Paige Wilde Blog Update: Stoneleigh Stay Away- My first BS National Champs on horses!
Hi everyone and welcome back to this month’s blog, sorry its slightly later than usual, I was waiting to write up all about my latest stay away show with Tottie and how it went. It took a lot of prep to get Tottie up to full fitness and to make sure she was ready to go.
The week prior to leaving she had lots of appointments to make sure she was comfortable and going at her best as I like to make sure they have the best chance when they enter the ring. This included the Farrier on Tuesday, a regular physio check-up with Rachael from Equiesence ESMT on Thursday (where we found she was in tip top condition) and last but not least a very needed bath with my POP Equine products so that she was looking as good as she felt!
We travelled down on the Sunday evening as I was due to compete on the Monday and Tuesday however Stoneleigh is a 2.5-hour drive from us and as Tottie is a bit older we wanted her to be well rested for my class the next day. We actually made it down there in really good time and I decided to exercise her pretty much straight away to stretch her muscles whilst my Mum sorted her temp stable out.
Tottie’s had a lot of experience with stay away shows so once she’s got the initial jig-jog sideways trot out of her system she settles very quickly and is so well behaved! Our first night was pretty quiet as we got there at about 6 o’clock so we ended up just getting some cheesy chips (my absolute go to show food!) and sitting with our friends for a while before checking on Tottie and heading off to bed.
Day 2 was a reasonable start time of 6:30 for us to get up and feed and sort out Tottie for the morning. Something I find so important for stay away shows is also to do lots of hand walks and hand grazing as it keeps the horses a lot more supple and loose and also makes the show more interesting for them. So I took Tottie for her first walk out for the day as we weren’t due to compete till about lunchtime. However, after course walk at mid-morning my class came around very quickly so at least there wasn’t too much standing around.
Tottie jumped very well, just rolling a pole in the first part of the double where I held her back a little too much. It was a good wake up call for day 3 though so lesson learnt! On Day 3 we just had the same class again, just the 90cm Academy teams. I could feel when warming Tots up that she was more up for it and ready to go on that day so when we went in the ring I knew to just let her do her thing and she produced such a lovely clear round, I honestly couldn’t have been happier with her. Unfortunately, due to my pole the day before and one of my teammates having a pole we were knocked out of the top 10 but it was still such a brilliant experience and certainly lots of fun.
I can’t thank HorseQuest enough for the funding so far this year, it has brought myself and the horses on as partnerships quicker than I could’ve imagined and has enabled us to get to more stay away shows this year which was a big goal of mine. It’s really starting to show in the results I’ve been getting with the horses and I couldn’t be prouder!
So, it’s been a short and snappy blog, but hopefully an interesting one on more of an insight into stay away shows. I’m not sure where the plan goes from here but there will definitely be something in the works soon- possibly even a One Day Event for a change!