In the Saddle: First show... and a first place

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It's been a busy start to the competition season at our house with pony club and taking my eight year-old daughter out competing on her pony.

Behind the scenes I've been spending a lot of time with my Appaloosa foal, Sully. So, it's been lovely to get him out to his first show on Bank Holiday Monday.

He's only eleven months old and I've already had a lot of fun continuing my ground work training with him which has naturally progressed onto trailer training. He's been an absolute star loading perfectly every time, moving onto little rides in the trailer around our paddock (initially with me next to him-it's really bumpy) before being on his own.

I've then taken him out locally a few times, not under any pressure to a friend's. Each time I've been delighted with how he has taken to the next step and I've seen firsthand the trust he clearly has in me.

Finally I've focused teaching him to trot. He hadn't a clue at first, but then he started to have a light bulb moment. It's all so rewarding. More than I ever knew it would be. I'm loving training him and seeing him progress.

I've had fun doing part of my training with Claire Cooper, who has a wealth of knowledge with young foals, but I then go and practice on my own.

Sully travelled for an hour on his own, with lorries passing him, cars, vans...you name it. He didn't bat an eyelid or sweat up. What foal would do that? I was so proud of him.

Someone asked me if he was going in the dog show - he does look rather like a Dalmatian dog with his striking spots.

He only went and won the Coloured Class, came second in Youngstock Class and 4th in Novice Pair. I'm absolutely thrilled. What an exciting start for us and what do I do to chill out after? I take April out for a peaceful ride up on the river bank ... well, it has to be something to do with horses!