Alice Hallows April update
Grateful for the wonderful team Alice has around her helping her get through covid and out the other side.
"Hello! Me back again with my monthly blog and I am going to start by saying “We need rain!”. Currently, I am in the final fitness preparation for Houghton Hall with Quiz competing in the CCI2*-L and Fritz in the CCI3*-L. The hacking has been getting longer with being out on the tracks for an hour and a half travelling over 7 miles with undulating ground, varying surfaces and enjoying the beauty of blue bells covering the woodland with the light dappling them in gold. This is my favourite time of the year.
I will start with the white elephant in the room, Covid, I know we don’t want to hear anymore about it and I am very happy to have seen the back of it. I wasn’t feeling very well on Monday the 11th, but as you do rode the five horses in the morning and I did sitting trot without stirrups, but in the afternoon I felt like I had a chest infection. Following day I tested positive, stayed in bed for three days, and consequently withdrew four horses from Burnham Market. It just went straight for my chest and I felt really groggy. I mustn’t have looked very good as I was sent back to bed by the team and was told not to muck out, for which I was very grateful and I was really pleased when I came back to mucking out all the banks were clean and tidy. It is a bit sad I am quite protective over the stables I muck out. Sweep out underneath the banks, and hay otherwise the hay seeds build up. Then get the muck away from the drain, put the clean straw back, fresh straw in and make it the equivalent to a king sized bed. I can tell if it hasn’t been done properly. Luckily, we have a great team, and it is always a peace of mind when you are out of action that you know the horses are looked after properly and everyone pulls together.
Fully recovered a week later, on Tuesday the 19th, I went cross country schooling at Little Downham with Misty, Luna and Bertie; in preparation for Horseheath at the weekend. It was my first time as a partnership competing Luna and Bertie at Novice level. Also, Phoebe who owns Faerie joined us to compete in the Novice too. Also, it was the first trip out in the new lorry.
Luna was a star in the dressage scoring 27.3 dressage, 8 faults show jumping as she just gets tight at the wrong moment and a green stop at the log before the water, as you couldn’t see the water until you had taken off. All a work in progress and considering it is our third event together not a bad effort and Luna has a lot of potential so exciting times ahead for myself and her fantastic owners Michael and Cordelia.
Bertie is already a seasoned professional at Novice level, so we scored a 27.3 dressage and a double clear to come 3rd. It is only our second event together so I was over the moon, especially for his owners Zara and Willow. Bertie is really sweet but has real class for cross country.
And Phoebe and Faerie did really well coming fourth in the Novice with a 30.3 dressage and double clear which is a great credit to all the hard work we have done collectively looking after Faerie and Dad teaching Phoebe. As well as that, it is always good fun to go eventing with great company!
It's been a real 'benchmark' month for RingCraft. My last 7 scores have been 25 - 29 which is a game-changer for me as eventing is getting more and more like a dressage competition. In my most recent lesson with Alex Gingell we worked on exercises to further increase self carriage and suppleness, with the aim of improving elasticity through the frame. Ultimately this should make the transitions smoother and hopefully worthy of an 8, as opposed to a 7. I'll be focussing on this in May, as a mark in the low 20s would be brilliant.