Having come second in Level 2 Showjumping at Hartpury last year, this year I've entered the Level 3 event. The jumps are twice as big and should all be done in canter rather than trot. I actually find this easier as it makes the horse jump better. To compete at Hartpury (in the RDA Championships) we have to qualify in our region first of all. It's a bit impractical to run a jumping event alongside the dressage and countryside challenge qualifier (which are both always more popular than jumping) so to save trying to find a date that is convenient for all riders, horses, helpers and a judge, we video our rounds and email them off to be marked. Anyway, we did that a few weeks ago and it all went well. I sorted out the videos for Eleanor (Level 2) and Olivia (Level 3) as well and I'm pleased to report that all three of us will be representing Cambs College RDA at Hartpury, alongside Chris Bradley who was granted a bye in the Level 4 class!
At the moment I'm working on three separate dressage tests for RDA: walk only (for Dressage Anywhere); walk and trot (Grade 6); and walk, trot, canter (Grade 6). I'm riding Rolo in the Dressage Anywhere test because he has a good walk. It also means that I get some practice in before this weekend's regional qualifier for Hartpury, where I will be riding him in the Grade 6 trot test. We tried the canter test but although he comes down nicely from canter to trot he isn't so good at canter to trot to walk! I've had a couple of private lessons on him with Nikki, who gave me some lessons before Hartpury last year too. She's been so helpful and I've learned some really useful things that I didn't know about before - especially about how to try and get a good halt! I've also learnt to make my right stirrup longer than the left to try and counteract my wonkiness, and this is definitely helping with balance and steering.
|My left foot is still lower than my right, even when the stirrup is longer on the right...argh!|
|Prelim (canter) test with Boysie back in February of this year.|
I'm also going to enter the individual vaulting competition at Hartpury this year, like last year. There's no need to qualify for this so instead I can just focus on getting a good routine ready for mid-July. I'm not quite sure which horse I will be using yet - unfortunately Sandie isn't available, but there's a possibility that I can use lovely Boris. Boris was living in Cambridge when I started vaulting and he was always the horse I felt safest on - he's big and broad and old enough not to be scared by silly things! He was retired to an RDA home in March and we've all missed him a lot, so to see him again and to be able to vault on him again would be wonderful. If he isn't around, I'll probably use the barrel like last year. I've got some funky moves that I can do on the barrel but not on a real horse (yet) so it certainly wouldn't be the end of the world. In the meantime, there's a competition to be working towards in Cambridge in June.
|It's starting to get sunny, guys!|