My name is Julie and I have two horses, Rubio and Kir at Hill Livery. I have been on the yard for___ years. Both of my boys are Spaniards and Rubio is still coming to terms with the fact that he has to jump sometimes!
After seeing how much fun some of the other girls at the yard were having while completing Team chase events, I decided I would like to have a go at that, I had caught the bug sort of speak! After looking to see what was on offer I found an event held at Tumpey Green in South Glos, Team Hunter Trials (pick and mix class – 60, 70, 80 cm).
Some of the other girls on the yard, Emily with Duke and Emma with Tia, were also interested in this event. We were all varying in experience, Emily and Duke were completely new to this whole scene, Emma and Tia had previously completed some Team Chasing events and I was also new to this, But had some experience of competing cross country.
So, with the team established, we now had to think about how this would work? We decided that it would be useful to try our formation out in the fields (we are lucky we have so much space at Hill Livery) to see how the horses went in different orders. There were a few funny moments and a few times we needed breaks! But we had found our order, I was to lead with Rubio, Emma and Tia were second and Emily and Duke would be bringing up the rear. We were ready!
The day arrived 15th October 2017, we were nervous, excited and above all else totally up for this challenge! The ride went well, there were some areas for development and lessons were learned, but we came a Respectable 5th place. We were all happy with that considering for some of us this was our horses first ever time experiencing new fences and obstacles, like water.
We had all been bitten and were hungry to do this again! So, the final Hunter Trial was on the 5th November, we had learned from the previous event and new what we had to do. The weather was good and the ground was great. We just had to put all of it together and action a great result.
And we were off! We started as we had planned, we were keeping close together to hopefully improve our time (we were getting competitive now). The horses were keen, to say the least, and there was some discussion to see who was going to lead (the ponies must have been talking the night before). We lost our formation and breaks were definitely required. The planning had all gone out of the window by the time we had gotten to the third fence. Even though we were not as organised as the last time we were out, we still had so much fun. It was a total BLAST! We were placed 5th (again). We really did all have so much fun.
I can’t wait for more Hunter Trials in 2018. We are hungry for more ribbons and to improve. We will be out and about over winter to keep practicing and working on our formation. It will also help provide the horses with a firm education on a variety of fences. Can’t wait for the next event! We are hopeful for more ribbons, but most of all having loads of fun!