Katherine Cooksley’s blog: The winter work pays off

Horslyx Ambassador Katherine Cooksley updates us on her latest news and talks about competing in her first BD able-bodied competition…

“The last few weeks have been extremely busy for my team and I, but the weather picking up has really lightened the spirits of the team after a very wet winter and the horses are loving the sunshine and a bit of heat! In my last blog I was discussing the Winter Championships. This was a successful outing, with Rohan and I coming second in our first test of the day. Unfortunately the Championship class wasn’t until 6 hours later and by this time Rohan had decided it was bed time so the test lacked crucial impulsion and enthusiasm on his part so we came just out of the placings in that test.”

“The following week we went on to compete at West Wilts where Rohan certainly had his mojo back, gaining a win here which was super with lots of enthusiasm, and all our winter’s work came into play. There was a massive improvement in the test from Rohan’s part. This last weekend we also competed in our first BD able-bodied competition, which we also won. We participated in the BD’s new Team Quest as part of the Calleva Classy Ladies team. I rode the hardest of the tests, the Novice 27, which Rohan won with over 69%. There were a few blips in the test and he was a little spooky in the arena which lead to a little resistance and hesitation, however he had warmed up beautifully and for our first able-bodied competition I think he performed exceptionally well. We’ll definitely be looking to get out to do some more able-bodied competitions alongside our para-dressage.”

“Training is going really well at the moment, we have a new member to the team, Liz Yates who is schooling Rohan a couple of times a week just to help me to address some problems related to my disability with Rohan, which is common with para horses. This is working really nicely and Rohan seems to be responding really well to the new routine. Our winter of work also seems to be starting to come together with Rohan becoming far more enthusiastic about his job (always helpful!), he’s also learning to carry himself better and remain focused during his work. This has resulted in more muscle developing, so he’s now even bigger to ride…lucky me!”

“We have a few busy months ahead, with the Home International at the beginning of June,  followed by the Hickstead Championships which we have now qualified for and Bishop Burton 2* international which we are aiming for selection for. We also have numerous qualifying competitions & also some more able-bodied competitions on the agenda.”

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