Sophia Landy- Update
January has been a hot month for working horses, with many days over 35C! With 12 horses in work it has made for some very early starts, and still finishing in the heat! The second week of January we ran my summer camp, which was a very fun week. With 8 riders and horses of different levels we did all sorts of different lessons and activities, seeing lots of improvements in all the riders. Some of the highlights were jumping the new cross country jumps in our back paddock, going to nearby river to cool off, early morning show jumping, bareback lessons and a Horse Play (card game) marathon! My two school ponies, Lollipop and Mr Squiggles were absolute superstars for the week, and loved being pampered with washing and plaiting by the younger riders. It was an exhausting week, getting up incredibly early to work my own and clients horses before lessons started, but it was all worth it seeing the improvement in everyone and how much fun we all had. We are already planning a Junior and Young Rider camp for next school holidays!A week later and we were off to Tonimbuk for the first show of the year, the Gippsland Show Jumping Festival. It proved to be a great, albeit hot, weekend. We were in for a hot weekend when we headed down to Tonimbuk for the Gippsland Show Jumping Festival. Luckily for us it turned out to be cooler at the event than at home! The four horses on the truck were: Geisha and Hughie, having their first event back for the year after their spell, Chuckle, at her very first show, and Woody getting ready for his first eventing season.Geisha had a fantastic show, proving what a consistent performer she has become, placing in three of her four classes! She placed 3rd in the 1.10m class on Friday, then jumped in the evening Speed Class entertainment that night. It was a big atmosphere and she rose to the occasion, zipping around for 6th place. The following day she jumped a clear round to get in the jump off, but unfortunately had one down in the jump off. She finished off with a fantastic round in the 1.10m – 1.15m championship on Sunday which placed her 6th. I’m looking forward to getting her out eventing!Hughie can’t seem to help himself but to steal the limelight every time! He started off with two clear round on Friday, and then wowed us all with a win in the 1.05m Championship on Saturday! Being a relatively green horse still (having been jumping for just 6 months) this was a fantastic result. I was excited to start him in the 6 bar competition, but it was unfortunately cancelled due to lack of entries. A shame as it is always such a great event, and a good confidence building and gymnastic exercise even for young horses.Woody came along in leaps and bounds, becoming increasingly more settled about the show environment and less racehorse like! He jumped better and better with each round, finishing off with some lovely 90cm rounds in which he felt quite capable.And the baby of the team, Chuckle, handled herself beautifully in the busy environment. She must be the perfect speed, because she managed to place 2nd in the 60cm Optimum time class on Saturday, and the 1st in the same class on Sunday! I think we fluked that a little (with a combination of trotting and cantering) but certainly not complaining!On Sunday I had an extremely busy day, being asked to ride 3 extra horses owned by Ben Tyson and Amber Cargill at the last minute. It is always a good challenge when you have 10 minutes in the warm up to get to know the horse before going into the ring! I had lots of fun on Birdy (Equineaffair Burlesque) who jumped a clear round in the 1.20m Championship class.All in all it was a great first show for the year, and I couldn’t be happier with how the horses all performed!
We are now gearing up for the start of the eventing season, starting to do some fitness work with the higher level horses, and have been busy taking all the babies out cross country schooling for the first time before their eventing debuts! On another note, my 2** eventer/Grand Prix Show Jumper Zone who has been sidelined since March with an injury has now begun his rehab program. Fingers crossed for a successful rehab, I have sure missed having this superstar out competing. Lucky I have so many other nice horses to keep me busy in the meantime!