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Gracie Catling
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We’ve had a quiet few weeks including half term and now sadly back to school again, but half term started quite dramatically with Saman having an emergency vet visit after a severe reaction to his flu jab. Luckily he has made a complete recovery , but it meant he had a bit of time off being ridden, but back on form now and will hopefully remain that way. We had a bit of a break from shows before we prepare for winter regionals. As we didn’t need to take the horses competing, we used the time to practice our music floor plans at Addington with Rocker and Billy. Billy has really developed some nice medium trot strides (which he thinks is his very best “posh trotting” as mum and I call it!) now which is quite exciting! Mum had to hold Rocker, video me and play the music which was quite funny!

We did lots of hacking and the horses needing physio and routine back treatments were also given the once over this week.

Trying to fit in riding four or five horses and school now the clocks have gone back has been difficult and pretty much all of my riding will now be done in the dark, but we are lucky enough to have floodlights in the arena, every winter to start with the horses being very spooky (literally scared of their own shadows for the first few weeks!) especially when its windy and rainy, you have to be quite determined and not let the dark and cold put you off.

As we have limited time in the winter and I have a lot of revision this year Mum does the running of the yard and then when I get home from school I usually ride two horses every day and three or four at weekends, homework is done after riding. We both go out to do night checks together at about ‪8.30-9pm and doing carrot stretches ( the horses favourite part of the day!).

It’s also a time of year where we start planning the next competition season. Officially I am out of ponies this year but we decided to enter a last minute PYO PFEI with Rocker at Bury Farm, I really didn’t know how he would cope, it’s a big step up but the fact I have trained him from prelim to pony FEI myself I thought it would be nice to finish the year with that on his record and mine. He will then focus on winter regionals and be stepped up to medium level. We were so pleased with his test and almost 66%, he was a bit shocked to be doing half pass and shoulder in at the beginning, but great piris and he grew in confidence and his canter was his highlight. I was so pleased with him, he didn’t struggle and I hope to do one more after Christmas. I was very lucky Bury Farm run these classes at the end of the day so I only missed half an hour of chemistry and manged to get a horse show in all on the same day!

Next for us will be starting the summer season ‪from December 1st and trying to qualify all over again; and then focus on Olympia Horse Show before Christmas. December is a busy time as we have three shows including Olympia, two weeks of mock exams, oh yes, and Christmas!


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