Anna’s March blog
For me and my team March mainly consisted of lots and lots of preparation for the biggest event I had ever been to – my first international. I received a very unexpected email from Islay Auty (chief Junior Selector) at the end of February saying that she has selected me to represent Great Britain at Addington for the International. We very quickly got into scheduling our training, working back from Addington to ensure that preparations were at their best all the way up to the competition. In the last few months I have been training a lot with Bruce King and he has really changed the way that me and Gleavo work together and has completely transformed Gleavo making him much more rideable both in the ring as well as at home. Whilst I work with 3 trainers regularly, the other two being Olivia Oakeley and Claire Speers, as many people seem not question, they all work on different things which really enhances the overall picture of me and Gleavo.
We got up to Addington on Wednesday 18th and stayed there for 5 days, coming back home on the 22nd. Wednesday was purely a settling in day for both Gleavo and I, we worked him in one of the outdoor arenas that day after about a 4 hour journey before stabling him for the night.
Thursday 19th – Trot up day. We took Gleavo for a gentle walk in the morning as he is normally out in the field during the day when he is at home, and as turnout was obviously not an option this was the best we could do for him. We then plaited up and I got changed into our GB trot up dress and headed out to the main arena. We were very lucky as a nation as although some of our horses got held to be reviewed, they all passed the trot up.
Friday 20th – This was the first day of competition for the Juniors, and whilst we had, had a taster of the atmosphere during the trot up, it was much tenser that day. I was on around midday and the competition was well underway. Since neither me nor Gleavo had ever competed in a competition that was in anyway this big before we were mainly going to gain experience. During tests Gleavo can get very tense; this was very evident in his test. Luckily he doesn’t do anything drastic when he gets like this; however he becomes very questioning of my aids and quickly loses his rhythm in his walk. Unfortunately due to the level of the competition this meant that his walk earned 3’s and 4’s from all the judges, and whilst the rest of the test got 6.5’s/7’s as a main score it did bring the final percentage down massively to 61.53%.
Saturday 21st – Today we rode through the second test which is the individual. Gleavo was a lot more settled in this test, having already competed in the arena and having been allowed to school in there twice also really helped. The walk had improved a bit, and whilst he still got a tad tense he brought the marks up to 4’s and 5’s. As the rest of the test was pretty consistent but nothing ‘out of this world’ as we were keeping Gleavo in his comfort zone so as not to pressure him during his first big experience. We gained a more respectable score of 62.76% from more experienced judges, and Islay was much happier with this test and how it went.
Sunday 22nd – As Islay had told me the evening before, today was definitely the day to enjoy. It was the first time I was going to ride through my freestyle and whilst it wasn’t the ideal situation it went better than expected. I had borrowed the music from one of my trainers, Claire who had a horse that goes very similarly to Gleavo. It wasn’t perfect, and I was slightly in front of the music throughout but it worked. We scored 63.87%, with one of the judges giving me 67% for my artistic impression!
The experience was absolutely amazing and one that I won’t be forgetting any time soon! Islay has said that she hopes to be able to offer me the opportunity of doing a few more internationals in the current year to get me and Gleavo as much experience as possible. Hopefully there will be more exciting times ahead.Share this