Lizzy Bird – Smiths Lawn

Last event before A level results… that was the only way I could think about Smiths lawn. Subconsciously I was very anxious about results because A2 results aren’t like any other results day – you have to do this thing called ‘University’. I hear it is where you can become qualified to pursue a certain career (sounds exciting!) but then again, all the memes that I see on Facebook portray general broke-ness (is that a word? Proves I need some form of higher education!) And drowning in coursework… sounds appealing on social media.

Either way, I knew I was going to have a chilled run at Smiths lawn, in a state of blissful ignorance to my outcome of examinations. Oh hang on, wait a second, is that Lizzy talking about a stress free event? Ah yes, thought so… definitely not! It was Todd FIRST NOVICE and Halles first novice back! All very exciting, and nerve wracking to say the least!

Halle kicked off the day with a 34 dressage (which I thought was rather generous considering we jumped across the arena from E to B as the marker was terrifying!! ) which was lovely and positive albeit rather tense for her first novice back. She then continued on her positive streak with a blinding clear round a small and twisty show jumping course that was causing a fair few problems throughout the day and then went to top it off with an awesome clear cross country. Smiths lawn has a few combinations that are very testing of straightness, even for some of the more experienced horses. Hal gave me wings and locked onto and hit every fence perfectly. She finished 10th in a hot section with nothing being added onto her dressage!

Todd was in a different arena this time around for the dressage and it just happened to be the one that was furthest from the warmup yet closest to the horseboxes and the apparently super distracting statue (a masterpiece to certainly admire, but not during a dressage test…. TODD). He just seemed to totally switch off to me and had better things (he thought) to be getting on with, such as wondering just how close he was now to the lorry… and Halle, of course. Very unhelpful especially as he warmed up the best he ever has done. I do have to sit back and remind myself that he is only 6, and is still learning the job description.

The result was a resounding 41 with just 8 to add from 2 poles show jumping (one of which was entirely my fault as I sat for another stride which ideally should only be there during training) and a few time faults xc. Without the time faults he would’ve finished at least 5 places higher but the secretary told mum the optimum time for the 100 and not the novice! The xc starter corrected me as I had 10 seconds to go but I didn’t have enough time to change my watch, and an educational (and more importantly blinding clear) run was prioritised for baby Todd’s first big boy class!

A massive shoutout and thankyou to the organisers and volunteers at Smiths lawn for such a gorgeous and smoothly run event, I loved it, had a wonderful day and was a perfect introduction to novice for Todd. Horses have now gone on a 2 week break whilst I organise university, results, have a cheeky few days in Cyprus and get the horses a mid season check over with Polly Godsafe our amazing physio, and teeth with the lovely Lilli Harvey. They remain in enough work to maintain their fitness and live out, supplemented by their Horslyx and daily feed. Photos courtesy of Lorraine Porter 😀

Photos courtesy of Lorraine Porter