August and September sadly brings the wind-down of the endurance season! I don’t know where the season has gone to, and I’m already making mental notes of what competitions i want to do next year, (mustn’t say them out-loud yet, as horses will be horses)! All in the main herd are beginning their winter holidays, so a few months for them to have a break & participate in a few other activities (jumping, eventing & dressage). There are always a few turned heads when you bring out an Arab with your Biothane bridle for anything but endurance! But we enjoy it, even if i do get a little over competitive.
With the end of the season near there’s still plenty to do! I have two younger horses to break, a lot of schooling to do with the younger generation & a very exciting mare on-route from France to Northern Ireland! (Nothing more exciting than a new horse!) This mare only has 2 more 80km rides to complete before she can start her FEI career! & I shall hopefully squeeze in a pleasure ride or two before the end of the season, just to get the feel for her! The horses’ miles are slowly decreasing but instead mine are going up! I have entered my first marathon on the 27th of October in Dublin (I now have a lot more appreciation of the mental & physical effort the horses put into the sport!) As much as I love my running, I am missing my heavy weight training, but I’m still keeping up some of my weight training, mainly working on my Olympic lift techniques. As soon as Dublin is over, I will be straight back into heavier weights, in order to gain a heavier muscle mass. This is very important for me, as I need to make the 75kg FEI weight limit and at the moment i carry a lot of “dead” led in order to make this limit, leaving me with a severe disadvantage, compared to the other competitors.
I’ve been glued to WEG the past week, (I’m sure productively in all yards has decreased, with us all following the competition!) Following the endurance at WEG, I feel my homebred mare Midnight Crusade would have excelled at the very technically challenging course, but I’m still glad I decided to hold her back this year and she has really proved herself. We still have a lot of work to do, but have our sights set on the Europeans next year!
Midnight’s sister has also been excelling, but not in endurance! Starlight Crusade & I took 5th in the Novice Showjumper of the year, this week! (Who says Arabs can’t jump!) Starlight only started her full-time jumping career in January and she has already made a huge impact. I’m very excited about the upcoming indoor jumping season with her. I maybe be aiming for WEG 2018 Endurance Team but with Starlight’s recent performances we may just switch to the Showjumping Team! (Well perhaps Michael Whitaker & Ben Maher don’t need to watch their backs just yet!).