I took part in a couple of ridden shows when I was much much younger (pre-teen) and I didn’t really enjoy it. I didn’t like the pressure, the anxiety, the being on show (!!!) part and the rushing around to be in the right place at the right time.

As an adult I dipped my toe (and Leo’s hoof) into a very casual, informal points league of winter shows at my local riding club. I didn’t take part in the in-hand or ridden classes – I went straight for the jumping classes. I thought that in the very least Leo and I would be able to enjoy a bit of showjumping and if we didn’t win anything it wouldn’t matter as we would have had fun anyway.

In the first show we entered the 30cm and 50cm class. The 30cm didn’t go ahead as we were the only entry but we jumped a double clear and came first place in the 50cm class. This was my first ever experience of a jump-off and I realised that actually, there’s a bit of an adrenaline rush that follows the nerves. I was so pleased with Leo!

In the second show we again entered the 30cm and 50cm class. We jumped a double clear and placed first in the 30cm. In the 50cm we jumped double clear but we weren’t the fastest so this time we had fourth place. I was still very pleased with Leo, we just need to work on our speed. As he is still young I really don’t mind not being the fastest (he was 5 years old at the time) I am just delighted that we didn’t knock any fences down.

Sadly my job at the time required quite a lot of weekend work and we missed the remainder of the series.

From the points that we collected in the first two shows we managed to win ourselves a trophy for first place in the 30cm class and second place in the 50cm class. I was shocked, thrilled and mortally embarrassed at having to stand up in front of everyone. If we enter again next year, I might skip the prize giving!

WELL DONE LEO!!

I also wouldn’t have managed any of this without the advice and guidance from some of the other women on my yard – Thank you!!

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