Jenna Hastings

Jenna Hastings

Well what a few weeks it’s been! I left you with talk of taking Roly to Hickstead. Well sadly one of our team members was taken to hospital on Saturday morning as she was very poorly. After a frantic morning of trying to find a replacement it wasn’t looking very hopeful. I had to make a huge decision on whether to take Trusty instead.

This was a very big deal as I’d said I wasn’t taking him this year as I thought it was a year early. Hickstead Royal International Horse Show is huge, busy and spooky and very scary for a young horse – the arena we compete in is the other side of the show ground and you have to go through everything to get there.

By taking Trusty though, it meant Katie could take Roly and we would still be allowed to compete all 3 teams. So we boxed up and went to Hickstead! I rode Saturday night and Trusty was great, settled really well and took it all in. Sunday came around and I planned to keep him very calm and take each fence in the ring as it came. Well, we did it. He completed with a few faults (baby mistakes) but it meant a score on the board and everyone else was able to compete.

I was so immensely proud of him and how he coped, it was a lovely moment and it didn’t sink in until the afternoon that I’d finally (after 5 years) competed at Hickstead on my own horse.

Quickly following that was our first one day event at Aston Le Walls. There was drama before we even got going as the lorry had an oil leak on return from a show the night before.

Several frantic messages and phone calls secured me a hire vehicle – big shout out to Herts Beds and Bucks Horsebox Hire for helping out – and we were set.

The plan was to take each phase as it came and see how the day went. Dressage was a little tense and I played a bit too safe with him – we scored 34.3 which wasn’t bad and with more forwardness and relaxation in his transitions I think Trusty will be capable of a sub 30 test easily.

Show Jumping went really well, we worked on having a bigger canter and working forwards to the fences. He just had an unlucky pole behind in the first part of the double as he tensed slightly over it.

Then the fun bit, cross country -I was determined to give Trusty time to see the fences but try and keep a good forward pace as I’ve become a bit rubbish at making the time before so I wanted him to get the idea that this was the part we needed a bit of speed.

Well he flew round. We sadly had a run out at the corner at fence 8 but it was very much the smallest fence on the course and I just couldn’t get him to focus on it. He came round and popped it sweet enough second time round and I was chuffed to bits with the rest of it.

The plan now is to work towards going to Aston again at the end of September where I’m hoping to cement him at this level and then one more on October – depending on how he goes in Sept I may move up to the 90 to finish the year well.

Fab couple of weeks though and looking forwards to the next few.

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