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Izzy Chaplin’s blog: Moving Dora, training hard and qualifications!

We catch up with WOW Saddles rider Izzy Chaplin to find out how she is juggling university and training with the beautiful Dora…

“Uni has been going really well and I have passed all my first semester exams with a 2:1. Riding on the uni team has been a great experience especially as you have to adapt so quickly to a new horse you have never ridden. Five minutes with a horse before you go and do a dressage test or a course of jumps goes pretty quickly!”

“A month or so into uni, I decided that the best thing for Dora would be to move her up to Henry Boswell’s yard. This meant that I would have the opportunity to ride Dora more, rather than going 3 and a half hours home! I could also have a lot more help, so I could progress quicker and hopefully achieve my goal of young riders sooner (although we are still have quite a way to go). Everyone at Aspire has been so friendly and look after Dora so well, she settled in so easily. It was also lovely to be able to ride in an indoor school!”

Dora Training Henrys Jan 2015
“While the first term was mostly focused around training and getting Dora to go into more self-carriage, when she came home for the Christmas holidays I managed to get her out to a local competition. She warmed up brilliantly. We didn’t do our best test as we were both a bit rusty but we came away with a 1st place and a lot to work on. I was also lucky to go to Olympia Horse Show to watch the freestyle. It was amazing to witness another world record being set by Charlotte and catching up with everyone.”

“Soon it was back to uni and we took Dora back up to Henry’s. We carried on with training for a bit and then we decided to enter a competition that was local to Henry and do 2 mediums. Dora was brilliant and it was so useful to have Henry at the show to give us a hand and shout a few pointers at us in the warm up. In the first test we got a 71.55% which is one of our highest scores to date. I was so pleased especially as she had chucked in a flying change in one of the movements. It was also really nice to see another U21’s rider Becca Bell who I met when I was in ponies.”

“Then it was onto the next test. Dora really tried and we came out 70.94% to come equal 1st! We also got my first 9.5 for our first centre line. I was so pleased to get 2 scores over 70%. Only a few more points needed for regional qualification then onto advanced medium!”

Dora Warwickshire College Jan 2015
“When I got back I got some more good news, Dora and I had qualified for the Winter Petplan championships at 2 levels, medium open and advance medium open! So we can have another shot at the medium again this year and hopefully don’t have the same bad luck as last year. Now it is back to training for a while but we have a lot planned including BYRDS training and more competitions. Now it’s the countdown to the winter championships!”

Izzy Chaplin’s blog: Uni life and riding for the team

Despite her being very busy with student life, we had a lovely catch up with WOW Saddles rider Izzy Chaplin to find out how things are going with university and the horses…

“I have been at uni over a month now. It is such a change from being at home and definitely a bit of a shock not riding every day! Before I came up to Nottingham I managed to fit in a bit of training and competing. I took Dora to 2 Area Festivals to try and qualify for the winter national championships at Hartpury next spring. I also took Sid out to a competition in the first week of September. He behaved impeccably at the show. We did have a mistake in the test but we still managed to score over 67% to come 2nd so I was extremely pleased with him.”
Speedgate September 2014“Unfortunately the day before I was due to take Sid out to another competition he managed to pull his shoe off and due to early test times the next day we couldn’t have the shoe put back on until midday. I was absolutely gutted as he has come on so much in the past couple of weeks and I know that he still isn’t going at his best, especially at a show where he sometimes gets a bit nervous.”

“Then it was Dora’s turn. Firstly I took her to Wellington Riding area festival to do the medium open. I was one of the first to go in my arena so it was a nice and early, 4 o’clock start. Dora warmed up really well and didn’t put a foot wrong in the test. Unfortunately, I pushed Dora a little bit too much in the extended trot which meant she broke into canter so we were marked down quite a bit for that. But we ended up in 3rd place, just 5.5 points behind the winner’s total marks, so it was very close. This made me even more motivated to do well in the next area festival.”

Patchetts Petplan 2014 2“I then entered Patchetts area festival. I entered both the medium open and the advanced medium open. We didn’t have a single mistake in the medium test. Dora could have been a bit suppler, especially in the canter half passes but I was extremely pleased with the overall test. We got 67.5% to come 5th. Then in the advanced medium I came 4th, half a percent behind 2nd. We still have a lot of work to do in the advanced medium as I didn’t set Dora up enough for some of the movements so threw away marks.”
Patchetts Petplan 2014 8“After going to uni I managed to come back home to have a ride and have a lesson on both Dora and Sid with Henry Boswell. Both lessons were brilliant especially with Sid. We got great leg yields and the canter work improved so much! Unfortunately as I am at uni we decided that Sid should go back to his owners. It has been a great learning experience working with Sid and he will be missed by everyone at home, especially for his cheeky personality. He is such a talented horse with so much to give and I am so grateful to Maggie and Dave for giving me this opportunity.”

“Lastly, I have some good news. I have been picked for the Nottingham Uni Riding A Team. This means that I will be competing for the University of Nottingham at competition against other unis. It will be a very different experience to what I am used to as you ride a big variety of horses, but it should be very fun and I should learn a lot! I will keep everyone updated on how the team does.”

Izzy Chaplin’s blog: A new ride, mock exams and looking forward to 2014

The team at WOW Saddles are really looking forward to supporting Izzy Chaplin through 2014 and here she blogs about the start of the year…

“I  hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year! All the horses had plenty of carrots over Christmas as we had the whole family over for Christmas Day! I also had the amazing experience of watching Charlotte and Valegro achieve a new world record at Olympia in the freestyle. It was great to be able to see all the top riders, especially Carl and Edward Gal, who both really inspire me. It was also really sad to be saying goodbye to Alf, who put on an amazing display, still looking like an 8 year old despite his 18 years!”

“I have been very busy with school at the moment. I have just completed all my mocks, and its getting a bit scary how close I am to the real exams in May! I am also pleased to say that I have had all five offers from the universities I have applied for, so as long as my exams go well, I will be going off to uni in September to study Accounting and Finance! Hopefully with Dora!”

“On the horsey front, Dora has had a bit of down time over the holidays as she worked so hard last season, so she has temporarily taken up modelling as a reindeer…”

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“I have also been up to the junior squad training sessions, watching my squad mates performing their tests, while also getting some great tips from the selectors about what to look for in the tests and how to maximise the marks for each movement. Meanwhile, I have been given the amazing opportunity to have the ride on a very cheeky horse called Cyrano L aka Sid. He is a 16hh, rising 7 year old. I am riding him for WOW Saddles to give him some competitive experience and I can’t wait to get him to his first competition!”

“Sid has an extremely cheeky temperament and unfortunately he also shares the same love of mud as a hippopotamus! Felix, my mum’s horse, has been doing his best stallion impressions when Sid arrived (Felix is a gelding). But they are all friends now and Sid has settled in really well.”

“After a couple of days of having Sid, we took him to a lesson with Darryl Thickett. It was a great opportunity to get to know how he would be away from home while also getting a few pointers from Darryl. I am really excited to take him out to his first show now, which will hopefully be in the next few weeks! In my next blog I will hopefully be able to tell you about Sid and I’s first competitions together!”

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