Badminton horse trials this year was incredibly exciting to follow, with a truly challenging cross country course which made me sweat just watching at home on my sofa! Flying around our mini (by comparison) 90cm course at Eland Lodge on Sunday I was reminded as to why I am so passionate about our sport. Success at any level in eventing requires a partnership between you and your horse built on absolute trust. When you train together every day and experience successes and failures together, you develop a relationship which is something unique and beautiful. It is the trust that our horses place in us that allows us to achieve such feats within our sport.
Archie flew out of the start box last Sunday, but I felt him hesitate for that fraction of a second before the first few fences. Following our recent training session (A Balanced Approach) I was prepared for this and my leg and seat was there to catch, support and guide him meaning I was in a much better place to give him the confidence he needed. Sunday was the first time I have ridden around a cross country course clear and within the time, with the final result being that we were 8 seconds too fast! The course was kind, without too many tricky combinations or skinny fences, but plenty of steps and water combinations to get Archie’s brain in gear. It was a wonderful feeling to know that the recents months of training are finally starting to pay off, and a 6th place birthday frilly to take home didn’t hurt either!
I won’t deny that the more I do the more I want to do, and the more my dreams and aspirations grow. The exhilaration and adrenaline rush of riding cross country is addictive and the evenings after when I’m wallowing in “post-event blues” I find myself plotting our next training session and next outing. Archie and I are now over a year into our relationship and I can feel the difference in his interactions with me. There is a level of understanding and trust there which has taken time to build and grow, but which is vital to us being successful as a pair. Not only that, I am now trusting him too, and really, when you strip everything else away, trust is all you need.
As it says on the tin, this is a personal blog about the journey Archie and I are taking in discovering the world of eventing. Archie is a 6 year old Irish gelding, and I am a 26 year old horse addict. I didn’t grow up in a family with horses, and Archie was the first horse I ever owned, having loaned for over 20 years. I hope that we can show other riders who perhaps don’t feel that they can achieve their dreams, that anything is possible!
Re-published by kind permission of Journey of an Amateur Eventer|Blog