By Lizzie Davidge
I wanted to say thank you for my training bursary. I am really grateful as it has enabled me to have more lessons and hopefully improve over the last few months.
Even after just one lesson with Lisa Randle, I achieved my highest dressage score ever of 67.8% and with a double clear sj and xc managed to win the Alvechurch ODE, getting us a mention in Your Horse magazine to the bargain!
Dressage before and after
Although we were concentrating on dressage, my horse Steve had developed a few issues, and I had a number of nasty falls, so Lisa also helped me gain confidence again, and we had two sessions on the xc course tackling my fear of downhill jumps with a drop the other side and Steve’s fear of brightly coloured jumps!
Cross Country before and after
I think though the biggest indicator of our progress was a proper grown up ODE at Hilltop, over a big hilly (clue’s in the name!) 2’3 course, and with a Prelim dressage test. Last year I was eliminated in the sj phase and so not able to go xc. This year Steve had a very unusual two stops sj and I suddenly realised I was in danger of not going xc again! This proved enough incentive for me to get him over the final jump second time around. We then went clear xc, and my score was needed for our team to come 5th.
We still have a long way to go, I am determined to improve our dressage score, so that we can be safely placed and not just rely on others making mistakes (we were only 4th after dressage in the ODE we won, but others had poles or stops). I also want to iron out the mistakes we made in the sj.
But many, many thanks for believing in me and awarding it to me this year. I am honoured and very grateful. Thanks as always to Lisa Randle for her patience and encouragement (and thanks to Frank Randle for the xc ‘before’ photo!).