Phoebe Whiting Blog Update - Royal International Preparation!
After being talent spotted for the Stella Star under 14 years old section at a clinic with Sarah Chapman, Sox and I started a long journey up to Onley Show Ground for the TSR Rider of the Year Show. We had such a lovely week in the sun.
Firstly me and Sox attended a lovely clinic learning lots with Sarah Chapman, where we got talent spotted for the under 14 year old category in the Stella star group. Corona then delayed the finals a year meaning I was the youngest by a long way in my section as I moved up into the 15-25 year old age group. We then got out on a training scheme where Helen helped me out practicing my show for the Rider of the Year. Our show had to include a trot and canter on each rein, a extension, a 20 meter circle at ’E’ and a halt at ‘X’ in less than 2 minutes.
We headed up in very bad traffic (3 hour long delays) all set for a couple of days of classes. Sox came out feeling very well. We took him for a leg stretch and made his stable. The next day we did our practice for the rider of the year getting some excellent tips and then did a equitation class coming 4th with Sox feeling very excited.
The next day we did a nice show with a couple small mistakes and the headed off for Sox to jump his first ever jumping class in a style and performance. He jumped clear and did a lovely show to come 3rd! We then went back to the trailer to chill before heading back to the ring to do my conformation part. This was judged on how I presented Sox and how I ran Sox up. He had lovely comments saying how he was ‘immaculately turned out’
Overall he came 4th in the biggest section and being the youngest I was very very pleased with how he felt in preparation for the Royal International the next week.
"Getting back into the swing of it for both me and the ponies"
After only jumping long courses in recent months and not having jumped a grid for so long we definitely need a tune up today.
I set up a short grid today in the school for Jerry to jump including three bounces (at a short four or 3 ½ pace steps) to a one stride (eight paces). I set up the bounces as cross poles to encourage his knees to snap up and neatly together, to a spread with a cross pole guiding him in. We certainly found this tricky to get him to keep careful through the short bounces. I found after only doing courses his canter had almost felt as if it had lost its power and bounce so this set him up really nicely for the spread. I will definitely carry this out and do more grids as there was a massive improvement in the quality of his canter, how cautious he was and my riding towards the end of the session. It was also nice to see where his ‘jump fitness’ is at the moment and so we didn’t build the grid up as we wanted to keep his technique and shape over the fence.
Sox headed off for his first outing since RIHS, to arena uk for the BSPS summer champs a very mixed week. We started off the week with a great pull in and gorgeous shows in the pretty polly just for him to get completely overwhelmed with the clapping as they announced the winner in our walk round and nock us out of the top placings. The next class he was moving so well he felt like he was floating, to have another top pull in just for me to let him down completely in his show and strike off on the wrong canter lead.
The next day we thought we would have a fresh start and get our act together but unfortunately that didn’t quite happen. Sox and I entered the top spec indoor arena, he went round beautifully but got totally overwhelmed again with all of the clapping when they were pulling the ponies in for him to wind himself up which resulted in a tense show and a uncooperative conformation but still managed a placing.
Finally we headed into our last class with his ears plugged which he was not impressed with at all!! To get a good show mark even with a huge mistake from both me and Sox to come 8th. It definitely wasn’t quite the week we planned and quite out of character but that’s horses. Since then he has had some wonderful lessons and feeling much better, Sox is loving hacking and taking him to ride around at shows. He is feeling and looking better than ever at the moment and excited for winter dressage to start.