Our first 85cm Two-Phase event.

We are thankfully all caught up on the blog posts now, so it is time for our most recent competition. Our second two phase (Bonnie’s third as she did one as a 5 year old), and it went better than I could ever have hoped.

I was first to go on the start list for the 85cm class. We’ve been schooling around at least 1m for a while now so I didn’t want to drop back to the 70 class (which the the one we did in April, but I hadn’t started this blog at that point). We had been schooling the week before around a mixed track of 85cm-1m (which you can read about on my last post here).

I was very pleased at being drawn first as the weather hasn’t been great here so I was expecting the ground to be a bit soggy, and was pleasantly surprised when it was just a little soft. I warmed up for my SJ and we ended up with a double clear, with just one sticky moment when she began spooking at the hedge (she really does hate hedges) but she got over the fence clear without stopping or running out.

Watch our SJ and some of our XC here.

We were straight off to the XC which took a while to start as the stewards had taken a break between the end of the 70cm and the start of the 85cm. We eventually set off and were going really well until jump 8 when she sort of leaped over and my saddle fell around to the right side. We stopped immediately and I started leaning over to the left to try my best to fix it without getting off – I succeeded, and carefully leaning to the left over the next few jumps to ensure it didn’t slip again we were back to business. That was until she started to nap riding up towards the main yard and we were stuck for 32 seconds (the joys of GoPro footage) before slowly trotting towards the next fence and getting over.

We were back in business and to my absolute shock she went into the water – I didn’t even vocally encourage her, use my stick for backup or anything. She literally just went in. I was so shocked I literally couldn’t speak and had to think quickly about my next move. There was a rather large jump out (about 1m) and I really hadn’t thought I would get in so I wouldn’t even need to worry about getting out – I was actually laughing about it to everyone when we were discussing the course before the show. This led us into a very sticky jump up where she caught her back leg and lost a boot. Thankfully, as I write this the day after, she is absolutely fine and not lame in the slightest which I was concerned about because she quite literally dragged herself up the step.

The remainder of the course rode smoothly and with the second competitor hot on my heels (a tad too hot for my liking) we headed in home and cooled the best little supercob down.

You can ride with me around the course by watching my GoPro footage below:

All in all we had a great day, we picked up 11.5 time penalties for being too slow, the total course being 1750m in length and they were wanting a pace of 375m/min making the optimum time 4m40s. We completed it in 5 minutes and 29 seconds – so nearly a minute off the time, meaning if we hadn’t of had our two little incidents we just might have made the pace.

We ended up 14th/86 competitors which I did is a really good result, especially considering the experience of Bonnie in this discipline and at this level.

Until next time…

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Going As We Please at Laurel View XC.

July 23rd was a day destined for XC schooling. Of course it couldn’t run smoothly and the day before (Saturday 22nd) when I retrieved Bonnie from the field she was minus a shoe. A message to my farrier was off immediately and I am lucky that he came out early the Sunday morning on his day off to put it back on for us.

Continue reading “Going As We Please at Laurel View XC.”

Turning a hoof to stressage – our first Prelim Tests at the Laurel View Charity Show.

Between my blog post about the LV Jump X win (which you can read by clicking here), Tobias had to be officially retired from ridden work – no hacking, just a field ornament.

This led to us having a major tack sale including his saddle…and my mum very kindly let buy a dressage saddle with the money (see the Facebook post by clicking here).

After numerous lessons, and lots of preparation, we were ready to hit the Laurel View Charity stressage dressage raising money for Aware NI on July 16th, 2017.

Continue reading “Turning a hoof to stressage – our first Prelim Tests at the Laurel View Charity Show.”

It’s official. He’s a field ornament.

My most viewed blog post on here is my “Retiring your horse of a lifetime”. In that post I explain the decision process we went through having to retire Tobias from competition, explaining how he hacked.

As of June 28th, Tobias was officially retired to the field. He can no longer be stabled.

Continue reading “It’s official. He’s a field ornament.”

A belated blog: a WIN at Laurel View Jump X in June.

Slap on the wrist for me for my absolutely AWFUL time management skills at updating this blog. In my defence, a hell of a lot has been going on. But you will find out all about that over my next few blog posts.

Catching up, on June 11th, Bonnie and I headed to the Jump X Challenge at Laurel View Equestrian Centre. The weather was to be desired for with periods of gale force winds (so much so that the X fence had to be changed from planks to a skinny, as the jumps were falling down before people even got to jump them) and bursts of heavy rainfall. Your average summers day in Northern Ireland.

Continue reading “A belated blog: a WIN at Laurel View Jump X in June.”


As you can probably guess, I was more than a little excited.

I quite literally ran. I don’t run. Ever.

We had made the 104 mile trip down to Tatts to watch the cross country on the Saturday. It was great – we went to the shopping village, I took part in a dog show with Cody, and we were having a really good time. Even got an icecream. But the highlight of the day was, of course, meeting and talking to Mark Todd.

Continue reading “I MET MARK TODD! TATTERSALLS 2017”

Our first win – SJI CCCS Final

Our first competitive outing with our new mascot Schuberry and he certainly proved lucky..

We were originally intending to skip the final of the SJI league we have been competing in, when on Friday night mum received a text notifying her we had qualified for the final. She was working until 7pm.

Continue reading “Our first win – SJI CCCS Final”

Cross Country Schooling at Moira Equestrian Centre

What a fabulous day out with Bonnie on May 21st, 2017.

After having the majority of May off due to silly me being sick, Bonnie was only ridden 4 times before taking her schooling and has spent the rest of the time in the field. Despite her lack of exercise she did not once fail to disappoint.

Continue reading “Cross Country Schooling at Moira Equestrian Centre”

Welcome, Schuberry.

Just thought I would write a short little post to welcome our newest addition, Schuberry.


Schuberry is a descendant of Willberry Wonder Pony, mascot of inspirational teenager Hannah Francis who sadly passed away in August 2016 after fighting terminal bone cancer.
Continue reading “Welcome, Schuberry.”