Sian Lovatt who is a lovely young rider on the Born and Bred Young Rider Support Scheme as a Dressage Mentor came over today to have a little ride out on the girls. She is a budding equestrian jouranlist and is wanting to do a series of articles in which she tries out different aspects of equestrianism. As I'm stuck with organising the East Midlands Group One Day Event at Osberton at the end of February, I couldn't ride either of my horses in it so I offered the ride on one of them to Sian. Now both my girls are hairy and muddy having been out 24/7 most of the year (I event Coco out of the field most of the time) and as I've been busy with work they've only been ridden once or twice a week for the last couple of months. They had the schock of their lives when they actually had to go round in circles and concentrate! I do make them work when I hack them out and do lots of transitions and lateral stuff on the road but they were definitely a bit gob smacked about being kept in the arena doing it. Sian was brilliant and she got Coco going really nicely and then she had a go on Madge and they really clicked - we even had Sian and Madge off the ground! So maybe next time we should meet at Grange de Lyngs and let them all have a lovely blow out and xc school and we'll get Sian jumping tables again as well as all the other fences there - Fun
31st December 2012
2012 – TORRENTIAL, TRIUMPHANT OR TWIXT THE TWO?
Well, what a year for some people, our amazing Olympians, HRH Queen Elizabeth, William and Kate, Sir Bradley etc. but we equestrian enthusiasts have had a difficult time of it. It all started to go wrong with the ‘Torrential’ Badminton – what a huge disappointment for all concerned and I really felt for all the Grassroots qualifiers who were to have the opportunity to ride cross country round that fabulous Park as I did in 2011. What a privilege it was – I will always remember thinking to myself as I galloped alongside the lake towards that imposing mansion in glorious sunshine “WOW, this is as good as it gets”. I nearly forgot to turn towards the water jump – could have just kept on galloping and dreaming ‘next time it’ll be the real thing!’ A double clear in the BE100 on my little 6 year old was just perfect – although our dressage could have been a little less “tense”.
‘Dreaming’ – brings me on to me and my year in which some of my dreams were achieved in spite of the torrents. I feel I had an almost triumphant year so probably ‘Twixt the Two’ sums up 2012 but when have you ever heard of anyone with horses having a perfect year? They just don’t happen. That’s why we are what we are – hard working, straight talking, emotional wrecks.
I started 2012 in a bad way with my left leg in a cast having broken my ankle in two places and having been told that the bones weren’t knitting as well as expected – PANIC – age 52, broken ankle, not healing, Osteoporosis, Doctors, bone scans etc etc. You can imagine what was going through my little brain in the middle of the night. A friend offered to do a healing on me (future blog) and I have to say, cynic that I am, I think it worked. So, having started the year thinking of selling my little horse of a lifetime, giving up riding and feeling almost suicidal, I got things back together and got on board again with the pot still on my leg and an adapted Hunter boot velcroed up the front. Coco was amazing – she knew to look after me and I was jumping again before the end of January. A bit of hard work on the physio side of things and I’m can confidently say I’m ‘normal’ as I’ll ever be.
2012 became Triumphant for me when I managed to overcome my horrendous nerves and self doubt (Rescue Remedy and a certain book “The Key to Yourself”). We started the season with a Novice at Draycott House and then I drove all the way to Burnham Market (3 and a half hours each way) on my own (another future blog – Eventing Solo) to do another Novice – both clear XC. Three more Novices followed, all with double clears and some top ten placings so I bit the bullet and did something I had only ever dreamed of doing – entered an Intermediate! This is at the age of 53 on a youngster that I bought aged 3 so we had done it all together. There is a special bond created when you only have one or two horses and you achieve more than you thought possible. I feel that I have gained that and would love to hear from any other riders who have special relationships with horses. I cried when I heard the story of the barn fire in Pennsylvania and how Boyd Martin’s 4* horse Neville Bardos was saved – having heard about the horse’s past you realise just how unique their relationship is. There are so many ways in which our horses have given us all so much and made us what we are as people. Please share your stories.
Coco has done so much for me, a one eyed (my friends call me Cyclops!) 50+ year old who didn’t ride between the ages of 18 and 35 and is now back trying to have a go at low level eventing. We qualified for and competed in the Lycetts Young Horse Championships when Coco was a 4 year old in 2009, a 5 year old in 2010 and a 6 year old in 2011 – competing against all the professionals who regularly produce young horses to this level and know what they are doing – well I assume they do! OK, we didn’t win but we were there and did well and then in 2012 I saved up my pennies and entered our first three day event at Osberton as well as completing our first Intermediate. My dream for 2013 has got to be ** - just need to sort the nerves out as the little girl can do it – she just deserves me to get it right for her.
So 2012 was ‘Twixt the Two’ for me but probably edging more towards the ‘Triumphant’. I met some amazing new friends this year, competed in some brilliant competitions, The Lincoln Jump Cross Championships was a highlight as well as all the BE events and am so looking forward to 201
31st December 2012
BEAVAN ON THE BIT
Hi, I’d like to introduce myself - my name is Jacky Beavan and I’m a middle aged amateur eventer who happens to be having the time of her life and likes to think that life does begin at 40 (or even 50). I have been given this exciting opportunity by the wonderful Patrick Latham, talented cartoonist, cricketer and now businessman and am going to have a lot of fun writing regular blogs about my eventing life, equestrian friends and general musings as and when they occur to me. I would love these blogs to work both ways and look forward to receiving any comments, questions, subject requests etc and will do my best to research my answers and am happy to be corrected by any of you if I get things wrong.
“Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained” seems to sum up my life quite well in recent years. A while ago, I read about the fantastic Young Rider Support Scheme that Patrick Latham, the Creative Director of Charles James Fox and Born and Bred Clothing, was offering to riders up to the age of 25. I thought that it would have been great if that sort of scheme had been around when I was in my late teens and it’s a great shame that there is nothing like it for, shall we say, slightly more mature amateur riders who can offer a little more experience but still need help and support from others in equestrian sports.
There followed a slightly tongue in cheek email to Patrick who, quite amazingly, was willing to consider what I had to say and asked me to complete an application but leave my dob blank!
So here we are, the brilliant idea from Patrick, BEAVAN ON THE BIT which will be a monthly Blog about my activities in eventing, dressage, show jumping, polo, hunting, team chasing, jump cross and the odd other thing I may have a go at, with my two lovely young mares and various other subjects which hopefully will be of interest to you. I may be in my 50s but will still give most things a go – would love to point to point but that may be one step too far unless someone offers me a safe jumper to have a go with. I have team chased an ex pointer so nearly got there but those ladies’ races seem ultra competitive to me!
Patrick seems to think that I may have the experience to answer any questions or worries you may have concerning any aspect of competition etc. At this stage, I would mention that I may have to bluff quite well, but rest assured, any questions or worries will be considered properly and any background work carried out in order to give you a balanced, comprehensive and hopefully, helpful response.
My first blog is work in progress - please check in again in early December and hopefully all will be up and running - Jax