Hello everyone! It seems like a very long time since I’ve written a blog, and a lot has happened since we last spoke. The last time I spoke to you, I had gained my Nationals qualification and was waiting eagerly for it to come around.
We had a fantastic run-up to Nationals, training was going well and Rabbit felt amazing.
Finally, the day came around. My test time was 10.30am and the arena walk was at 6.30am. After a chat with Leonie, we decided that Rabbit would be fine without doing the arena walk. He has been and competed at Hartpury before, and we were in one of the outdoor arenas, so didn’t think he would have a problem. We didn’t think the four-hour wait between the arena walk and the test would be very beneficial for him.
After a very early start, we headed over to Hartpury. Thankfully the arena looked fantastic, with minimal flowers and banners, so nothing for us to be worried about. Warm up was very busy, and I spent a lot of my time trying to avoid being running in to. Rabbit was a little tense to start with, but soon got into the swing of things and warmed up beautifully.
I was determined to enjoy every second of a test and not let the pressure of the big occasion get to us. We went in and performed one of our best Elementary tests to date. I was absolutely thrilled with Rabbit and the way it went. I did feel there were a few things we could’ve still improved on, but overall was very pleased.
We managed an outstanding score of 68.33% which put us into third after competing. It was a very long, tense wait, as the class didn’t finish until 1 pm.
I had a lovely time watching some gold riders and eating cake whilst we waited. Eventually, the final results were in, and we managed a very respectable sixth out of 31.
I was over the moon! Our very first winter championship and we came away with a rosette! The placings from 2nd to 6th weren’t even split by one percent, so it was a very close call.
After all the excitement and hard work, I thought Rabbit deserved a bit of a rest, so he had an easy week of days off and hacking.
My music has been completed by Tom Hunt, I am loving the final result and very excited about finally getting to ride to it. We have also started Rabbit training the changes. By ‘we’, I mean the Royal ‘We’. I have handed him over to Leonie for this job as I’d like him to learn correctly, and as I’ve never ridden a flying change it could’ve been an interesting combination.
I’m very much looking forward to getting out competing again, and hopefully, it will be soon, so we can gain our summer championship qualification.
© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2021
Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion