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Preparation is well underway for Victoria Bax

Our newest Nedz sponsored rider has been hard at work this month! Read on to find out what Victoria Bax has been up to!

"Work has continued to get both Popps and Crysto Event fit for the first weekend in March," she tells us. "This has included taking part in another BE JAS where both of them jumped in the Novice and the Open. Crysto exceeded himself yet again to jump two beautiful rounds. Popps on the other hand did not seem quite herself on the day, I think the hormones were to blame, so the least said about that day for her the better!"

"The following week I took Popps and Crysto cross country Schooling at Littleton Manor, Reigate. This was a very successful outing for both and considering Popps hasn’t been cross country since about June last year she was very good, albeit a little green to start with as she is far less experienced than Crysto. Her confidence definitely grew throughout her session and I now feel confident and ready to tackle her first event at Isleham. Crysto was awesome and took absolutely everything in his stride. He was very bold, very confident and totally rideable, so a very exciting year ahead for us hopefully."

"Popps and Crysto have also had a dressage lesson from Tina Atkins. Now Tina hasn’t seen Popps for over a year as I took Popps out of competing last year to work on a few issues that we had encountered. After our lesson, I was very pleased when Tina said if she didn’t know better she would have thought Popps was a completely different horse! Again Crysto was fab and when Tina asked me why I was riding a passage during my lesson I thought maybe I was in the wrong discipline. It seems Crysto has taught himself this as I will be honest, I have no idea how to ask for passage so it certainly wasn’t any of my doing!"

"Crysto has also been doing some fast work along a local bridle path. Fortunately being an ex-racehorse keeping him fit is somewhat easy so it really doesn’t take too much doing. I haven’t done any specific fast work with Popps as she will only be starting at BE100 level so I feel that fast hacks are all that are required to have her fit enough."

"I have been out hunting a few times with Salto this season as he is not terribly confident on his feet when the ground gets tough so I thought it may help to build his confidence out in the hunting field. He has also had problems with ditches in the past so again I hope this will help him along his way."

"As for Forrest, well I don’t actually feel that I have been able to ride him much this year yet as sadly he does not have the best feet in the world and whilst my farrier has been doing all he can to improve them, we have had to pay the price because as his feet have become wider he has moved up half a shoe size but sadly the shoes don’t come in half sizes  so he had to have a graduated heart bar shoe on in a bigger size which meant there was quite a lot of shoe overhanging the heel and although he has been wearing overreach boots at all times, he has still managed to pull one front shoe off three times in the past six weeks! I now have my farrier on speed dial! Due to this we have are now trying a different technique for him with normal shoes and a plastic wedge heel so the shoes are fitted closer to his heel in the hope that maybe he won’t manage to pull them off quite so much, fingers crossed!"

"I have also had a paying guest for the last 3 weeks in the form of a Shire X called Boxer who was with me for backing.  I am very pleased to report that he was an absolute pleasure to work with and has now been returned to his owner to enjoy plenty of hacking as I focus back on the event season starting this weekend, woohoo!"

"So the plan is, Popps is off to Isleham to do the BE100 on Saturday and Crysto is off to Tweseldown next Friday to compete in the Open Novice class where his section is looking very competitive indeed, so I am keeping everything crossed for a successful start to the season for Team VB Eventing. Until next time..."