Kirsty Norwood’s Blog: A momentous month (for many reasons!)

February was a momentous month for Horslyx Ambassador Kirsty Norwood! She turned 21, had a lesson with London 2012 Olympic Medallist Jock Paget, and of course had the small matter of competing herself! Find out more about Kirsty’s special start to the year!

“At the beginning of February, I took Java to his first competition of 2015, show jumping at Greenlands Equestrian Centre. I was a little sceptical of what the results would be, as Java had been in high spirits all week, and the more high spirited he is, the more he finds mundane objects spooky! He has the ability to turn into a fabulous example of a fire breathing dragon at times to much amusement!”

“We arrived to find the course full of bright and spooky fillers. He hadn’t jumped a course for months, so I was a little unsure as to how he would react. We had arrived rather early (I seem to be good at doing that!), so we had plenty of time to watch a few classes, where it was discovered that an unlikely suspect in fence 2 (a plain fence), was the undoing of many. I made a mental note to kick on here. Java actually came out a little sluggish in the warm up to my surprise, he needed a few reminders that we were show jumping! I needn’t have worried however, as Java jumped two fabulous double clears picking up a 1st and a 4th place! The first class required a small amount of tactical riding at the fillers, but he trusted me to keep going forward and never felt like he was backing off very much. This time last year as soon as he started to back off, he would apply the brakes, so I am glad we have had a breakthrough on that note! Not a bad start to 2015. Java enjoyed his Horslyx Original as a nice reward when we had loaded him, resulting in a very mucky Horslyx covered nose!”


“After I had celebrated my 21st birthday on the 21st February, I had an exciting lesson with Olympic Medallist from London 2012, Jock Paget. We really worked on planning our lines throughout the lesson, and letting Java know where we were turning next, so we both had a clear understanding, resulting in a more rhythmical and flowing round. We then jumped a large, technical course at the end. Java was excellent and the lesson instilled a lot of confidence in both of us. Jock was really down to earth and a fantastic instructor. I felt we achieved an awful lot in the hour and got a lot out of the day.”

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“On the 28th February, we had a show jumping and cross country lesson with Louise Smales. We worked on skinnies and turns, something Java and I need to work on the most. Java can get quite wobbly to a skinny, causing me to override, sometimes resulting in a run out. We worked on me staying very still and this really worked, Louise said I was riding in a very committed style, which suits us both and I feel we had made a significant improvement by the end of the lesson. We also had 5/10 minutes on the XC course (unfortunately the weather let us down), but Java was great and jumped everything I had asked of him.”

“So it has been fairly busy lately! Coming up we have another Louise Smales jumping lesson on the 10th March, BE Arena Eventing on the 15th where we have entered the BE90/100 classes, dressage on the 22nd and then Eden Valley BE90. So another extremely busy month! As well as competing, I am also looking forward to becoming a BE volunteer again for the season. The Cumbria Horse Trials team are fantastic to work with. I have volunteered in a variety of roles, including being the secretary, a scorer, part of the start team and a fence judge. It is fantastic to be part of, fingers crossed for another excellent summer!”