Hilary Martin & Rocky

So today we went to Berkshire College to attempt a full show jumping course for the first time. Nerves were terrible I was very shaky and nauseous. Walking the course I instantly regretted not entering the 65 cm as the course looked huge. The first seven jumps were 75 cm but after that they went up to 80cm for the jump off phase and I was quaking. My daughter Emily walked the course with me and made me remember it as a pattern rather than the numbers which was a great tip, 12 jumps seemed a lot easier to remember that way. When we went back to the trailer to get ready I practiced a great tip from Helen Rennie. I closed my eyes and visualised myself jumping every fence and going through the finish, evidently it tricks your brain into thinking you have already done it! It made me calm enough to get on.

Rocky was quite fresh in the warm up he was very forward after the jumps and was doing flying changes all over the place with a little buck. I had a real moment where I felt I was not going to be able to go in the ring but my great support team were there all the way willing me on. Once in the ring Rocky was an absolute saint!! I actually remembered the course! The 12 fences came up so quickly, I struggled to breathe at times and I had to slow down a couple of times to sort out my reins and pick the canter up again but we did it, a very slow clear round and 11th place. I am definitely going to have to work on my fitness to make it round a cross country course. I was absolutely elated I was just delighted to get round and after an hour or so finally managed to eat something for the first time that day. Next stop is dressage training just need some top tips now for remembering the test.............

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