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Danni's final HorseQuest Blog

Well, winter training has officially begun! We started the month off with a fab training session with Justin, thanks to our funding from HorseQuest!

If I’m honest I had been really struggling with riding Oscar round courses, and rather desperately needed some help! So we went to Justin, and it was so helpful! He immediately could see what we needed, and it made such a huge difference. I needed to get him to sit back on his hocks more and have much more bounce and energy. His jump became much cleaner, and he actually put some effort in!

This lesson gave me so much more confidence in prep for our Caroline Moore and Ros Canter camp! After A LOT of packing, we headed off to Hickstead on the 13th and got the boys all settled in their stables. First day of riding was on the Saturday, we started off with Dressage with Caroline which was so good. She really helped get Oscar more engaged and massively helped us with our halts. Oscar has a tendency to fidget when he halts and very rarely stands still, so she recommended ‘Walking up to our halt’ so I had to squeeze with alternate legs keeping the walk active into the halt. Then once he got there and stopped, only stop for 2 seconds so he doesn’t have the chance to wriggle around. This honestly helped so much, so hopefully we can keep practicing that and put into practice in our tests!

Saturday afternoon we had Gridwork with Ros, Oscar was so good bless him, but very very tired! He was so good to jump the skinny brushes first time and he absolutely bossed the tricky lines of cavalletti’s, oxer, skinny brush. Ros was so helpful in getting a more powerful bouncy counter which really helped improve Oscar’s jump.

The next morning, we had Show Jumping with Caroline which was really helpful. Oscar was so good easily jumping a course of 1.15+, although he knocked a couple it was mostly through tiredness which was much better than just his normal laziness! Caroline was so helpful in giving us some exercises to help with his shape and improve his carefulness. One of which was placing a cavalletti 8m away from a tall upright (she even put it up to 1.25!) and this really made him use his body properly which was so nice!

Sunday afternoon we had XC with Ros, which was just so much fun! Oscar absolutely flew some really tricky lines which gave me so much confidence for stepping up the levels with him next season (fingers crossed we finally get to event together next season!) The weekend was just such a great experience on the whole and met so many lovely new people as well, I would definitely recommend Callum Banfield’s camps to anyone!

On a whole different note, I am currently going through the process of applying to University, which is utterly terrifying! At the moment I am thinking of taking a gap year and going to be a working pupil with a professional like William Fox-Pitt, and then going to uni. Currently I’m going to apply to Hartpury University so I can study and event alongside. At the moment Equestrian Sport Science is the course I’m looking at as it looks really interesting, focusing on the horse and rider, both separately and together. So hopefully once I actually get round to applying, I might get an offer!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank HorseQuest for everything they have done and given me over this past year it really has been the most amazing experience. The funding has made all the difference within Oscar’s training and also being a massive help with Sid during the event season and leading to our selection for the Youth Champs! It really is something I couldn’t thank them enough for!

So, that’s it from me this month, looking forward to starting the Christmas celebrations next month!

Danni x



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