An awards ceremony, an event report and career choices.

charlimouse

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18 September 2009
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Yorkshire
The past few weeks have been a bit manic, with uni work, riding my horses, teaching, training for BUCS nationals and a long weekend at Badminton.

Last week I took my old horse to a hunter trial. She had a lovely time and flew round clear. We finished 5th out of over 70 by being 8 seconds inside the optimum time. Not bad for a 21 year old! I had my final exams at the beginning of the week, so on Wednesday there was lots of celebration having completely finished my degree!

On Thursday night I had my uni sports awards, where I managed to pick up the award for the best A team rider. I was then very surprised to hear my name in the nominations list for the Sports Personality of the Year. It is the first time anybody from equine has ever made the short list, given my uni is very football/rugby orientated. I was even more amazed to hear my name in the runner up spot. Cue a very embarrassing 5 minutes with me stood on the stage like an idiot whilst the Principal told the room of 300 people how I was a model student and sportsman etc. Mortifying! Although the trophies I won were rather smart.

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Yesterday it was the BE event at uni. I had both horses in the BE100. Jem did a nice dressage test to score 32.

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Pickle's arena was very boggy, so unfortunately we didn't do a very good test for 38.5. Pickle was a complete diva and couldn't see the point why he needed to go in the mud, and promptly refused to go near where the tracks had been worn. Cue a test performed in a 18x36 arena. The hole worn at X didn't help when P trotted up the centre line, tripped in the hole and fell on his nose! Not our best effort, but the ground was horrid.

Jem SJed next. Got the perfect shot to the first but Jem hit the back rail with her hinds, to have it down.

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On the plus side the mistake did sharpen Jem up a bit so we jumped the rest well..............

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................until we got to fence 7 which was on a dog leg from 6 where we had a numpty moment. I could see I was on a rubbish stride so asked Jem to wait, which she ignored, asked again, she still ignored. With the fence quickly looming I then did the cardinal sin of kicking for the long one. At which point Jem ignored me once again and chipped in a stride resulting in......

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So a very well deserved 4 penalties for that! Naughty horse and naughty jockey. I think we were both as bad as each other! We did then manage to finish the course in a fairly orderly fashion to finish on 8 penalties.

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Next up was P's SJ. I was worried as recently our SJ has been pretty horrific, with both P and me losing a bit of confidence in each other resulting in P charging blind at the fences and quite a few stops. I had been playing at home with lots of trotting and cantering in to small fences on the buckle end, as the more P thinks the rider is trying to organise him, the more he inverts and runs. With this in mind my tactic was to ride him on a long rein, not to try organise for a stride but leave it to P, try to use my seat as much as possible on the way in to keep him steady, keep my legs on regardless of the speed we were travelling at and only use the rein after the fence to steady on landing.

He was brilliant. Such an improvement on our last few rounds. Still some way to go, as in places it was a little speedy and scurrying, and I know my reins were probably a little too long, but there was no running blind, or any horrid jumps. We had 1 down in the double to related distance as the double rode on a long 1 stride, so I had to push for it, but the 5 down the related came up short. Knowing P would worry if I used too much rein I let him bowl on, but allowed a slight right drift to give him a bit more room. Unfortunately we went a bit far and I ended up hitting the wing with my foot, resulting in the pole coming down. But P was confident and happy, so wasn't phased, and we finished on just the 4 penalties.

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Here is the video. I can see lots of faults, but believe me, this is so much better than it was a month ago!

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Having walked the XC the day before where bits were wet, and continued rain throughout the day, I decided not to run Jem XC. She is an older horse with nothing to prove, so decided to save her for better ground. I ran P as though he could do with the experience of less than perfect ground, but with the idea to take it slow.

Warmed up fine, went over to the start box, at which moment the heavens opened and we had a bog rain/hail storm. Off we went. P was perfect and cruised round. steadied him back then saw a lovely forward shot to the double of skinnys going down a steep hill at 9, where people were having problems due to the slipping on the ground. Jumped the trekahner nicely.

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P was fab over the next couple of fences, then we came round to a palisade on top of a very steep hill, then sharp left turn at the bottom to a skinny hedge. Last year P didn't have the balance to make the left turn at the bottom of the hill, so we had to circle before approaching. This year he was so much more balanced, he made the turn easily and popped the hedge well.

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Jumped the table well, before coming to the water. It was a decent hanging log, splash into the water, then jumping a decent log in the water. Historically I have never had problems at that log, but never jumped it well. I seem to have some kind of a mental block about it. When I walked the course I walked a 7 stride distance between the 2 logs, so had the plan just to ride for a normal 7 stride distance, and just maintain the canter. This time we managed to jump it spot on.

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Clever Pickle. Jumped the last 2 well to finish. I thought I would have loads of time penalties as I had let P cruise and not pushed on at all, so was surprised to only see 8, which was pretty quick compared to some. We were evidently going quicker than I thought, which was nice as I still had perfect control.

So no rosettes for us, as P finished 15th, but at the same time another solid run, and a big improvement in the SJ.

So that has pretty much brought to a close my time at uni (apart from BUCS nationals in June). I'm really not sure where the last 3 years has gone, but finished on such a high at the sport awards. So now I am on the hunt for a job. Any ideas? My back can't cope with lots of yard work (and having spent 5 years working on yards the idea of uni was to be my way out of grooming). Preferably equine related, not stuck in an office all day. Hopefully I have got at least a high 2:1 in my degree (pending final exam results), also got BHS stage 3 and PTT, experiance working in retail and competed to BE Intermediate and CCI* level. Got a couple to apply for (feed rep type thing), but not quite sure what else there is out there. Bright ideas appreciated, as suddenly I feel like I need to grow up and get a proper job! Scary stuff!
 

Sheep

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Well done on the awards and lovely photos from the eventing! Both horses are gorgeous, some of the action shots are brilliant. Looks like a good day was had by all, despite the horrible weather.

No suggestions on the job front but good luck with the search!
 

TarrSteps

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Surrey
Congrats on your hardware, and P is jumping so much better - do you think you were just restricting him in front a bit too much? Well done, all around.

Oh, and it's "fazed". You're a college graduate now. ;)

What about something in "sport" rather than equine? Management or admin? You could go into a horsey job with your contacts an move sideways into something more lucrative if you want.
 

3Beasties

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Both are looking fantastic, P in particular looks very pingy!! :)
 

charlimouse

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Congrats on your hardware, and P is jumping so much better - do you think you were just restricting him in front a bit too much? Well done, all around.

Oh, and it's "fazed". You're a college graduate now. ;)

What about something in "sport" rather than equine? Management or admin? You could go into a horsey job with your contacts an move sideways into something more lucrative if you want.

I think the restriction of the hands was a big part of it. He went backwards after the JAS, where the course was very tight and twisty, plus I put him up a level to Novice. So it would all tie in.

I should be able to spell by now. In fact I know it is fazed and when I see it spelt otherwise it really annoys me. Slap on the wrist received!

Job wise it could be a possibility. I just need something to get my foot in the door, and man up as I am not always the best at selling myself.
 

kassieg

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25 November 2013
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I love pickle !! he looks amazing, definate improvement :)

well done about uni & your awards !!

hmm how about horse insurance or marketing for a brand ? have a look on equine careers :) they have lots of equine jobs on there but not groom jobs... might give you some inspiration :)
 

Branna

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24 April 2014
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Lovely report! Well done for the sports awards. And what gorgeous horses you have!

Good luck with looking for a job, it's scary out there! But sounds like you have a lot to offer. I graduated 2 years ago and have just been in an admin job, not one I consider a "proper" career job but settling for a 5 min commute and lots of spare time to do horses atm!

Good luck with nationals also, look forward to hearing how you get on
 

Honey08

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Well done on your awards, what a great finale to university. And yet another great event report.

Do you happen to know who the photographer was at Bishop Burton?
 

EveningStar

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Well done on the awards and for getting through your degree - such a good feeling isn't it? The "what do I do with my life?" feeling is not so good. Have a good look around - if you have the time/ can afford to, get some work experience in.

Both horses are looking good, glad to hear the SJ demons are being put behind you now. Pickle has the most fantastic jump!
 

Mike007

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28 May 2009
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Congratulations and well done. Pah ,football and rugby ,wimps ,let them try to tackle half a tonne of horse!Dont even try to tell me your horse isnt Irish , he has to be with that look of mad determination in his eye (the grey horse) . I am considering hanging these pictures up in Bobs stable as an incentive and reminder of how he SHOULD jump.
 

HotToTrot

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23 November 2009
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Wow! Well done on the award and on P's progress. No smart ideas on the job front, sorry! Other than don't get one, they are over-rated...!
 

charlimouse

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Yorkshire
Well done on your awards, what a great finale to university. And yet another great event report.

Do you happen to know who the photographer was at Bishop Burton?

I think it was Mike Nuttall, but not 100% sure.

Congratulations and well done. Pah ,football and rugby ,wimps ,let them try to tackle half a tonne of horse!Dont even try to tell me your horse isnt Irish , he has to be with that look of mad determination in his eye (the grey horse) . I am considering hanging these pictures up in Bobs stable as an incentive and reminder of how he SHOULD jump.

Well you are partially right, he is apparently 1/4 ID, although I think it is more likely to be Irish bog pony! Having said that he was born and bred in Yorkshire.

Wow! Well done on the award and on P's progress. No smart ideas on the job front, sorry! Other than don't get one, they are over-rated...!

Unfortunately I have yet to win the lottery/marry a millionaire/grow a money tree, so it is a necessary evil!
 
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