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Victoria Bax's first blog of 2014!

It was lovely to catch up with Victoria Bax for her first blog of the season! Read on to find out how her Exracehorses are taking the dressage world by storm and why Victoria is looking forward to 2014 more than ever...

"Thankfully after just over a month both Salto and Crysto have finally come sound following their abscesses oh and the £1000+ vet bill I encountered for the many visits and X-rays etc! I'm sure glad to have insurance! Both were feeling very full of themselves having suffered no work and a month on box rest so it was safe to say the first few rides were eventful to say the least! Good news that Larry the Leyland flew through his plating test so we have wheels for another year, what a relief!" 

"Crysto was the first one back out competing. As he has had so much time off this year he is desperate to get back out there so off we went for a spot of dressage. Crysto found this extremely exciting and included a few moves which the judges didn't need to see at the level he was doing but still ended up with a respectable score, although somewhat lower than he has been getting over the last few months, still it was an outing." 

vbjanuary2014"This year I have become involved in a small group named #twittereventing which was set up after conversations with other Eventers like myself after dreaming of competing abroad. We thought we would see how many other Eventers there were out there like us with many dreams and ambitions they were working towards. The group has attracted a fair bit of interest and support following its launch and we were very lucky to attract a bit of sponsorship to enable us to run a couple of points leagues for the season. One was set up for British Eventing results and the other for British Dressage results. After my time out this year through injury, I was very pleased to finish in the top 10 of the Eventing league with Popps considering she did not have half as many runs as others. Crysto on the other hand made his come back following his injury and pulled out some whooping 70%+ scores in the British Dressage league to win that with a score of 78%. I was absolutely thrilled as it appears my Exracehorse won the dressage league beating many horses actually bred for that job! As a result of this I have just received a beautiful black Charles James Fox jacket with the #twittereventing logo on it in pink! My team colours, yippee!" 

"Next up this month was a day of lessons with my trainer Lucy Thompson. Usually I train over fences with her but this time I arranged a day of flat lessons. I'm not sure how I did it but I did, four hours of dressage lessons and three hours of them spent in sitting trot! Phew, what a day but I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of it and we made some great progress, especially with my difficult mare Popps. The following day I will be honest my stomach muscles were struggling a bit! I am putting this down to the major abdominal surgery I encountered back in April following my accident, which saw the surgeons completely opening up my abdomen and cutting through all the muscle I had therefore it has taken time for it all to knit back together. I am sure though that I will regain full strength eventually." 

"If this wasn't bad enough the following day Crysto and I were encountering our first British Dressage Medium test. I was a bit worried I wouldn't actually be able to sit to the trot because of my stomach muscle so I had a quick practice on Salto at home before I left and thankfully I felt fine. The weather was not particularly on my side either that day as gale force winds were currently battering the country but thankfully for me the worst affected was further north so I made the decision to still go and thankfully I did as Crysto warmed up beautifully and produced a great test for his first attempt at this level, in fact it was that great that we actually won the class with a score of 65.45% in our first medium test. I was absolutely thrilled, Crysto really is my horse of a lifetime! I now have the bug to do another Medium test as he has just earned 3 BD pints at Medium level so only needs another 7 before he is qualified for the Medium Regional finals. Who said Exracehorses can't do dressage!" 

saltodressage"Salto went for his first outing since his abscess recently too. He has been working very nicely at home and is really starting to mature so I was excited to see if we could improve on our last score. When I got to the competition for some unknown reason Salto became rather unsettled in the warm up and kept spooking away from others as they passed us which is very unlike him. It took me a lot longer than usual to settle him down but thankfully when it came to our turn he certainly performed very well to produce a new personal best score for us at Elementary level of 68.96% to finish 3rd out of some tough competition, very pleased I was!" 

"I have also been out doing lots of teaching and clinics recently to fill up my non-competitive weekends during the down time from the eventing season. I have met a lot of new clients who have thoroughly enjoyed and learnt from their first sessions and have immediately booked again which is great news. I am definitely starting to travel further afield now as I am receiving lesson requests from far and wide which is amazing, long may this continue." 

"I for one am seriously looking forward to 2014 as 2013 really didn't pan out how I had planned it to! Good luck everyone and hopefully see some of you at some events!"