Young Rider Blog April 2019: Rosa Onslow

15 Apr 2019

The last month has been so busy, starting with 3 days of show jumping and Cross Country lessons from the fantastic Andy Heffernan at Somerford Park. I been doing this since I was about 12 - it helps to get my eye in and the facilities are amazing with 4* level XC schooling fences and show jumping up to height - I wouldn’t like to go into a season without it.

The following weekend, I went for lessons with Ian (dressage) and Heidi (cross country and SJ) Woodhead on the way to my first event of the season at Lincoln Horse Trials. At Lincoln, I had two lovely clear XC rounds in the OIU21 with both Sunny and Kaiser. There were plenty of time faults as I just cruised round, but I am happy with this as I don’t want to be putting the pressure on at this stage of the season - it’s important they just enjoy it. Show jumping also went well, with Kaiser jumping a lovely clear. With two competitive dressage tests I finished 5th and 8th in the OIU21 (a GB U21 trial).

After a couple of days rest for the horses, it was in the horsebox again, and down to Caroline Moore for lessons near Grantham, ahead of Belton Horse Trials. Caroline is an amazing instructor and the lessons I had were invaluable ahead of the advanced class at Belton. It’s important to get your eye in ahead of jumping those big fences and it was great to be able to run through my dressage tests on grass - something that is tricky to do in Scotland at this time of year!

The highlight of the month was Belton in the advanced U25 class. Kaiser and I did our personal best at dressage lying 4th in the class. Sunny also did a respectable test, lying 10th. They are definitely improving in this phase. Show jumping followed. Sunny went clear with a lovely round. Kaiser was jumping out of his skin, the best he has ever jumped. But……as we went into the double, he jumped so big, he went left to try to get more room to jump out. My foot caught the upright and this gave him a fright. We had the next 2 down until he settled again, and he jumped beautifully round the 130cm course.

Both horses went clear XC, going all direct routes, again with time faults as I’m saving them for bigger events in the season. Sunny finished 5th out of U25s and 1st out of U21s (GB U21 team trial) and Kaiser finished 10th out of U25s and 3rd out of U21s. It was a particularly difficult course, with numerous Badminton/top horses having run outs, so I was thrilled that they went so well. I am really excited about this season, and can’t wait for our next outing in the Burnham Market CCI4*S. Even if it is over 10 hours away! I’ll tell you all about it in my next blog.

It only remains to say that my horses look amazing, and many people have commented on how well they look. What are they fed on? Harbro Conditioning Cubes, Haylage and Chaff. I am so lucky to have Harbo’s support and I am convinced that it is a large part of my having happy, relaxed horses.

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