Sophie Hall - Rounding Up The Season
I hope everyone got to enjoy a fun-filled, haunted Halloween with their horses this October. This month saw the end of the event season for Gusthoff and the close of George’s busy dressage season too. As I sit here in a chilly November I am not quite sure what to do with myself. The horses are having a lovely holiday which has been thoroughly deserved. However, it would be fair to say I really do not know what to do without them!
Gus and I tested out our photogenic faces in October for a Shearwater photo shoot. The brilliantly talented Photography by HR headed over to Weston Park to take some snaps of us in our super smart kit. Having just been eventing on a very cold and wet day, I was very much aware of my ‘hat hair’ situation – not a good look! Hannah was absolutely lovely though and managed to capture some really special moments. Gus has been a horse of a lifetime for me so it was very special to do this with him.
Summing up our Event Season
This is the time of year when we sit back and look at how the event season has gone, what we feel could have gone better, what we are really proud of and what our goals will be for 2019. I like to be honest and open in these blogs because it really is true that nobody in the horse world has a perfect journey. Horses are such brilliant levellers that is for sure. Poor Gus has not had the season we had planned for at all. We hoped to make his international debut together but luck was not with us as injury after injury struck. His remedial shoeing is definitely working wonders but will also be a long, slow process that cannot be rushed. We have therefore decided to take off the pressure for him. He has taken me to places I never thought we would go so he really owes me nothing. If he continues to improve and feel good in himself, we plan to hit the eventing circuit again next year but lowering the expectations and putting the focus on having fun! Baby Freddie has big shoes to fill following in this boy’s footsteps that is for sure.
George dances his way to finish on a high with British Dressage Victory
With the unexpected set back for poor Gus, George got the season of all seasons! He has certainly been a busy boy and really has put a smile on all our faces with his enthusiasm. This month marked the end of his competition year with the British Dressage Veteran Horse National Championships 2018. It was a miserable, rainy day and due to getting very lost we ended up with 15minutes warm up – not quite the start we had hoped for! We entered the arena and George was VERY excited! I think the flower pots and the judges’ tables most definitely had some scary monsters hidden in them. He held it together though and we made it through the test. Not our best but not our worst. We packed up ready to go home when a lady shouted across the car park to say we had been placed and were needed at prize giving(!) None of us could believe it, our clever 21-year-old came 8th at his first attempt at this championship – wow! Sack the jockey, as I did have a little blonde moment error of course which prevented us from a podium finish – it was that close at the top! The judge came to speak to me afterwards to complement us and say how handsome he was which was so lovely. A perfect way to finish!
So that is it for October. Baby Freddie has been settling well and also went for a lesson with my show jump trainer which was great fun. He had the physio Emma Dainty for the very first time and was good as gold. Emma did say she thinks he has a lot of growing left to do however – eek! Here’s hoping we don’t end up with too much of a mammoth!
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