I would like to start my blog by saying a really big Happy New Year to everybody. I hope this year brings joy and success to all.

My last competition was the Para National Championships in September, since then I have done a couple of Grade III classes HC in order to get some confidence and experience at this level. Most of the winter was set aside for training as this is always a good time to teach and perfect moves prior to the upcoming competition season.  I have definitely decided to give Grade III a shot this year, so have been spending a lot of time practicing with the blacked out glasses.

Ollie is going really well. I was hoping to be competing in able-bodied Advanced Medium classes by now, but he is really struggling with the flying changes. They are definitely more “flying” than “changes”! It terrifies Richard Barrett if ever we work on them in a lesson, but we just have to hope that one day they will become less exciting and they might be good enough for a test.

The main goal to our training has been to improve the basics. He is such a supple horse and doing any of the movements is not a problem for him, but because he is so big with such big paces, I struggle with his balance and controlling his power. I have been really trying to be very self disciplined with my riding by concentrating on using my seat more. It’s such an amazing feeling when you get it right and it all feels like it’s really coming together.

I am very excited about this season, both for para and able-bodied. I have my first para competition this weekend and have qualified for the Medium Music Freestyle Regionals in February.