Melissa Shares Her Excitement For 2019…

I would like to start my first blog of 2019 by wishing everyone a very ‘Happy New Year’; I’m hoping that it will be a great one for each and everyone of you.  I am writing this whilst journeying home after three superb lessons with Ian Woodhead. I have ridden a trio of very special young horses this afternoon and, albeit only 4 days in, I am feeling incredibly excited about the potential opportunities the coming year may bring.

The last time I wrote, we had just returned from the Summer Nationals and we were enjoying the never-ending summer weather.

October began with the arrival of a parcel containing a wonderful selection of Musto clothing, courtesy of the team at Millbry Hill, I was really excited about the prospect of wearing my new attire when out and about, as well as on the yard, I felt Winter ready and was very pleased to know that I would be warm, dry and toasty, whatever the weather decided to throw at me.

October and November were busy months, which were focused upon planning and arranging the logistics to ensure that our horses each secured the necessary qualifying scores and points for the BD Winter Regionals. Thankfully, I had been well organised (for a change) and I had kept a running record as to when, where and how each of the horses had scored during the run up to the deadline day. It certainly made the process of picking up the loose ends much easier and I was over the moon to end November with emails to confirm that 8 horses had qualified, with 12 tests to be ridden.

December opened with a more seasonal dip in temperature, but the chill in the air didn’t last for long. Whilst it has been rather lovely to have so many warmer days, and the additional benefits that this affords, the logistics of clipping our horses and then ensuring that they are rugged appropriately has been somewhat interesting…we have an ever-growing selection of rugs.

As the weather looked to remain reasonably settled and unseasonal, I decided to have the arena overhauled. A new membrane and a re-graded surface has seen the horses working with a spring in their step and the groundwork is ready to take on whatever challenges the potential Winter weather throws at us.

Our last competition of the year saw us heading to Richmond Equestrian Centre, on the 22nd of December, for a little bit of pre-Christmas cheer. The horses looked very festive with their tinselled manes and, with the wagon loaded with mince pies and mulled wine, it was a great way to ease into the Christmas period.

So, Team Chapman Equestrian and I enter 2019 with high hopes and some grand plans. Our next dilemma to address is where the horses I have qualified for the Winter Regional, will compete. I have a very ‘merry band’ of youngsters ready to hit the whiteboards, so venue selection is important; I want them to grow in confidence and make sure that their experiences are positive.

I am really looking forward to sharing the rest of 2019 with you all.

Melissa Chapman

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