Now we are in 2017, I am officially back to my full-time job as quality manager for Cyden Homes, so with Annabelle in tow we have had a busy month snagging houses and moving our new purchasers into their lovely Cyden Homes. I think it is fair to say my life is back to 100 mph to fit everything in.
I have seven horses now in work, including my three home-bred babies, as well as being a full-time mummy and working for Cyden Homes. Who wants spare time anyway!
We managed a weekend away at Addington High Profile show which was a real head-turning point for me and Bodyguard. I was very fortunate that my amazing trainer, Rhett Bird, was there, so he was able to watch where I was going wrong, compared to how brilliant he was at home.
He hit the nail on the head in my first test. I came out a little disappointed as Bodyguard got hotter and hotter in the test and I couldn’t understand why. Rhett said: “Right, let’s go down to the bottom warm up area and I will show you where and why he gets hotter and you feel like you can’t ride him like you can at home!”
With a few simple tweaks he felt amazing. I was letting him get too high in his head carriage and therefore he was unable to use his back properly. The following day we increased our score by 5% to come 3rd out of a huge class on 69.74% – fair to say there were still lots more marks to get but he was so much more rideable in the arena and it was very much as though he was at home again.
Felix also had his first ever high profile show, and he didn’t disappoint. Although he has only been under saddle properly for two years, he loves the harder work and came 1st in the Advanced Medium 96 Gold section as well as 2nd in his Freestyle Music section. He thoroughly enjoyed his time in the spotlight and is getting braver with every outing.
We had a very busy four days at the Regional Championships and I am over the moon to say I now have another three regional titles and a reserve, so four tickets to the Winter Nationals in April with Felix. Elementary Gold Champion, Elementary Freestyle Gold reserve Champion, Medium Gold Champion and Medium Freestyle Gold Champion. Also Felix gained the highest score of the whole competition 78.33% in the Medium Freestyle Gold section so to say I am pleased is an understatement.
It is fair to say, because of his success and three regional titles at last year’s Winter Regional, I was a little nervous this year which is something very strange for me. I did certainly enjoy it this time, but I did have to use my coaching skills to stop my nerves taking over and affecting Felix.
As soon as I got on him on the first day and trotted him around the warm up, my nerves soon disappeared as he felt amazing. He really is something very special, I have never ridden a horse that performs better at competitions than in the arena at home. In every test he did he just felt better and better, the more I asked the more he gave.
It’s a very special story with Felix having almost been written off by others, it makes the couple of years of training and time with him even more special, he really is a horse of the future, and even I am excited by him.