This season has been so rewarding and one of my best yet! From achieving personal bests at Keysoe CDI in September to starting to train at under 25's Grand Prix, it has been another amazing learning curve which I hope to continue going into my last year of Young Riders in 2020.
This year started off with many local competitions to gain qualification scores to kick start my international season which was very successful. Coupled with having a lot of university exams in January, keeping my dressage routine strong and allowing enough time for studying has been challenging. However my irreplaceable team behind me has made this possible which I am eternally grateful for. After winning several local competitions, I started to focus more on specific comments from judges to enhance my performance and test riding ability as there is no room for mistakes at an international competition.
A bump in my routine arose when I damaged most of the ligaments in my foot resulting in time off. Unfortunately this stopped me attending one of my favourite shows, Addington premier league which I cannot wait to attend next season. However, positives always come out of negatives and I got long listed for the European Championships in Italy. This was a great achievement as it was my first season juggling university with riding at a high level so it showed to me hard work really does pay off.
Our next big show was Hickstead Premier League which is a brilliant summer show where we came 7th in the young rider section with some mistakes due to us being slightly rusty having not competed for a while due to my injury. My scores from this qualified me for Hickstead CDI in July - again one of my favourite internationals (if the weather is dry!). Preparation soon ramped up and we started to focus on some of my weaknesses from the young rider tests to make sure we were ready for more specific judging in the near future. This CDI was during one of the hottest weeks in English history where I was riding in 35 degrees! This did unfortunately impact our performance on the first day, however after getting used to this intense weather, we started to achieve more 8's for certain movements which was a great improvement from previous CDI's. After this international, I knew for certain our strengths and weaknesses as a combination. Our next competition was at Parwood where my new training methods were certainly making a difference as we achieved 67.3% in the PSG test.
I have been training with Sarah Millis for a while now and she has helped make a massive improvement to our way of going. As my horse loves to learn new movements, in training we started to introduce 1 time changes to change our normal routine and to made sure he is being challenged a bit more mentally and physically during our everyday work. He loves to work so this was the perfect change for us as a combination to start introducing some GP movements. This followed by us getting selected for Keysoe CDI in September after some more good local results. This was our 6th international together and after a successful summer of playing horses and traveling, I could not wait to show what we had been working on at this international.
Hard work paid off as we came 6th in the Young rider team test on the first day beating strong international combinations. Even though it was still not a 100% clean test, I was so pleased with his attitude as he can be very spooky (especially at this venue). The individual test went really well and again I had a strong ride even with a very excitable horse resulting in another good placing. It was my dream to to go an international and to achieve consistent scores. This goal was granted!
I am very focused on my goals for next year; reaching the European Championships at Harpury in 2020, focusing more on regional qualifications and to pass my second year of university studying banking and finance in London. My lifestyle is for sure a busy one; traveling up and down from London to Surrey to ride and to attend university, but I love it and it only makes me more hungry for success and more determined to make sure I achieve what I aim for in both disciplines.
From here, we are currently training and developing more of the advanced movements to keep our test riding consistent and to become stronger to perfect each movement. I have some local competitions coming up in November including some exciting work arising in December before we take our yearly 'rest week' over Christmas and the New Year. I am really looking forward to our next competition as we are ready to put all our training into the arena soon!
I am very grateful to all my sponsors for their continued support. Protexin Equine have provide my horse with the best internal support with their supplements; NS bits have made all my horses training and competing comfortable; Stivali Romitelli have provided me with the most bespoke and beautiful riding boots and eGlove suppling the most soft and useful gloves from running to riding. I have just become a new brand ambassador for CryroChaps which I'm very excited about as I truly believe in their ice boots and it is making a big different to my horse.
Also to my family and friends for their incredible support; it would not be possible without you all.
Until the next blog...
Instagram: @birdiemoriano (follow for all horsey and non-horsey updates).