Clare Heap: Pat the horse, slap the rider!

Pat the Horse, Slap the Rider!

Pat the horse, slap the rider.

That seems to be what has happened this month. Where do I start?

The regionals are always on my to do list every season and this one I was particularly excited about. It would be my first time competing at Hickstead and for once I wasn’t feeling a complete nervous wreck weeks before the show (although that did change the morning of the show!).

Teds warmed up fantastically and I honestly thought we were going to be on for a great score. Totally relaxed and powerful. We went into the international arena and it descended into a bit of shambles. Somehow I managed to get my curb bit vertical which I never do and was devastated when I looked back at the video.

My first big shock came in the medium trot where I lost my balance and broke into canter which cost me maybe 3 marks per judge (there were three judges 🙈). Into canter and I could feel he was pulling in the marks, up the centre line and halt….the bell rang. I had gone wrong! Minus another two marks for each judge.

Gutted wasn’t even the word!

I then realised I had made a monumental mistake. I had only watched a video of Charlotte Dujardin riding the test as I find it easier to learn it this way. What I had failed to notice is that the trot circles were 8m instead of 10m so that was another loss of 4 marks per judge. So all in all I think I lost around nearly 30 marks from just not learning the test properly. Something I will never do again!!

But moving forwards I have taken some valuable learning points from the experience and some positives

We go again and we will keep moving forwards. 💪🏻💪🏻

I spoke to Jen a few days after I had calmed down and we had a good chat about the test and what we could do fitness wise to help me. We are going to overhaul my fitness regime, increase the number of days, get back in the gym rather than home workouts, and try and do some stability work after sessions to simulate a test situation. I must say I am actually really looking forward to it and getting back into the gym has been high on my list of priorities lately.

I now have only two days left at my full time job before I move into the Equestrian world full time. To even utter those words seems like a bit of a dream and I am honestly very very excited about this. I have been busy building a client base and booking in clinics so August will be a very busy month.

Teddy will also be going to Bury Farm High Profile show to finish off his qualification for the PSG Petplan championships and I will start to get some points going for the winter regionals. It seems crazy talking about winter when the sun is still shining…. long may it continue!! Jet will hopefully be broken in by the end of the summer before being turned away again for the winter to grow some more and mature. Another thing to look forward to!

But for now I am enjoying taking a well earned day off listening to chilled music and planning the next few weeks.

Until next time

Clare xx