Well firstly apologies for not having been about for nearly two years and what a two years it has been. Since my last blog, Nickel has become a BD star, appearing in Horse and Hound after his first outing as he won both his classes at Prelim level. I was over the moon, being interviewed was so exciting, so Nickel had fulfilled one of my main bucket list items. He continued this fabulous form for the rest of the year, qualifying for the Petplan Area Festival, sadly I couldn't go due to work commitments but ho hum.
In 2013, he had a mixed year. I had changed job and it was such a time vampire. Nickel was put on the back burner. In spite of this he still won 3 times, including his first ever win at Novice affiliated and was never placed below 3rd. He qualified for the RC Championships and was 3rd in the Finals. However it was jumping that I concentrated on, I had been very guarded on how much jumping we would be able to do but my wish to do at least one ODE is too strong. So I changed job again in September and it made a massive difference, I had Nickel out nearly every weekend for the next six weeks. I took him for a ride round at Isleham before competing at Brent Pelham, he was amazing there, loved it and went round clear. Next we went to Horseheath to the site of his first Hunter Trial with me. This time he was so much easier and even though I did fall off him for the first time since I'd owned him and about the first time in 4 years, I felt vindicated in allowing him to jump again. We finished the season by going BS Club at Fenning Farm his first ever showjumping outing with me, I rode like a plum but he went really well when my friend rode him in the bigger class, proving fast and careful.
So aims for 2014 - More BD, hopefully trying to get to that elusive Petplan Festival at Prelim level and a few more BD points wouldn't go amiss, get my showjumping sorted out so we can have a go at a few ODEs and finally the first challenge, get us both fit enough to enter Keysoe Arena Eventing in February!