Rebecca Nicholson


ABOUT ME

I am an amateur event rider and base both my horses Ardra and Uno at a fantastic equestrian centre in Cheshire - Somerford Park Farm.  This is where I regularly train with Olympic Event Rider Andrew Hefferman.

ARDRA (Fonogramma) is a beautiful black 16.1hh WB.  I have owned her since she was 5 yrs old. We have dabbled in a bit of eventing but that wasn't for her, so we have concentrated on what she was bred for Dressage and completed successfully upto Elementary Level.  Ardra currently has just had 10 months field rest to recover from a  ligament injury and we are hoping to bring her back into work during 2016.

    

UNO (Sporting Uno) is a lovely black 15.3hh KWPN, a real character.  I have owned him for the last 3 years.  I bought him to event at Novice Level but he has proved his talent is way beyond that.  So we are currently competing at Intermediate /2* level with a view to moving up later in 2016.

   

 

I have both a BSc (Hons) in Sports and Exercise Science and a BA (Hons) in Architecture.  I work at my father's engineering company and am lucky with my job that is relatively flexible allowing me to train and compete throughout the year.

Thanks to the kind and generous sponsorship of Galloping Geldings , I am looking forward to the 2016 season and sharing all the eventful and hopefully successful moments we have.

Uno -Oasby Intermediate 11/03/2016

After what seemed a very long winter where we discovered Uno's dressage potential,we entered our first competition of the year ,Oassby Intermediate.

Having never been there before I made the decision to go as I have heard reports that it is a good first intermediate,so ideal for the start of the season.

The dressage warm- up was ideal,a huge flat field.Uno was lit up and raring to go as were some of the other horses,and it took me the full hour warm-up to try to create some semblance of co-operation from Uno.The dreassage test went as well as I could manage,the judge put some lovely comments acknowledging Uno was bouncing around  with excitement.So I was quite pleased to get a score of 35.9 even though I know he is capable of better.

The show-jumping track was twisty and a fair height for intermediate but this is probably our best phase,Uno made it feel like an Intro, and we got an easy clear.

On the XC ,as we set off on courseit was obvious Uno loves his job,a bit too over enthusiastic at some fences ,but there was nothing I couldn't point him at that he wouldn't do.I rode the course conservatively as it is our first one of the season and achieved a clear with about 14 time,which earned us 13th place,two more shiny points and qualification for CIC***.

I did take from today that the time was hard to get at under 5 mins,so I need to just work on Uno'sfitness levels without letting it go to his head in time for Belton and Kelsall which are our two planned events in April.

Ardra

Ardra is recovering from an injury to her collateral ligament ,together with an old tendon injury in the same leg so its slow going.I'm walking her out now for 40 mins a day and riding her three times a week in walk just to build up her muscles and strength up in er back.She has been really good, very well behaved and is even happy to do a ride and lead with me and Uno.I think she has become quite a talking point at Somerford on the farm ride as people react like they only see ride and lead nowadays in cowboy films.I hope by April that she might show enough signs of improvement for the vet to talk about trotting.I perhaps won't be doing ride and lead at that point.

 

 

Uno - Oasby Intermediate 11/03/2016 After what seemed a very long winter where we discovered Uno’s dressage potential, we entered our first competition of the year, Oasby Intermediate. Having never been there before I made the decision to go as I have heard reports that it is a good first Intermediate, so ideal for the start of the season. The dressage warm-up was ideal, a huge flat field. Uno was lit up and raring to go as were some of the other horses, and it took me the full hour warm-up to try to create some semblance of cooperation from Uno. The dressage test went as well as I could manage, the judge put some lovely comments acknowledging Uno was bouncing around with excitement. So I was quite pleased to get a score of 35.9 even though I know he is capable of better. The show-jumping track was twisty and a fair height for intermediate but this is probably our best phase, Uno made it feel like an Intro, and we got an easy clear.

On to the xc, as we set off on course it was obvious Uno loves his job, a bit too over enthusiastic at some fences, but there was nothing I couldn’t point him at that he wouldn’t do. I rode the course quite conservatively as it is our first one of the season and achieved a clear with about 14 time, which earned us 13th place, two more shiny points and qualification for CIC***. I did take from today that the time was hard to get at under 5 mins, so I need to just work on Uno’s fitness levels without letting it go to his head in time for Belton and Kelsall which are our next two planned events in April.

 

Ardra Ardra is recovering from an injury to her collateral ligament, together with an old tendon injury in the same leg so it is slow going. I’m walking her out now for 40 mins a day and riding her three times a week in walk just to build up her muscles and strength in her back. She has been really good, very well behaved and is even happy to do ride and lead with me and Uno, I think she has become quite a talking point at Somerford on the farm ride as people react like they only see ride and lead nowadays in cowboy films. I hope by April that she might show enough signs of improvement for the vet to talk about trotting, I perhaps won’t be doing ride and lead at that point.

 

Uno - Belton Intermediate 16/04/2016 We have competed at Belton once previously in 2015, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

We were all packed up by 4.30am in our new lorry to arrive at Belton by 7am. At approximately 6.30am I received a text to say Belton were cancelling their intermediate sections for the day due to unforeseen weather. I was obviously really disappointed so on our way back we re-routed to Kelsall to do some interval training on their fantastic gallop track facility. So not a complete waste of a day and Uno looked very smart on the gallop track all plaited up! (photo of Uno at the top of the gallops plaited up)


Uno - Kelsall Advanced Intermediate 22/04/2016


The week after our disappointing Belton cancellation was our first Advanced Intermediate run, planned in preparation for our Advanced debut at Chatsworth. Uno got extremely excited whilst we warmed up for the dressage and there was no sense to be had from him. So a rather disappointing test for 38.3. Next was the Cross Country as Kelsall had introduced a different format this year for the AI section. Uno gave me an excellent ride, the ground was pretty good so I let him run on a bit in order to get a bit of steam out of him, and we went clear with just 6.0 time. In the show-jumping we rolled just one pole which at Advanced level I was pretty pleased about as the course was rather large and to be honest he only breathed on it. Overall we finished in 10th position, with a lovely rosette and very generous prize money! 

 


Uno - Chatsworth Advanced 14/05/2016

 


Chatsworth is one of my all time favourite events. It is also now one of my riding career milestones, it was to be where we contested our first Advanced together. To get here at this level is an accumulation of years of dressage training, jumping lessons and if I am to tell the truth a few sleepless nights before. My trainer Andy Heffernan walked the course with me the evening before the xc and was confident in our ability, which was comforting as there were more questions on the xc course than I initially thought there would be.

 


I have a new tactic to warm Uno up for the dressage (two warm-ups) which is time consuming but paid off for a score of 34.5, which kept us in the top half of the entrants at the end of the 1st day. We rolled a couple of poles in the show-jumping the next day, which was disappointing. I should take fault for them all, both faults were at combination fences and were so big when I walked them that I became nervous and rushed Uno instead of letting the fence come to us quietly- lesson learnt.

 


Uno was as good as ever cross country and gave me a super round with just an unfortunate glance off a corner element which was entirely my fault (again) for not keeping my line. I cannot tell you how pleased I was to complete our first Advanced finishing 24th out of 42 starters. It was a really enjoyable weekend, and I cannot wait now to compete in the 3* at Bramham in a couple of weeks time. 

(photo of Uno SJ, XC and at the views of Chatsworth house )

      


Ardra Update

Unfortunately, we are going to have to get the vet out to Ardra again as she was showing some signs of improvement in her walk work (not tripping, stumbling, no stiffness) for her to suddenly take five steps back and become stiff and sore again. I cannot put my finger on where exactly the pain is coming from or what part of her leg is causing it but it is heart breaking that it is so difficult to mend. So for now we have stopped ridden work and we will have to see what the vet says.

(photo of Ardra taking a nap)