My weekends are getting booked up and the summer weather has been typically drab this year so I took a punt and booked a random Tuesday off work to take Bolly combined training at West Wilts. It just so happened that this freak day off coincided with a mini British heat wave and we found ourselves competing in 30+ degree heat. According to my weather app that day Melksham was hotter than Hawaii!!!! You literally couldn’t make this up!
Thankfully the judges decided we could ditch the dress code and ride in our stock shirts. When I rode in for my test they also appeared to be suffering from the heat, sitting in the blazing sun with all their judge’s car doors open.
Bolly warmed up much better than at Cholderton a few weeks back which was our first BD together and Bolly’s 1st BD comp since 2010! He’s still ‘looky’ and tense for the first few minutes but eventually settled and started to take the bit forwards and move freely over his back and into a nice outline.
We did a much improved test, with just a few little wobbly moments and a brief unnecessary canter transition (which I think luckily the judges missed!) but on the whole much improved for our second competitive test together.
Mega pleased (but also rapidly melting) we retreated to the relative cool of the shade by the lorry and swapped tack to crack on with the jumping.
I popped 4 practice fences and went in to ride the round. The heat in the indoor was like a sauna, it almost took your breath away when you walked in. Keen to get round and back out into the fresh air asap we set off round the course.
Jumping Bolly is SO MUCH FUN. He’s like a video game, you just point and shoot and he bounds over the fences. We hadn’t jumped a fence together since a little schooling sesh at Wickstead in April. He is such a pro that he locks on, and takes on the fences with pure glee. He jumped the perfect clear round, over a twisty and very much up to height and width course (you can always count on WWEC for a nice beefy show jump course)
I was beaming when I came out the ring. One of only 7/14 clear rounds no matter what our dressage was I was super stoked about jumping a clear. Bolly is by far the best horsepower I have ever had the chance to ride, I think Mummy Groom might have to wrestle me to get him back!
Washed off, then washed off again we had all finally cooled down, and Mummy Groom took Bolly for a wander to pick at some grass whilst I ventured inside to check the scores.
We scored a very respectable 69.25% for our test (BE 90 – BE Test 92) an improvement of 3.8% from our first BD outing together in June with no faults to add from our clear round we placed 6th! Not too shabby I thought given that I noticed at least 2 professional riders in my class.
Bolly loved being back out competing, he was trying to sneak a peak at the XC fences as we rode our test and when we washed off and boxed up after the show jumping he looked most confused.
So roasted but rejoicing we trundled home taking with us a silky purple 6th place rosette and prickly red sunburned arms! Well we are British, sunburn is traditional!