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Sally and Russell kick start the new year.

Early Feb... what a naff time of year! But, days are getting longer and the first event is only a month away :) that’s what I keep telling Russell anyway and thankfully I have lots of annual leave due to expire at the end of the month, so what better way to spend it than training and competing, ready for event season..

This month we have a variety of activities planned- we’ve already been to a BD Combined Training competition where our dressage has come on so well- I enjoy this discipline as it means I get to show off our beautiful Cavaletti Collection saddlery and give the brand some airtime, but also because it’s the one thing I can say I’ve taught Russell! 

I’m really focused on keeping him in front of my leg with a forward flowing trot, whilst keeping the rhythm steady and contact light- all of which has been real work in progress that’s starting to pay off. We’re now consistently achieving 65% at British Dressage, a performance that should comfortably get us a score of about 30 when out eventing at BE80..

Our showjumping is less consistent unfortunately- whilst this was Russell’s game previously, he’d been helped out massively by having an experienced rider- I’m learning all the time and over the winter we’ve even been out jumping British Novice classes with British Showjumping - something I didn’t think I’d ever be brave enough for! 

The challenge now is getting him to respect the smaller jumps whilst understanding the technical elements of squaring off our turns, half halting to avoid running deep and remembering where we’re going at the same time! We’ll get there and I’ve got a lesson lined up with a new instructor this month so hope to learn some new tools..

We’ve been to a couple of Arena Eventing and Eventer Trial competitions recently where I must say I’ve been so proud to experience his reaction to solid xc jumps after some time since our last event event in Sept- he didn’t bat an eyelid! He was super, just taking me to every jump, clearly enjoying every minute of it :)

We’ve got a few trips lined up to play on xc courses, hacking in strange places he’s not been before and we even visited the gallops the other week to help his fitness and stamina (no problem there at all!).

I’m looking forward to getting lots of practice this month- we can’t do any more than that and ‘it’ll be what it’ll be’ on the day of our first event, but at least I’ll know we prepared as much as we could.

We’ve entered the BE80 at Poplar Park on 10th March- fingers crossed it goes as well as I hope it will - watch this space!!

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