The beginning of February saw our first adventure out with Zeta. I decided to take her to a local show just down the road from the yard. The reasoning behind this being, that if she decided to throw a wobbly we could get her home as soon as possible. She had never been to a show before, so we were unsure how she would cope after just two months of being in work and partnered with me. I will explain that Zeta is extremely talented, but fairly sharp. The warm up was... FAST. I think my words to my mum when I was called in were ‘I’ve never been so un-ready for something in my entire life’. Still we went in and proceeded to wave our legs at the photographer (on each rein). Heather Ashley who was judging was extremely patient and understanding with us and gave me a serious amount of time to work her in before ringing the bell. The test was okay, showed glimpses of the horse she has the potential to be, but was extremely tense and nervous. I gave her a nice confidence building ride and was very pleased with her. We got a very respectable first score of 66+% and I was over the moon.
The following weekend I decided to get my brave pants on and take Zeta on her first hack with me. I wasn’t so sure how she would cope so I took the best nanny with us and we went on the roads on a very sunny day (I know, hard to believe). She was absolutely fabulous, so well behaved in fact she put Woody to shame.
After our Woodington debut, we knew we needed to get her out as much as possible and give her as much exposure and experience as possible, so I decided to go to Cholderton on the 18th. Zeta had already improved so much for this show. She worked in in the warm up amazingly. She was so relaxed and focused on me, even her canter was very relaxed. I was tricked at this point…. The test, not so much! As we entered the indoor, she went to spook at the gallery and spun, but took the letter ‘H’ block with her. Everyone watching, including myself, all held their breaths for the explosion. Anyone who knows her knows that this was not going to help anything. She didn’t explode but unfortunately it was enough to unsettle her brain and she didn’t settle in the test at all. I decided to retire halfway through the test as she was so upset. The second test was so much better, she was still tense, but she let me ride her and we had no mistakes, so I just gave her a nice ride. We managed 62+% in this test. I was very happy with the progression at this show as I know in time she will have so much more to give. Right now, it is not about scores for her, it is all about building her confidence, so she can enjoy shows.
The final weekend in February, Kirsty (my sharer for Woody) and I decided to go for a hack round the fields at home. Only to have a pretty terrifying experience… We had our first helicopter land on us! When the realisation set in that this helicopter was about to land in the field next to us, I think it was the first time I have really felt like I was in trouble. A bit melodramatic, but I thought that this was it, this is how I die… I know, melodramatic. It was a true test of the bond we have built together because she did attempt to run BUT listened to me calming her down and stayed with me. We survived the hack and decided we would take her to the forest on the Sunday for a fun day. We boxed both Woody and Zeta up (after giving Zeta a calmer) and headed to the forest. We were out for hours on an adventure and both horses had the most fun. It is so important that they both get to have fun as they work so hard in the school.
Woody has been quietly working at home. He had got a little heavy in my hands, so I had the dentist out to visit him and he had fairly sharp teeth. After the dentist gave him a little MOT he felt amazing in his training again. So much so we are aiming for our first advanced next month so watch this space...
I am so looking forward to what March brings, I have lots of shows planned and even more importantly I am looking forward to meeting up with Sophie from Imperial Colt, so she can meet both Woody and Zeta and hopefully get some beautiful photos together.
Until next month x