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Victoria Bax gears up for the 2015 season

Now we're edging towards the end of January, a new season of events is clearly on the horizon - which of course means a new schedule of training, preparation and planning for Victoria Bax! We catch up with her to see how 2015 is shaping up for her and her team ...

"The hard work begins again as the first event of the season sneaks closer! I am now totally focussed back into working my team. Hopefully I will have lots of exciting things to talk about this year as I have the three youngsters, Frankie, Tilly and Milli who will all be making appearances at some point during the season."

"Frankie, who is turning 4 this year, has enjoyed six months off following being backed in the spring last year and is now coming back into work. I have started long reining him a couple of times a week but he had learnt a new trick of putting his head down and broncing every time he was asked to canter! I am not sure where he learnt this from! This put me off getting on him a little as I don't really want to hit the deck too soon! I slightly altered his work schedule, and now he is working for a full week and then having a good few days off, so he is not quite as full of himself and I have managed to get back on board a number of times now with zero broncs in canter! I am very pleased as he appears to have remembered most things from when he was backed and is happily working in a nice shape and contact in walk and trot. Frankie will be aimed at some of the Burghley Young Event horse four year old classes this year amongst having a bit of fun in every discipline hopefully!"

Frankie

"Five year old Tilly has been through a stage of making it very difficult for me to turn her to the right, so I have been working very hard on my body position during these moments. She has had a growth spurt and so her body is a little oddly shaped at present but will hopefully level itself out soon. She has also seen the dentist who found a few sharp bits and evidence of a couple of ulcers starting to form which could have been affecting her. Since this she has been an awful lot easier to steer, so fingers crossed! She is improving every day in her flat work and jumping, and is proving to be as bold as a lion, so fingers crossed she remains like this throughout her eventing career. Tilly will be aimed at some BE 90 classes and hopefully some Burghley Young Event horse five year old classes too."

Tilly.jpg

"Six year old Milli is proving to be extremely sharp and spooky but my goodness can she move both on the flat and over a fence!! Lucky for me, I was recently given an opportunity to take her along to an indoor arena for an experience of a lifetime. The arena was fully dressed for a dressage championships with a fully closed white board arena, large letter stands, numerous flower decorations, a judge and her table and a full film crew to top things off! This was all in aid of a new feature being put together by a National Magazine, the results of which will be available for the public later this year. I was very privileged to have been asked to be one of the riders as I was able to take Milli along. I was expecting her to be a nervous wreck to be honest with everything that was in full view of her. In fact, she rode her first ever two dressage tests and did not spook or behave in any other way than perfect all day long. She was absolutely shattered by the end of the day, was I! Milli will start her career with some BE 90 classes before hopefully moving onto BE100 mid season."

Milli.jpg

"Popps has enjoyed a fairly quiet period recently as she is the one out of my team who can get away with not being as fit as the others as she is no longer eventing but just show jumping. This seems to be suiting her well and she looks fantastic in this quieter routine. She will be back out again showjumping, preparing me for my eventing season ahead."

"Forrest has been working on his dressage for the last couple of months and I feel he is becoming more supple and much stronger now which I was hoping for. Thankfully this work appears to have helped his jumping ability as well as he has just come back into jumping working well. He will start the season with a BE 90 class for a confidence run, but then we will move swiftly back up to BE100, with the aim on completing Novice classes later this year and maybe even the dizzy heights of a CIC1*!"

"Lastly, thankfully Crysto is now slowly being brought back into work following a minor check ligament injury he sustained towards the end of last year. He has completed six weeks of mostly walking although as anyone who has brought a horse back into work knows how difficult it is to just walk when the horse has been boxed rested for some time! To give him his his due he could have been a whole lot more badly behaved so I am quietly pleased with him. He has been hacking as well as doing some arena work. Next week sees him start some trot work for another month before moving up to faster work. This rehab program does mean that he will not be in a position to start his eventing season in March, but more likely mid April. Crysto will be aimed at Barbury CIC2* before all being well looking to complete his first Advanced mid season."

"As you can see I have a lot of first's potentially coming up this season, so please keep your fingers crossed that it all works out that way, as we all know how difficult it can be to keep horses fit and sound all of the time! Good luck to all my followers for the coming season and remember to pop over and have a chat if you see us at an event!"

Victoria Bax