Teddy and I set off for Bantry Bay Pony Trekking Centre for the first of the West Cork TREC (WCT) Summer League shows. We had company too, Catherine my daughter and friend Karen came with us and what a great day it was. Very well attended and organised, there was plenty of time to check out the course and say hello to new friends – I am so happy to be a West Cork TREC Member, thanks for allowing us to join and being so welcoming.
The Centre’s facilities are superb, having never visted before I would come back just for the hacking. The indoor arena surface is perfect and Teddy really enjoyed himself there taking a short hack to warm up.
Following success at the Kerry show we decided to up our game and stick at Level 2 (having previously competed Level 1 at WCT). The previous week I had found Teddy quite hot, he is usually quite relaxed at gatherings but with the mares in season I think it had distracted him a little and this added some anxiety to the mix. So with that in mind my goal for this show was for him to remain calm and relaxed in the warm up, during and after. A big ask considering a new place and we would be jumping 80cm (he can get very exctied at fences).
Our first round consisted of 2 rounds, 1 practice and 1 in competition. The practice round we took very slow, in walk mostly as there was no rushing and I wanted Teddy to get a good look around and feel relaxed. A new arena and obstacles alone is enough for possible anxiety. He looked at the low branches but went under nicely and had no trouble with the poles or colours. We did hit a snag with the bridge as our own is not painted as a zebra crossing and Teddy blew his nostrils a few times in slight panic. I just gave him some time, just like I would trailering, when he relaxed I asked him for another step and eventually he went over it allbeit I could feel him trembling a little. The second round went well, silly mistakes on my part let us down but we still took 2nd place on the day.
However the best round for me was part 2 of our second round, although it was out of competition Teddy scored overall the best time on the day, and we both enjoyed it the most as it was so relaxed. His jump at the end even felt positive. In the end he finished as calmly as he had started, so I took him back to the trailer for a cool off and an apple. A super day and the goal was acheived, now we just need to maintain that and take away what we learned.
A massive well done to all the competitors, the spirit on the day was brilliant and we all wanted each other to do well. A special shout out to #TeamBitless – now 5 members in Cork and all ages too! Whether full time or part time or occasionally bitless, you’re welcome with us, thanks again and look forward to the next league show on June 10th.