Sophia Landy - Rider Update
We finished off the eventing season with a great run at Woady Yaloak Horse Trials. It was my last time competing the lovely ESB Irish Autumn and he was super, finishing 7th in the 1*, a great result for his second ever 1*. Geisha showed improvement again in the dressage backed up by another double clear performance, to finish just out of the placings due to some cross country time. She certainly has become quite the double clear machine, having manage this at her first three Pre-Novice starts, and also at all 6 of her eventing starts to this point. For such limited jumping experience she is an absolute machine!
Given that Geisha is a bit older and has had a late start to being ridden, only broken in 18months ago and is now 9 years old, she isn’t getting any time off over winter, but rather we are using this time to bring her dressage up to speed.
I had a great week away with her training with Manolo Mendez, who as always was simply amazing and helped me make a few major breakthroughs and drilled me on the need to lunge her more, something that until this point I have never taken overly seriously. Determined to see improvements I took on board this piece of advice and have been lunging her before almost every ride, with a long and low frame and encouraging gentle and smooth transitions and watching how her body is working and which muscles she is using. I am blown away by the difference this is making to her work under saddle, which really showed through at the winter outing we had to Deniliquin Open Horse Trials. She did her best dressage test to date, still struggling with the movements that came up quickly but showing some incredible movement throughout parts of her test. Backed up with a clear cross country and a rail in the show jumping it was enough to win the small Open grade 1 class. I also had two other horses competing in their first ever events; Miss Tosuka, a lovely TB mare who cruised around her first grade 3 without any trouble, and Boots a little 14.2hh Clydie cross gelding who is a bit of a jumping machine and also made light work of the grade 3.
It has been very busy at home, interestingly with quite a lot of horses to break in! These young ones have all been progressing well, though as always some have been more of a challenge than others, and some have been incredibly easy practically breaking themselves in! I am excited to have purchased a rising 3 year from the Koyuna stud. “Koyuna Courageous” or Cody as we call him, carries multiple crosses of the Souvenir bloodline and is bred to be a superstar so we are very excited about him! I have started lunging and in-hand work with him and will be moving along the process slowly over the coming months.
We have also had some very exciting news, which is that after 3 months of complete box rest and icing, Zone has finally gotten the all clear to begin rehab. He had his final of 3 shockwave treatments, and an ultrasound scan which gave him the all clear to begin rehab. He is very happy to now be spending time out in a yard during the day and to be back in work! This consists of lots of walking and trotting in a straight line on a firm surface, and also water walking in a swimming pool to build up his fitness without any strain on his legs. We will be on track to compete at the Australian Show Jumping Championships and Adelaide 3DE which is very exciting and somewhat unexpected, seeing as the injury has healed twice as fast as expected!
This last week I have been kept busy coaching some riders at my own holiday camp, and while we have had a fantastic time we have been very unlucky with the weather! After what feels like endless months of sunny days, it has suddenly become very wet and rainy. I have been incredibly thankful for my Dublin Adda Waterproof Jacket which has kept me warm standing outside in the pouring rain coaching some very dedicated riders! I will be heading down to Tooradin Estate next week to do some more coaching and then back home again and making the most of the off season to make sure the horses come out better than ever for next season!