April has been a very exciting and busy month for us! On the 31st of March we found out that we had been selected to represent Gloucestershire BYRDS at the ICC at the end of April. I was over the moon to find out that we had been selected and preparations were quickly under way! On the 7th of April we took Tilly to Summerhouse EC which was her visit to the venue. She took it all in her stride and was so confident considering there was a lot of spooky things to look at and pulled it out the bag in both tests winning both of our sections in each test with 66. 4 % and 67.8%, I couldn’t stop smiling for days after!
The following week we decided to do at test at Burrows Court Farm just mostly for test practice for me and decided to use the test as a bit of a schooling round in preparation for the ICC , we had a slightly ‘opinionated’ warm up but went in to the test just to school around. To my surprise we went into the arena and Tilly did a lovely test scoring 65.4% winning our section, which I was not expecting at all!
We have mainly be concentrating on practicing hard for the ICC and have had some lovely lessons with Helen James at different venues to get Tilly more confident when being ridden somewhere different, her training has really come together recently and we have been really concentrating hard on perfecting the small details in the test to raise the marks.
Tilly had a visit from Alex from B&W this month for her yearly vaccinations. Alex also assessed Tilly’s progress after her illness last year. Back in October last year Tilly spent a week down at Bushy with suspected salmonella poisoning and spent 7 days in their isolation unit, luckily she tested negative for it but we decided to scope her and found that she had old bot lavie damage so had stomach ulcer treatment. We are really happy with Tilly’s progress after receiving the treatment and seems so much more comfortable and happy in herself.
Tilly also had a visit from our Physio Anna Davison before we left for the ICC just as a general check up to see if all was well and again we were very happy with her overall way of going.
I have also been to see Dee at Dynamic sports therapy who has been an absolute life saver for my very painful shoulder, but with Dee’s help I’m now pretty much pain free when riding and now able to work on strengthening and improving my whole body.
The ICC was over the bank holiday weekend and we made the decision to leave early on the Sunday morning. Poor Tilly was still sound asleep when we got to the yard! A quick turn around and we were off!!
We arrived a couple of hours before my first test that gave Tilly some time to take in her new surroundings. Our squad test was first, Tilly warmed up well and went in to the test feeling good however, she lacked a bit of confidence in the test and found the white boards on one side of the arena particularly spooky which caused us to have a slightly lower score than I had hoped for but still happy that we got 79.57%.
The second test was a couple of hours later and by the time I tacked up the heavens had opened and I don’t think I have ever seen rain quite like it! But despite the horrible weather we had a great warm up and she really pulled it out the bag during the test and we ended up finishing 4th with 66.72% in a big section, which made dancing in the rain totally worth it!
On the Monday we had an early start for the arena walk which Tilly has never done before she found the whole experience great fun! The squad test went so much better with Tilly being so much more confidant and rideable during the test and we upped our score to a 81.79%. This was Tilly’s first big stay away from home and we couldn’t be more proud of her and how she took to the whole experience .
The following week Tilly had a couple of days out in the field while I had a Uni exam and spent some time at the Badminton Horse Trials.
On the Saturday it was lovely to visit B & W’s Lake Side Pavilion which was the perfect location to watch the water jump while drinking a glass of pimm’s and catching up with friends!
Many thanks Jess
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