Jennifer Wicksted & Dorothy II
I signed up to the challenge in it's first year, inspired to push myself well out of my comfort zone of serious anxiety and nerves. 2017 training went well however it was still hard to recover after something went wrong, I'd go back to square one. Last year I had spend a lot more time working the basics to get there in small steps. I started to eye up events and decided on Llanymynech on the August bank holiday weekend. It was a very early start and I'd only managed about an hour's sleep the night before - I put a LOT of pressure on myself to compete. We got there and did an average dressage test for a fair result, then we headed over to the SJ warm up. To be totally honest, this was the phase I was least concerned about - not that I was confident but I felt the challenges would definitely be on the XC course. Dee warmed up confidently, taking on the jumps in the warm up and I felt ready. We went in to start our round and both of us shrunk. The course was nice, but we seemed to lose all momentum and in fairness I didn't push her for it as much as I thought I did! We belly flopped fence 3, had 2 stops at fence 5 and with a further stop at fence 6. I was so disappointed and felt like an awful lot of work had gone into preparing that I hadn't even considered we wouldn't even get to the XC! So our BE debut was over within 2 hours and it was a very long drive back! It was a valuable lesson for me, that it's unfair to expect her to sort things out and leave it all on her terms - so since then we have been out to some local SJ and completed (hurrah!) a local riding club's ODE. I see us still very much at the start of our journey, but an awful lot further into it than we have been over the last 6 years. I'm grateful for all of the support I've had from within the Wobbleberry family and from my own family and friends outside of this. I will definitely be continuing to develop and rise up when things don't go to plan!