All smiles at Burnham Market

 I decided that I wanted my 3rd event back to be at 90 level so I could work on my speed and larger, more technical xc.

We headed off to Burnham Market in Norfolk, a really lovely venue set in rolling hills on old turf.

As expected Wanda warmed up for here dressage very well, although slightly sharper than normal as she had just been clipped out and there was a cool breeze. Our test was ok, although I have to say I wasn’t entirely happy with it. Since having my baby ive found Im so weak in my core that its hard to ride as strongly as I want to. It felt average and I was quite annoyed at myself.

Feeling a bit fed up I headed out to walk the XC. I wouldn’t rate it as a first 90 course. There were 7 combination fences and some really nice natural permanent ones. I really liked it and it was good to have some hills and good galloping stretches. On the way back to the lorry I checked the scores and to my surprise I had scored a 28 in the dressage and was lying in second… that will teach me to get annoyed with myself!

The showjumping was twisty, up to height and a really quality course to jump. Wanda warmed up well, getting quite excited as she really does enjoy her jumping.  My game plan was to ride a forward round, positive shots in, asking for changes (which we had been working on at home) if required. Ive also got a tendency to sit left and drop my left hand so Im constantly battling with that so I can make Wanda as balanced as possible. From fence 1 Wanda and I jumped a really confident round. Positive work although we sadly had 2 fences down. I also made the stupid error of turning left instead of right into the last line of fences – a definite ginger moment! To be honest though I was really pleased with my round, I rode positively and Wanda jumped well… I just need to manage to engage my course remembering brain with the part of my brain that works on what im feeling and reacting to when jumping my horse.

Next up was the XC… In true Nikki style I was a bit nervous. I don’t do waiting  around very well and I get really restless. Thankfully I was able to change boots and clothing and was soon making my way up to the xc start. Wanda decided to get quite excited at this point and we had lots of propping and sideways action in the start box which always makes me laugh. She was an absolute delight to ride round. Dealing so well with the combination fences and jumping more boldly every time we run. She really instils confidence in you and I always come back with a big grin.

Sadly we picked up a few time faults xc and with our sj fences down we were out of the running for top 10. However, we had such a great day out and I think our performance was greatly improved. Not a great day on paper but we gained a lot of experience. We are looking forward to eventing at Brooksby Melton this weekend in the BRC BE80T Championships. At this event I’m blogging for BE so look out on their website for updates and information about the competition.

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