It would be difficult to put into words just how wonderful it was yesterday to meet up with real people (as opposed to family or work colleagues) and share some chit-chat while astride our four-legged companions. The atmosphere at our first club outing since June 2020 was up-beat to say the least and the horses were just as glad to meet some strangers as the riders were. Lorna had done an excellent job of arranging the lessons on fairly short notice and Mary Devine was a most encouraging and understanding coach for the evening. The heavens had opened in a truly biblical fashion shortly before the club training session began, but this served to clear the previously heavy and humid atmosphere and ensured clean fresh air for the none too fit participants. Trailer reversing skills were a little rusty, crucial bottles of water were forgotten, and memories of the time it takes to get loaded, travel, unload and tack-up were definitely a little sketchy, but it all fell into place and we can safely say the first club outing of the year was a great success.
The first group consisted of Anne on a really lovely home-bred youngster with action to die for, Marina with her new TB horse Ted, who I’m told was christened with the start of Tedel’s name and the end of Sid’s name (if things go badly the horse will be rechristened with the start of Sid’s name and the end of Teldel’s!!), Suzanne with her EI affiliated mount Dubai Flyer, and Rachel aboard the stalwart Merlin. Group two saw Rachel affect a rapid change of mount to introduce her daughter Emma’s young pony Machno High Flyer (aka Clonee) to riding club life alongside Vera aboard a very trim and toned looking Jenny, Amelia with a youngster who very definitely has the action to excel, and our youngest member Michaela aboard Lorna’s gorgeous and saintly Blaze.
On a positive note, and looking to the summer expeditions that AIRC membership offers, I can tell you that whilst the AIRC festival and the Team Showjumping Championships at the RDS are cancelled, we still have the national showjumping championships, the dressage championships, the eventing championships and the hunter-trial championships to look forward to. HQ have released the list of dressage tests to be used at the championships and with any luck we’ll be able to make full use of the knowledge and turn practice into perfection at all the relevant events. Check out the tests at the following link