Victoria Bax Blog: Goring and Munstead
Courtesy of Victoria Bax ’s sponsors Aloeride www.aloeride.com & Golly Galosheswww.gollygaloshes.com
This month started with a very long day trip to Goring in Oxfordshire with both Alberta’s Rose and Crystal Ka.
Crystal Ka was up first for his debut event of the year competing in the Open Novice. He was rather unsettled in the dressage and disappointingly only scored 37, which is way below his best, but to be honest I didn’t expect his first event to be plain sailing as it never is!
However, things got much better as he jumped a super double clear to follow. This was the first event where we were able to try out our new bit in competition, as suggested by Lucinda Green in my earlier lesson. I could not believe how different he was and so much more settled. I messaged Lucinda that evening and she told me she laughed out loud when I described our cross-country round as “quiet and boring”, something which it could never ever have been described as before! I am very much looking forward to the rest of the season now and hope it will continue the same as I actually feel like I now have a “normal” horse!
Next up was Alberta’s Rose, who had been very well behaved all day standing quietly on the lorry. She warmed up well for the dressage and produced a consistent test for a score of 32.3. She was full of the joys of spring in the showjumping, but did get a shock as she approached the first fence as it was very well dressed! Her confidence grew as we made our way round the course, with her current enthusiasm sadly being responsible for 3 rails. So onto the cross country, and after a 45 minute wait in the collecting ring we got going. I was a little concerned she may be a little unwilling to start off as the first two fences rang alongside the collecting ring and sure enough we wobbled towards and over the first 4 fences, but made it! The first combination on course came at fence 5. She was not really in her stride by then as she had been backing off the first 4 fences and unfortunately we hit the first quite hard and just didn’t make the distance to the second, so we circled round and quietly hopped over it and continued. From here her confidence did start to grow and I was very pleased with how we finished, especially as the water complex was pretty “complex” for the 100 level I thought. Nevertheless we made it and finished full of running, so a second BE100 completion under our belt.
The following week we were due to go down to South of England with Crystal Ka for his first Intermediate of the year but sadly the British weather had other ideas and it was abandoned a few days before. This was not the only event I was due to attend which was abandoned. The following week I was due to attend a Riding Club eventer trial with Alberta’s Rose and Alberta’s Elegance but sadly that was cancelled the day before too due to the wet weather and soaked ground.
Next up was my youngest, Alberta’s Pride’s debut event at Munstead. Bearing in mind he has not been able to hack out for the last few months and we had missed our last cross country schooling season due to a slight foot issue in the week running up to the event, I was a little concerned he would not cope with being out somewhere new. I need not of worried though as after a few leaps and bucks in the dressage warm up, he performed a super consistent test for a score of 30.5 to lie 4th after dressage which I was very pleased with. A few more leaps appeared in the show jumping warm up but then he settled and grew in confidence as he jumped round a tricky, filler filled course with just a couple of rails down. So the last test of the day, the cross country, where we encountered a little hesitation to start with but once we did get going again I could feel his confidence growing. We had a second slight hesitation at the water jump (which I did expect to be honest as he has been a bit hesitant during our training at the water so far) After a moment looking, he cautiously waded in and before we knew it we were out the other side and storming round the rest of the course to complete.
A positive first outing for my youngest boy and I’m very much looking forward to more from him this year.
Alberta’s Rose and Crystal Ka head to Chilham Castle next, so until next time…”