Jayne Merritt


IOW Wobbleberry Event


When I signed up to be a Wobbleberry my horse Barclay (then 17) was out of action & I wasn't too sure I'd ever get to the point of being able to compete or want to. We used to do unaffiliated riding club eventing about 8/9 years ago. Then after some mishaps, my hate of show jumping & disliking falling off we turned more to dressage. I even gave that up about 5/6 years ago due to lack of transport, costs & my general apathy to competing. (Loved the training but just switched off at competitions) After spending a quiet winter getting Barclay right again it suddenly dawned on me that we would have to do this (possibly). So naturally I did flatwork ( it is the easy part after all!) Living on the Isle of Wight is fantastic but sometimes that stretch of water can make life difficult, fortunately with thanks to the Wobbleberries Challenge we were able to set up & hold our own one day event to allow those of us here the opportunity to compete & complete our challenge. So with the date set for August Bank Holiday Monday the hard work really had to start & that meant facing our fear/loathing of SJ!!! I have never been really confident & neither has Barclay, particularly with fillers or anything out of the ordinary. We had a few basic lessons to get us leaving the ground a bit & then progressed onto scarier things. We had a few battles but some help from a friend proved to be the changing point when I realised I had to want to do it & make him!! Sounds simple doesn't it now. I made myself do some jumping on my own & got out fillers & barrels etc. After a few days doing this we cracked it!!! I can honestly say he's never jumped so well. Fast forward to our event... oh what about the x-country training... a doddle, we've always found that easy... don't ask!!! Thanks to fellow Wobbleberries Hannah & Jen for hosting!! And our trainer Hare for organising & co-ordinating the day. And what a fabulous day it was, probably one of the hottest days of the year. I was feeling very nervous as I went to get Barclay ready, arriving at the event & everyone was in the same boat. One of the major issues I've had with competing Barclay has been tension, I have to say he was the most relaxed he's ever been at any event. We were first to go & I was pleased with his dressage, only a bit of tension through a few moves! 1 down.. 2 to go! A quick change & onto the dreaded SJ, as he was relaxed I was able to ride him into the fences, we rattled a couple of poles but luck was on our side & they stayed up!!! Woooohoooo!! If that had been the end of our challenge I would have been perfectly happy. Barclay did a lovely clear round x-country too, the icing on the cake!! Oh and we came 4th!! Sorry for the essay but just so super proud to have done this & honoured to be part of The Wobbleberry Challenge. A big thank you to everyone who has made all this possible! #inspiredbyhannah #kickingcancersbutt

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