at the weekend, but more about the babies in my next blog in the lead up to the regionals.