The Little Traveller
I honestly can’t believe how quickly this year has flown past! It has been extremely busy here, with everything in full swing as we are barrelling full-steam ahead toward Autumn. I honestly never thought I would ever say I am sad to see the end of summer.
Firstly, the update of all our shows. In my last blog I mentioned that we had a new plan for competitions, and boy did we ever! The day before mum and dad arrived, we travelled to another local show where Lotus performed quite well. Unfortunately, we still didn’t seem to have the ‘thing’ that the judges were looking for and our score was quite disappointing.
The beautiful grounds we competed at.
We had a show booked every weekend for the entire month of August, so it was going to be a very busy time. After Mum and Dad arrived, they had very little time to rest as we trotted off again to the show at Ostenfelde-Beelon. I had travelled there earlier in the day to help Ian in the morning with two of the young horses from the stable.
It is very interesting to see the young horse classes here, as they ride them a bit more like a showing ring. 3 horses in the arena together go through a dressage test, and then you show them in hand at the end. It is certainly an effort to have a rider, a groom to take the saddle and prepare the horse for the in-hand bit, and someone who speaks enough German to know what the judges are asking!
Mum and Dad were kind enough to bring Lotus with Briana in the afternoon and we got ourselves ready for the test. I was quite nervous, as we had a new plan of attacking the test and I was determined to do it right. It certainly didn’t help I was the first horse in the class to go.
I circled for what felt like ages in front of the ring waiting for them to ring the bell, and yet nothing. I was sending Briana impatient glances but she too was a bit lost. The next thing we hear is the very impatient judge announcing over the loudspeaker to the ENTIRE show ‘Amelia White please enter the arena!’. Whoops!
The test feeling was actually quite good, and it seemed the judge wasn’t too upset by our little misunderstanding. However, Miss-Blondie as the rider spent the entire test thinking ‘halt at G’ only to actually halt at X. I couldn’t complain too much as we ended up on 72% with a course error to lead the class until the very last rider who pipped me off my post by 1%.
Our lovely 2nd place ribbon :)
The next weekend we headed off to Munster-Albachten show, home of the Holtenbrink stallions. It was an extremely competitive show, with all the amazing young stallions and competiton horses out and about, and this time I was almost the last rider in. The whole time I kept saying to myself ‘HALT AT G WOMAN!’. I think the entire support was thinking the same thing, as a lot of our stable also competed there that weekend.
It paid off, and we had an even better test than the week before. The judge was absolutely lovely, and managed to say ‘pretty horse’ before switching to German. He explained that if we could get Lotus into a little bit more self-carriage he would have improved the score by 10%. We still finished up with a pretty ribbon in 5th place with 70%. I was a bit star struck at following Ingrid Klimke into the ring, freshly back from Rio with her shiny silver medal.
5th place at Munster-Albachten. Lotus is getting quite used to this prize-thing.
The next weekend we once again headed off, this time to Ost-Bevern show. The summer had well and truly kicked off, and it was a toasty 36 degrees. Lotus did what was probably her best test to date, but the judges didn’t seem to agree. Scores were a bit over the place, and we came home without a ribbon, but smiling rider, parents, coach and one happy pony.
Mum and Dad also had a wonderful time here seeing Lotus and myself. Dad was not able to stay for long, and it felt like I was saying goodbye at the airport way too soon. Dad was able to get in a fair share of bratwurst, Lotus cuddles, market visits and forest walks in the time he was here.
I am now counting down the days until Christmas, as the whole family are coming to have a white Christmas in my little shoebox apartment. I don’t know how the 6 of us will fit but it is going to be an experience, that’s for sure!
After Lotus having such a heavy show schedule, we gave her a week’s holiday where she spent most of her sunny days rolling around the grass paddock, eating, sleeping and more eating. Mum and I decided to take advantage of the break, and fly to Zurich for the weekend.
Mother duck and I on our way around Zurich.
It has always been a dream to visit Switzerland, and I can honestly say it more than lived up to expectation. The only downside was I felt like I may as well have chucked the money into a fireplace, it is SO expensive in Switzerland. Lucky it was only two days there! I did the typical nerd thing and dragged Mum through the national museum on the first morning where I ogled at pieces of rock.
We took a trolley tour around the city before a quick cruise on the amazing Lake Zurich with the alps on the horizon. The alps were a must-do, and we set off early Sunday morning to make our way to the top of the longest Glacier in Europe. The journey is incredible, with the Swiss villages perched on the sides of hills, crystal clear blue lakes and amazing snow-capped mountains. It is exactly how you picture Europe.
One of the beautiful towns called Lauterbrunnen.
It took 2 hours on the cog-wheel train to climb to the top of the Jungfrau where we overlooked the Eiger and many other mountains on the borders of Germany, Italy and Austria. Prepare for amazing picture spam!
On top of the Jungfrau. Despite being summer, it was -2!
Two days after we came home from Zurich, I took Mum back to the airport to once again say goodbye. It was a sad trip home, and my apartment is fairly quiet. It’s probably not a bad thing though, as once again I have exams looming that I am procrastinating from.
Lotus is back in work now, and I have been extremely lucky to get a few training sessions with Mary Hanna now she is back from Rio. Every day I climb up onto Lotus she gets better and better, and I honestly can’t wait to see where the next year takes us.
The summer show season is about to come to an end, and once again we will be back indoors. The novelty of having a beautiful indoor does actually wear off by the end of winter! I never thought I’d appreciate the opportunity to train out in the sunshine so much.
Enjoying the last of the summer sun.
We will now continue our training schedule with the plan to get to a few more outdoor shows before the season ends. Lotus is certainly looking super and training very well. The little holiday of eating and more eating has done her very well!
I’ll try to do an update soon,
Mil and Lotus
Some more pictures of beautiful Switzerland below!