So are you already to be bored by me yet again?!?!
So I thought I’d have a little catch up with you all now it’s the end of the eventing season..
So as you know my season with Jimmy Shoo has been up and down to say the least! Although unbelievably looking at his record this season , apart from the two runs were he pulled himself up (Chatsworth & Wellington) he has been placed in every other run.. Unreal hey?!
So what to do with him now? That is the million dollar question!!
Well he finished the season with a fantastic fast double clear and a placing round a strong advanced a couple of weekends ago , the week before that I had taken him team chasing to try and jolly him up and how very interesting that was!!
Team chasing is were you have 4 members in a team galloping around a cross country course.. Basically the fastest time wins and your teams time starts when the first team member crosses the start line and ends when the third team member finishes..
So it’s pretty much a race!! Although it’s not just over brush fences like racing , there are lots of twists , turns and even timber rails etc..
Anyways on to Jimmys team chase
I set out on Jim in second place in the team order and as I expected – he was really happy to be there!!
Colin would never let me sit him in second , he would pull my arms out to get infront.. Jimmy lacks that ‘bite’ I think a horse should have.. Like I’ve said before Jimmy is vanilla… Well as I’m sure you have all guessed – vanilla is no good to a girl like me..
So I set about making him growing a pair..
I made Jimmy take the lead at about fence 4 and that was it , no taking pulls anywhere!! I kept my foot flat to the boards and rode him like he was a good thing , I keep asking him up off a big strides , making him believe and not question not going.. Never once thinking of going deep or popping away , it all has to be about Jimmy being a man , grabbing hold of the bridle and taking me..
For about 5/6 fences all he wanted to do was drop in behind his mate , but I kept the gun to his head.. He has to learn to grab hold of the bridle and go.. Which to be fair to him he did in the end! There were 4/5 fences running very down hill , I kept my hands low on his neck and just kicked and he was as game as a pebble coming up longer each time..
He finished fantastically and I thought it had set him up perfectly for his last advanced run of the year..
And it did..
He was great XC.. Sharp , on it and actually pulled a little!
I still don’t get the feeling I have his mind 100% , so he will hunt hard this winter.. Learning to get his feet dirty , I am very much a law in to myself out hunting.. Always respectful of course but I never follow! I always take my own line.. It’s just what Jimmy needs , a winter hunting with me will make him cop on and grow a pair!
The aims for him next year will be Bramham CCI3* , Barbury CIC3* and then on to Burghley..
Now on to one of my favourite horses…
The run away Moose!!
She heartbreakingly picked up a injury at her spring 3day.. But her leg has healed brilliantly and she is back trotting and will be raring to go at the start of next season..
Whilst I haven’t sat down and talked thou plans for next year with her lovely owner Ruth Armstrong , I would love to aim her at the CIC2* at Barbury then a autumn CCI3* maybe Blenheim..
The run away Moose still remains a horse I’m hugely excited about , she is great in all 3 phases and I believe the horse to put me back on the map so to speak..
Now on to my dear friend Colin!
I haven’t spoken about him much on my blogs as he’s just my hunter but there’s quite a story behind him!!
So just over 4 years ago just before Badminton I stumbled across a advert for a quirky , lariy , naughty event horse that not only could jack it XC but could also buck like stink but could really jump , when he felt like it..
Yep , it really said all that in the ad!!! The owner was honest to a fault!!
I was looking for something cheap to hunt , so thought he might be perfect..
Scary how my brain works hey?!?!
Anyways I rang and the lady that owned/rode him was a professional event rider.
She was totally honest about him and I was honest about what I wanted..
Only problem was she wanted more money than I could afford and justify paying for a fun horse for myself..
So I asked her if she got stuck with him to call me..
That was that I thought… 6 months passed but I still hadn’t forgotten about the funny little dark bay horse in the ad..
Then a few days before Burghley I got a message saying she still had him and I could buy him if I was still looking for a horse , we agreed a price (pretty much meat money) and I bought him over the phone..
Unseen , untried and unvetted…
And my god I count my blessing every day I ride him.. He is still a lariy moron that bucks like he’s never seen let alone had a saddle on before but I work around his quirks and I adore the bones of him and he in return he does stuff like jump all types of gates whilst I video on my phone , he jumps no questions asked when I point him at crazy big or trappy places out hunting..
One of the first things I asked him to jump out hunting was a hanging metal 5 bar gate off a road out of a trot…
Over he went as clean as a whistle and for me that was it.. I was in love!!!!
Colin does a bit of team chasing this time of year to get us both ready for hunting..
Hunting is what he loves thou , he adores hounds and is one in a million..
Colin really is a horse that loves being loved , he’s spent so much of his life fairly being hated and being told he’s a s**t , but his little party pieces don’t bother me.. I just pat him and act all like ‘yep Colin you really are the man’ now can you please jump that unjumpable jump please..
This time of year when most event riders are thinking about holidays I am flat out breaking in yearlings.. Something I’ve done quite a bit of in the past and love doing..
At the moment I’m working (I use that word loosely!!) for some great friends of mine and I love being involved in a massive pre training yard like theirs but also having the freedom to walk away at the end of the day and do as I like.. But more importantly I belly laugh with them every day , is this my forever job? Being honest more than likely not..
I’ve had big yards myself and it just doesn’t suit me , I’m to selfish.. I like doing my own thing to much..
I was out of Saturday night when I was asked by someone if I was upset I hadn’t made more of my life..
‘After all you just ride out now don’t you Phoebe’
True I said , but I’ve never had as much freedom or been as happy as I am now.. Even if I am only ‘riding out’
Everyday I honestly ask myself this – could I live the rest of my life like this.. If I can’t I change something .. I asked a close friend of mine the same question a few days ago… He changed something too…
I dare you to be brave and ask yourself the same thing..
Simple fact is when I’m happy I’m a great person to be around and right now I’m simply very happy..
I see it like this – when I’m happy I bring out the best in people and therefore attract people that will also bring out the best in me..
Growing up is overrated and not for me!
I live my life simply , if I want something I have it .. If something bores me I give it back and move along ..
Sounds harsh but I have learnt in the hardest and cruelest possible way that life is to short to say ‘I wished I’d treated myself better’
If you don’t treat yourself well can you really expect others too?
Life is short , chances to do something you truly want rarely come along in life times so if and when they do grab those chances with both hands.. Enjoy them and worry later..
Settle for nothing less than butterflies , butterflies are everything…
Conforming is nothing…
Trust me in the long run you’ll see I’m right..
Over and out all
Take care and remember ….
I DARE YOU