The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

8.7.2022 Sam and Rabbit

A Guest Blog by Sam Ireson

Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well and enjoying life. So, another month gone by, once again it has been a quiet month for me riding wise as rabbit is still in Leonie’s capable hands. As I mentioned last time I’m still hacking, lunging, and enjoying spending time with Rabbit, but the schooling has been down to Leonie.

We decided this month that I wasn’t going to try to qualify for the Summer Area Festivals. Time was moving on, and it would’ve been a struggle for me to start riding again and get qualified in the time we had left. So in the first week of June, we decided it might be a good idea for Leonie to try to qualify Rabbit for the Medium Silver Regional Championships. Nothing like leaving things to the last minute! We had three weeks to try to get the points needed to qualify.

Trying to organise a date that Leonie and I were free was a bit of a struggle. We managed to find one date at Allens Hill and off we went. One of the other horses on our yard was also competing at Allens Hill that day and Leonie had already arranged in advance to take him, so I had my first solo outing towing a trailer with a horse on. Thankfully, it’s nowhere near as scary as I thought it would be, although my reversing definitely needs some practice.

Leonie and Rabbit really pulled it out of the bag at Allens Hill. They managed 69% in the first test and 68% in the second test, both with mistakes. This is the first time Leonie has competed Rabbit since she did one Elementary test with him about 18 months ago, maybe longer. So, she needed to get used to the feel of him in a test, as he is different in a test to how he rides at home.

Unfortunately, we required 70% in both tests to get enough points in one outing. We managed to find a second test at Solihull, which unfortunately was on a day that I was working, so Leonie and her wonderful mum took him over to do the test. Thankfully, I managed to finish work early enough that I could shoot over there in time for the tests. Once again they both did amazingly and managed to score 69% in both tests even with small mistakes.

We have been absolutely thrilled with the way he has gone in the tests, and doing a second outing I think was a good idea. It enabled Leonie to have more time to get the feel of him in a competition. So with those two outings done, he had enough points to qualify for Medium Silver Regionals. As I write, we are three days out from Somerford Park, which is where he is going for the Regional Championships.

Obviously, I would be absolutely thrilled if he manages to qualify for nationals, but I’m aware that it’s a big ask in a large class against some high-quality horses. Rabbit’s name on the Yard is Mr Consistent, and he is that indeed. He may not be the flashiest horse around, but he tries his little heart out and performs a very obedient and accurate test. So, I’m hoping that might be enough for us to get through. If not, just qualifying for regionals is a massive achievement in itself, and I am so proud of him.

Once regionals has been completed, I am very pleased to say I will be starting riding again to hopefully then gain my qualifications for the Winter Area Festivals. I’m very much looking forward to it, but also a little apprehensive as I know I’m going to be very rusty. It will probably take a lot of shouting on Leonie’s half to get me back in line!

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2021

Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion

July 8, 2022
Sue Palmer