Nicki Strong’s blog: A well traveled month!

Horslyx Ambassador, Nicki Strong from Headstrong Equestrian, has been well traveled since we last caught up with her…

“Since my last post, I’ve had a few competitive outings; some with horse and a few without! At the beginning of May I went to Badminton Horse Trials to cover the event for the Swindon Advertiser. Alongside my full time job, I’m a freelance equestrian journalist and have been reporting on eventing for the Swindon Advertiser for over a year now. I focus on the Wiltshire based riders such as Mark Todd, Andrew Nicholson, Paul Tapner, Lucinda Fredericks, Ludwig Svennerstal… I could go on but suffice to say Wiltshire is an eventing hub! It was fantastic to witness all the action and worth the long days – it felt a bit surreal being there in the press conference to be honest, having grown up watching Badminton on the tv! A very cool job to do.”

nikki 1

“It was a shame for me that Paul Tapner couldn’t retain his lead and bring the title back to Wiltshire – what a story that would have been to write up! Equally though, it was a well deserved win for Sam Griffiths, and I got a bit of a fairytale story with Harry Meade coming third after his horrible accident last year. It was a very busy few days, but I was delighted to catch up with some of the Horslyx team whilst I was there too.”

nikki 2

“The first weekend of June I was reporting for Eventing Worldwide at a brand new fixture in the BE calendar, Farley Hall Horse Trials in Berkshire. The setting was beautiful, and I have to say one of the best organised events I’ve been to. Some really great action to report on and I’d love to compete there next year.”

“My ex-racehorse Blue and I have had a few outings too; we went to Sparsholt college for an eventer challenge which was so much fun! Eight SJ’s followed immediately by eight rustic xc style fences all in a large outdoor arena on a lovely surface. I suppose we were a bit rusty and had two poles down which was a bit frustrating but he was so much more fluent than ever before and I was really pleased with him. I hadn’t realised but we actually came away with 7th place in the 3’ class too; despite not going clear we were so close to optimum time! It was set at 120, and we finished on 120.61 so I was happy with how we had judged the pace.”

nikki 3

“We’ve also been doing some training; we had a flatwork lesson with Katharine Lewis, a Grand Prix dressage rider from Eastleigh. She has helped me to look at improving Blue’s walk which often lets him down in a test. Finally we went to Boomerang for some XC schooling – my first ever visit there and so much fun. Blue loved it, landing and locking onto the fences all around him. He has always been a bit of a wimp when it came to going down steps and tries to slide down, so I was over the moon with how bold he was down some decent sized steps. We both had a great time and schooled over all sorts of skinnies, tables, brushes, ditches, through water and even over bananas and boomerangs!”

nikki 4

“We have our first BE90 coming up very soon so hopefully it will stand us in good stead; we’ve done our homework so I’ll be trying to keep the nerves at bay and just enjoy it. We also have some more TeamQuest dates coming up, as well as some more dressage and SJ training booked so Blue and I are keeping out of trouble. Fingers crossed our next update will be a happy one and my air jacket will not have been inflated!”