Team player

Today saw our return to Carleton Riding Club team competitions. This time Combined Challenge (a few SJ, followed by a few XC jumps) at Horseheath.

It was also our first jumping competition of 2023. I’d love to say that my contribution to the team was vast. Sadly it wasn’t our day. I know why, so that a good thing. Once again, my team mates were awesome. So we’ve qualified for another championships by just turning up.

I got today a bit wrong. I got my timings wrong so missed the course walk. Learnt the course by eye. But that meant I wasn’t clear on the lines or how the course actually rode.

Watched too many go meaning my warm up was shorter than I’d usually do. Still Buddy gave me a great feeling over the practise jumps. It’s the first time we’ve jumped SJ on grass for a long time. The footing was a tad slippery after all the rain we’ve had.

We entered the start box and headed off toeards the first jump. Buddy flew it. So I was thinking it could be a good day. Then he slipped round the corner to number 2 and I got my line totally wrong to number 3. Still he cleared both. But by the time we got to number 4, the combination of my very dodgy line and an evil filler were too much for Buddy. First stop. Kicking myself more than him, we got over it at the second attempt.

Regrouped over number 5. Then another evil filler at number 6, two stops there and it was all over for us. Gutted, I patted Buddy and walked out of the arena.

There were lots of positives though. I didn’t get lost finding the venue. My new sticky competition riding tights were super comfy and did the trick. Buddy dealt with a very slippery and busy warm up. I knew the course. And the jumps we did do felt good.

It’s another new venue for us. And another new format. I now have two months to get the practise before the Champs. I’ve booked onto a XC clinic next Sunday and am forming a plan of how to find as many evil fillers as possible to jump.

So in May, it’ll be back to Aston Le Walls we go! At least I’ve been there before.



They say horses sweat and women glow. Well quite frankly, I’m not sure which of us sweated the most tonight!

We headed out for a jump lesson at a new venue and with a new instructor, Ellie Hurst. Normally I’d be a little apprehensive. But we were both chilled. Since I’ve put Buddy on a balancer, he’s like a different horse.

Buddy was soon flying round the course. Few dodgy moments. And one flying lesson for me (haven’t had one of those for a while). Lots to like though!


Popped over to Blackwater to catch up with the campers at T&N Equestrian’s camp. It was great catching up with everyone. It really got me in the camp vibe. Two more sleeps till Buddy and I head off to camp ourselves.

There were Dressage RC Area Qualifiers over there too so I caught up with even more people. Ended up grooming for a friend.

And collected two of the three rosettes I won last weekend at the SJ RC Area Qualifiers. I’ve had time to reflect on it more. To go to our first SJ RC Area Qualifiers and come back with three rosettes is pretty good going.

And we’ve qualified for the Championship in September too. Maybe we’re not that bad after all.

Winner winner

What a fabulous day it’s been. Took Buddy over to Easton for a spot of show jumping. After doing so well at the last show, I stepped him up to 70cm and 80cm. Boy did he deliver!!

We only went and won the 70cm!!! It was a lovely flowing course so I knew we could cover the ground in the timed section. I let him run to the last and he came back when I asked to fly it.

It was a huge class too so had a long wait to get the result. I kept thinking that someone would get a faster time. But not today! It’s not often we bag a red one. So savouring it.

Then onto the 80cm. Still on a high, I didn’t care what happened. But Buddy was up for it. Punched a skinny out early in the course so decided to go for a fast 4 faults.

Once more, my little boy flew round. And we came away with 6th place and the second fastest 4 faults.

I’m still beaming!!

We’ve been training so hard and it’s a wonderful feeling when it all comes together. Back to Eventing soon me thinks. For now, I’m celebrating cause we did good!!


This came up on my memories today. 7 years ago I was ticking another thing off my horsey bucket list. The Rolex, Kentucky. It was an incredible experience.

I was listening to a build-up podcast about this year’s event as I drove home from Birmingham. Sounds like it’s going to be another special event. I’ve been fortunate enough to go to Burghley, Badminton and Kentucky. There are a few more 5* events I’d love to go to. As well as WEG, the Olympics and HOYS to name a few.

So as I drove, I mentally created my updated horsey bucket list. And I want to do the Grand Slam in Eventing and Show jumping! Dream big they say. So that’s mine!


First competition of 2022 done! A spot of show jumping at Easton College. The last time I was here, I had a rather interesting time. And a flying lesson from Buddy.

To say I was a little apprehensive would be an understatement. But I honestly couldn’t fault Buddy today. He warmed up beautifully for the 60cm class. He felt switched on and ready to go. I haven’t felt so calm before a competition for a long time. Few sticky moments in the ring, but he listened and responded when I asked. Thrilled with a clear round and 3rd place.

Then onto the 70cm. Again, he felt up for it and flew round the course in a much better rhythm. Just the last down but still bagged 6th place as it was a decent time. Totally my fault as I knew I’d got the turn wrong so it was an awful line. But he tried his best for me.

To come back with two placings was beyond my dreams. I was aiming for understated and to enjoy myself. I’m trusting him more. I’m trusting me more. And more than anything I’m trusting our training.

Hard work paid off today. Onwards and upwards.

The power of the clipboard

Today I was helping out at the Riding Club Combined Training. I was on the SJ gate. And joy of joys, they gave me a clipboard. 👏🏻

I love a clipboard. And woe betide anyone who underestimates the power of a clipboard. That simple item bring a gravitas and air of authority.

Needless to say, I was a happy bunny keeping track of everyone.

Got back and told Buddy all about it. He was thrilled as you can see. Freeschooled him and had a play session before cooling him off in the sunshine. I’ve warned him that we are off competing soon. 😊

Bog monster

Buddy fully embraced his Irish breeding with a well-deserved mud pack roll in the sunshine. Seems appropriate as it’s St Patrick’s Day.

He definitely earned it after a cracking jumping lesson this morning with Lewis from Neric Equestrian. The improvement on our last lesson was marked. So were the heights as ‘Whack ‘em up Palmer’ was on full form.

We were flying 1m+ jumps by the end. Put the biggest smile on my face. Even with an unscheduled dismount. When it’s good, my goodness it’s good!! Need to get out to a competition and put it all into practise.

Duvet day

Today I did something that I rarely do. And something I haven’t done for ages. I had a duvet day! The kittens and I barely left the sofa and I’m still in my PJs.

Watched the Strictly final from last night (and was in floods by the end). It’s been a brilliant series. Gutted for AJ. Thrilled for Rose. But would have been happy with John winning too.

Then it’s been full on Equestrian. Watched the coverage from The London Horse Show. First last night’s coverage and then the World Cup. Very inspired to get back out jumping again.

Today has been a good day! Sometimes you need to stop. After all, even birds have to rest.