Cara Shardlow’s Blog: Chances and flying changes!

Last time we caught up with Cara she was getting geared up to go the the British Dressage winter nationals at Hartpury with Detonator II and Rhythmic Times…

“Typically my first class was on the Wednesday morning and my last class on the Sunday afternoon with nothing in between, we decided rather than traveling back which would cost just as much as the stabling for a week, that we would stay for the full week.”

“So, Detonator’s first class was the advanced medium restricted, he first went in the indoor at Hartpury last year and found it totally overwhelming, there is no other arena quite like it, so I was a little worried as to how he would behave this time. We were drawn quite early at 8.30am so that suited us as I knew it would be much quieter. He was much more rideable than last year still tense but barring one flying change were he spooked, I came out with a smile on my face.”

“Unfortunately the flying change was to be very costly in such a hot class, if we had done it correctly I think we would have finished about 6th but we ended up 11th just out of the rosettes. I am actually thrilled with this as we were up against the best in the country. His last class was one he got a wild card for the advanced medium freestyle, if I thought his other class was hot this was full of top name riders, just seeing my name down amongst them was amazing. Unfortunately it could not have been busier on the Sunday afternoon and it blew his mind with 3 large spooks in one corner meaning we did not do any of our left to right changes and at that level you just can’t do that. He is still young and I’m hoping he will grow in confidence at the bigger occasions, we are aiming to do a couple of Premier Leagues just to get him in that environment again.”

“Rhythmic Times was qualified for the Pet Plan advanced Medium restricted final again on the Sunday, he was much calmer than he has been of late and produced a good test but again a silly mistake in a change put us lower down the placings. This was probably his last championship and it was brilliant just to be there with him.”

“Both boys struggled a bit with been stabled all week but were kept occupied by their favourite Horslyx.”

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“Detonator is now qualified for the Prix St George Petplan area finals after gaining just under 64% last time out, to do this in just two outings at this level is brilliant, we just need to work on our canter pirouettes now!”

“Detonator and I were also asked by Becky Moody to be a demo rider at her Northern Dressage Extravaganza last weekend on my birthday. This was brilliant for him to be in that atmosphere with no real pressure and an audience, I was so pleased with how he coped. We had a brilliant afternoon and learnt lots as well.”

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“We have had our first two Horslyx sponsored unaffiliated dressage competitions here at Beckside with fantastic entries, especially in the junior sections and our new pick a test class where you can do up to Elementary level. I have been giving Horslyx as prizes and have had brilliant reports from the winners on how great they are. One competitor Alice Smith has used her mini lick for her pony who they cannot leave in the lorry at competitions and has to be lead around as she won’t stand still, they took their mini lick with them at the show and she was a different pony. She just stood calmly enjoying her lick no charging around, much happier, they are now totally converted to mini licks!!!”

“So I just have Measure for Measure to get qualified for the regionals, he only has one point left to get so hopefully we should manage this. Detonator will be contesting his first Premier League at Summerford all being well before the end of May, fingers crossed he copes with the crowds this time!”