The spring and summer have been a whirlwind - some good, bad and totally amazing experiences!
Starting the year I had the greatest loss of my equestrian life - losing my dearest "ROCKY" at the age of 29. This legend of a horse started my career so this was not the best start to a year that anyone would wish for. I also had a few other personal tragedies earlier this year and had to dig deep, take a breath and push my way through the heartbreak and sadness to find a way forward, having to make some very tough decisions along the way.
I lost my young horse Zack in early June who had to be put down as he suffered from neurological problems. On top of that my dearest dog and my first pug, Duggy who everyone on the circuit knew and loved as he was such a character also died. These two animals were such a huge part of my life and it was devastating to lose them.
My main aim this year was to establish myself at Grand Prix level with INTO THE BLUE. Not only have we done this but got an amazing 70+% at Keysoe Premier League coming second to winner Spencer Wilton and Supernova. Then to top this we have just recently come back from Dressage at Hickstead where we finished 3rd in the CDIO 3* Nations Cup Grand Prix freestyle final!
We have had some “not quite so good” scores in between which have all been silly mistakes which is to be expected as both of us find our way at the top level.
In Deauville at the CDI the week before Hickstead in the middle of our Grand Prix Special test, a car backfired and continued to do so and it sounded just like a machine gun being fired!
Sir Steven Clark the judge rang the bell indicating for me to start the test again from the piaffe as what had happened was totally upsetting for everyone involved. This was a hard thing to do on a very unsettled horse but we did and we got through it and finished in tenth place at our first overseas CDI!
Talk about learning as I'm going, everything that can be thrown at me seems to have happened and I know how strong minded one needs to be in this dressage riding business and focused on the job in hand. Guiding and introducing your horse to something you are both new at (Grand Prix) is no easy task but I can honestly say my love for dressage and all that goes with it just gets bigger each and everyday.
My biggest passion away from riding is training others. My pupils have shone so brightly this year and achieved results beyond their wildest dreams and to be there for them is wonderful. From my working hunter clients to my event riders and dressage pupils we have got National Champions, County Show Champions and dressage dream scores achieved too. Couldn't be more proud so keep up the great work all of you! And all their horses are fed on Saracen too.
There is a bit of a silver lining for me in the way of horses with my 5 year old home bred mare "Skyfall" aka Daisy. She is out of Rocky’s sister and is by Cevin Z. She may not be the most beautiful horse but she is so talented and I'm very excited about her future. Fingers crossed she is already looking like my next Grand Prix horse!
Alan Davis and I have "Kipling" a horse that Alan himself bred and I will be starting him gently this coming winter. He is by Negro out of a Johnson mare so super excited about him.
Being supported by the great Saracen Horse Feeds team really helps me keep going and I want to say a massive thank you to you all.
Life is a total rollercoaster and you learn to live it to the max as you, do all you can do and love all of it as you never know what’s around the corner.
Love from Lou xx