We have had a busy summer, with our usual mixture of activities as well as trying something new.
We attended several side saddle shows ending in the Side Saddle Nationals in August where we were the Adult Novice Reserve Champion, as well as winning the cup for the highest score in the Dressage with Showjumping classes.
We had an extremely busy August Bank Holiday with three shows in three days. The first two days were side saddle shows and displays, the 3rd day was riding astride, where we came 2nd in two of our classes, then went on to win the Riding Club Horse trophy.
Tilly has changed shape a lot over the years, going from a fat cob to looking more like a sports horse, as a result we have just had to go through the challenge of getting a new second hand saddle to fit her. Our local big shop has stopped selling second hand saddles and the others only have a very limited supply, and generally the more expensive saddles, so we have had to result to buying from eBay. After trying saddles in various sizes and brands, from friends etc, we are delighted to have finally found a saddle to fit Tilly which has been checked by our fabulous saddle fitter. Now we just need to ride lots in it to help settle the new flocking, which would be much easier if A) it stopped raining or B) we have a roof over our school.
The new thing we have tried, is Working Equitation. Oh my goodness, it was so much fun. It did high light the need to keep trying to get Tilly to do Flying Changes, but Tilly took on all the obstacles we encountered with great enthusiasm, from the gates, to bridges, to cantering small circles. We look forward to attending more training events.
Heading into the winter, we have decided to concentrate on our dressage to help us with our showing next year (a decision made easier by the fact that the ground has been too wet to go out with the Bloodhounds safely), so have joined Dressage UK. So far we have only attended one show, but we came 2nd and 1st in our two classes, meaning we have qualified for the winter championships already. As much as I would love a dressage saddle, so far I have only competed dressage in a GP saddle and seem to be doing ok. Not sure how much difference a dressage saddle would really make as we are only at Prelim and Novice level.
October saw us taking part in English Civil War Battle of Edgehill memorial service where we had the honour of carrying the regiment’s colours.
As well as ridden shows with Tilly, I have attended on foot, HOYS, were I helped on the new Concours D’Elegance Society of Great Britain stand to help spread the word, Your Horse Live where I managed to spend more than I intended on riding and horse kit, but I got some good bargains, most of which have already been used. For the first time ever, I am also off to Olympia. Having wanted to go for years, I am really looking forward to it.