Lauren Dallison - Eventing
September has been another busy month with the added chaos of starting 6th form and the increased A-Level workload. Donald has been on mixed form this month. We had a fab clear inside the time for 6th place at the Larkhill Hunter Trial, then went to Boomerang for the Instructor Training Day. We completely lucked out, and ended up having an incredible lesson with Harry Dzenis. He was fab, and we learned a huge amount. Harry really liked Donald and thought he showed lots of potential for the future, which is really exciting! With West Wilts at the weekend, he recommended we go and have some fun cantering with friends to let him have some time to have a bit of a blast, and get him thinking forwards. We had a great time, and Donald loved racing everyone up the hills!
….. onto West Wilts. It started well with him posting a fab dressage of 25 to place him 3rd after dressage, with the judge commenting on his relaxation and presence in the arena. In the Showjumping the tension crept back in, and he got his legs in a muddle to have three silly fences down. Unfortunately, cross country didn’t go to plan with me dismounting a bit prematurely (after fence two to be precise. I got back on, and after a great deal of a persuasion Donald decided he would continue on course. After fence 4, I decided to retire as he jumped them well and he was well out of contention so I saved him for another day. We took him back to school over the course the following day. After a different style of warm up, he popped round easily and really enjoyed himself. We had another lesson in the week, playing in the school, where he really started to think for himself which was exactly what we wanted, and to give him a confidence boost over more technical and challenging questions.
Next stop was schools Show Jumping at Rectory Farm to see if a change in warm up technique and riding style helped his nerves and attitude. In the 100, he kept his cool and jumped a super round - he loved doing his first jump off with proper turns and angles and in the jump off section he jumped a very cleanround. In the 110, he started the round beautifully but the nerves crept back in and he picked up silly poles, however I’m so pleased with how he coped even when he got in a bit of a tizzy. The team finished in third, just outside qualifying. I’m really happy with how he jumped in our first 1.10 together!
The following weekend we headed to Stonar for the Inter Schools One Day Event. We started with a bit of a lazy dressage test for 31, another silly 8 faults in the show jumping put us out of contention. However, he ran amazingly on the cross country course.
This week we worked on engaging his hind end in preparation for teaching him flying changes next week. We also tried to unlock his medium trot- after racing around the arena a few times, he showed some real promise in his mediums and really letting his knees go! Yesterday, we had a play around over some JWS style fences on some tight lines in preparation for today and he was super, pinging through some really tough combinations!
Today we went to Hartpury for the schools JWS qualifier for champs. In the 95 he flew clear over an influential course to help the team take the win, and qualify! I can’t wait to see what October holds for us, with champs fast approaching at the end of the month.
Until next time,