This month I have been focusing more on training rather than competing. I wanted to train harder in order to start seeing some good progress in the horses, now that I can go to the yard consistently, having got all my exams out of the way!

I have been very pleased with the way Del has started to go on the flat. This is his weakest phase of the three (and the one he enjoys the least…) but he has been responding very well in training. He is such a smart little horse and has all the talent, so every time we train and start getting better at putting it all together, I get more and more excited about him!

I decided to take him to the novice at Nunney Horse Trials to do a dressage test and a course of show jumps on him, as I hadn’t competed him since Moreton Morrell, which was a month previous! Having been fantastic in training that week, he was a little uncooperative in my test – I think he was excited to be out and about and so was not as focused as I would have liked him to be! However, he jumped very well over the show jumps. I didn’t run him cross country and he had Farley Hall novice the next weekend and I thought we could be more competitive there.

Thankfully I was right! After a couple of dressage sessions with Ludwig and a very focused week of training, Del and I got our first placing together! He did a sweet test and a super double clear, with the fastest time in the section (!!) to come 7th! It was great to see that yet again, BEDMAX had a sponsored fence out on course; this time it was a testing coffin, with a brush under a tree coming two strides down a slope to a ditch, one stride to another brush.

Much to my relief, Del just popped through very confidently! It definitely felt so rewarding to get this result after the hard work I had put in. He really is a very nice horse, so it felt good to show that off and get the result he deserves on his record! Hopefully a few more runs at novice and CCI-S2* and I would like to think he will begin his campaign at intermediate.

Darius has come in from his mini-break after Houghton 3-day and is loving being back in work! He is feeling fantastic and I’m loving having him back in work. I will continue getting back his fitness and then we have some very exciting things planned for him this season. With a few more intermediate and CCI-S3* runs and a lot more training, hopefully we can make the step up to do my first every CCI-S4*! This would be a huge achievement for me and has been a life-long goal, so fingers crossed everything goes to plan and Darius can continue to make dreams come true for me!

Frankie