I thought we were starting to see the beginning of Spring here in Beara, Sun? Check, dry weather? Check…..Snow? wait what? Yes we’ve just had bitterly cold weather and overnight snow! Will we ever get out of winter I wonder, I was happily hacking in the sun!

So the end of January ended on a good note for me, I took part on a unaffiliated dressage league in Woodlands equestrian centre in Killarney. It was a four week league and I entered in two prelim classes, one with my instructor’s mare Issy and my own steed Danu. I also entered the Novice class with Danu. I was very happy as each week I saw my scores improve with both horses. On the final day of tests, I pulled it out of the bag with 73% with Issy, 3rd place with Danu in Prelim 2 class and 2nd in Novice class. Out of the league I won overall highest score and overall second place in the Novice class. It was a real boost for my riding and preparation for the Silver Spurs competition I will be entering! It was great to see an improvement each week and have a goal to work on for the 7 days.

I have set up a monthly lesson with my former equitation lecturer from college, Soraya Morscher, in preparation for my pony club A test. I rode her lovely mare Daisy in a jumping lesson, both indoor show jumping and out cross country. I have not been out XC in a few months and it was really good to have a refresher! I had rotational fall last year out XC which did put a damper on my confidence but, baby steps! I had another lesson with her at the end of February, where I rode a lovely 17hh 5yo Warmblood named Ted. Wonderfully balanced 5 yo, shoulder-in was a doddle for him! I did both flat work and jumping, working on related distances and roll back turns.

The first part of the Silver Spurs competition is taking place between 21st-25th of March. These are assessment days. A judge from the UK comes to asses each rider on trainability, position and effectiveness. There is a 45 minute lesson and riders are asked to ride school movements. At the end of the lesson, each rider is given a mark out of 30 and it is put on a national leader board.  At the end of all the assessment days the top 10% of each class is invited to join for the semi finals and the finals in Spruce Lodge in July. Last year I got a great score of 23.2/30 and did complete the semi finals and the finals. It was the idea I bring my instructors mare Issy for the competition this year, but I might be riding my lovely cob yet, we will see!

I am currently working alongside the creator of the Beara way walking trials to set up the first BHS approved bridle path  in the Republic of Ireland! All very exciting! All going well it should be up and running by the end of May/ start of June. We will have the Irish rep from BHS in two weeks to walk (or maybe ride!) some of the tracks we want approved. All updates from this can be found in my Beara By Horseback FB page!

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