So after a nightmare first couple of months, March has been relatively drama free.. relatively. After our X-Rays earlier in the year we discovered that Woody was suffering with one inflamed vertebrae & that it was probably causing him some discomfort & restriction. After a lot of thought, I decided to have treatment on the area. (I didn’t like the thought of Woody being uncomfortable & not telling me).

The treatment occurred on the 3rd March and I had already entered Crofton on the 11th March. After two days off, light work for three days & one chance to ride through only one of my tests I decided to go & compete. Not sure if I was brave or stupid! I couldn’t quite believe how much freer Woody was feeling & how much more swing through his back he had. Our only downfall would be the fact our fitness was not quite there, so, I made the decision that if he felt tired I would retire from the second test.

Woody warmed up beautifully, was listening & thoroughly enjoying being back out at a competition after 2 months. However, when we got into the test Woody decided flying changes were the most exciting thing ever & he thought I clearly didn’t know what I was doing… this resulted in some rather expressive changes that unfortunately were all late! Nevertheless, we managed a 65+% a 2nd in our section & 4th overall. What made this even better was 1 mark would have put us 1st overall as our collectives were fantastic. As Woody had felt fantastic I decided to ride the second test & play it by ear. He was so much easier to ride in the second test & I rode much better which resulted in a more fluent test. Unfortunately we had a repeat when it came to the changes.. I feel we need much more test time with changes which is something we will be working on. We got 66+% in this test with the same outcome.

Within the next week or so, we will be moving yards to be based with Mark Hallion. This is a much better opportunity for us as we will have a trainer on site & around a mile away is Roland Tong so yet another fabulous trainer. I will also have the opportunity to ride another young horse which is great preparation for when Marmite comes into work next year. For us SPRING has SPRUNG & I am making the most of the light evenings.. Woody is also making the most of the fresh grass & boy hasn’t he let me know about it!

After all the time off, treatments & lack of training this year, I was over the moon to go to an affiliated competition at the start of March & get two scores over 65%! Right now, it is back to boot camp, get some lessons under our belt & get ready to head out again on the 22nd April. I am also working on our very first freestyle debut, which is extremely exciting as we have never done it before… the only hint I am giving is his names Woodstock, Haysden Woodstock… 

Amy xx

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