Nicki Strong’s blog: Two completions under her belt

As the season progresses it is great to hear how Horslyx Ambassador Nicki Strong has been getting on! In her latest blog she tells us more about what she has been up to over the past few weeks…

“A BE90 – the holy grail as far as I’m concerned. Last year blue and I had our first season together scuppered by injury, and this season each one we entered was called off because of the weather. Imagine my surprise then to be able to report we’ve completed TWO!”

“The first was a rescheduled fixture at West Wilts. I was pretty nervous when we arrived and were informed they were just awaiting the air ambulance. Didn’t help my nerves too much – neither did passing Andrew Nicholson. Out of my depth much?! Anyway, we cracked on and went over to the dressage. He warmed up beautifully but felt a bit behind the leg and the horse flies were giving him some serious stick. He was very stuffy in our test and I finished more tired than he did! That said it was accurate and we got a 43. The Show Jumping to be honest was a disaster, we were very delayed due to the earlier fall, and the intense heat, horse flies and small warm up overlooking the cross country sent my boy a little over the edge. By the time we went in he was in a muck sweat and foaming, no concentration and went very green for 3 down. I very nearly withdrew from the cross country as he was so not himself, but was glad we persevered. He was much calmer with more space, and put in a seriously confident cross country round to end the day on a really good note. He was a complete machine!”

nikki 8

“Next up was Tweseldown. He’s been here unaffiliated a few times before and knew the score. This meant I had a totally different horse – buzzed would be the word! Canter transitions were very exciting, and far from being behind the leg, I was working to contain him. The result was a 44 dressage – worse than before but he actually felt much more rideable. He maintained his forwardness for the Show Jumping, and did his best to remind us of his racehorse roots! A super fast round with 2 down. Actually not too bad a result over what was a very stiff track for a 90. Over to the Cross Country, and again he felt in his element here –  just stormed round. I was completely gutted to pick up 20 penalties as he jumped extravagantly over a ditch out to the side so we couldn’t present directly to the ‘b’ element a few strides on. He had no idea he got 20 penalties and carried on with huge enthusiasm making light of all the fences, and was a complete demon through the water. So much fun! Our results on paper haven’t as yet matched our capabilities, but I’m delighted we’ve finally got started eventing and we’re having the best time.”

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“We have a few weeks before our next outing, so we’re making the most of it; lots of work as usual of course, but also we’ve jumped Blue’s biggest Show Jumping course yet at 3’3”, had a couple of lessons with a Grand Prix Show Jumper to help re-establish our rhythm, had a change of bit to address our control issues, trying a new calmer to help his concentration, and for a bit of TLC Blue is booked in for a physio session with Equilibrium Veterinary Physiotherapy, and has had his teeth seen to. In the mean time, Ruby has had treatment for Kissing Spines and is currently going through rehab including lots of in hand work and exercises. She felt fab under saddle after her injections and I can’t wait to get back on board when she’s strong enough! Feeling excited for her future now.”

“Outside of my full time day job, I’ve been reporting at Barbury, interviewed the Team GBR WEG eventing squad for Eventing Worldwide, and am off to work in the press office at the Hickstead Royal International Horse Show next week so a pretty busy month all told.”

nikki 10

“Back at home, my friend’s horse is currently on a period of box rest following surgery on her hocks, and we’ve donated a 5kg Mobility Horslyx for her to use daily whilst she is having her box mucked out. This has been a great help as it keeps her occupied, as well as giving her all the goodness she’s not getting from the grass at the moment. The ‘mobility’ ingredients are a bonus to help keep her joints happy whilst she’s confined to her stable. I’ve used Horslyx for years and am still finding newuses for them – as products go, that’s pretty impressive! We were very grateful to receive our new Horslyx saddle cloths and rug and can’t wait to get them out again. #LoveHorslyx #ProudAmbassador.”