Katy’s coaches and friends had been telling her for a while that she needed to invest in a new horse that would take her further in the show jumping world. With her savings and a little help from her mum she found and bought with advice from Matt Sampson the lovely Olly or “B Full Colours” who she has now owned for eight months. With her first key goal ticked of her list Katy started moving through her list at a rate of knots.
My next goal was to get the hang of Olly and work towards the 1.30s and I was determined to achieve these by summer 2014. However not all came easy and I was faced with many challenges along the way. Olly is possibly the sharpest horse I have ever ridden and at first it was difficult to get used to how different he was to Apollo.
There were even a times when I was having really bad days and things just weren’t going to plan that I just wanted to give up and go home, but I hate failure and refuse to be beaten by anything, so I took my mums advice and just “got on with it” and I am so very glad I did….
It’s the combination of those good and bad times that make you and your horse come together and after a few months of riding, every day, no matter how I felt or what the weather was doing I started to get the hang of Olly and we could feel we were growing together, things just got better and better.
Every experience we had together, whether it was good or bad, was something we both had to learn from and we did.
By March of this year I was confidently competing 1.05cm on Olly, but I knew we could do more so every time we became confident at one level, I would ensure I came out of my comfort zone by moving up a level. We kept this momentum going and by July we were confidently competing to 1.20, this was great news as I now had two horses Apollo and Olly jumping really well.
I went to Speetley EC where I found myself competing against Matt so I had a word with him about competing in the 1.30. He told me I could do it easily, and helped me warm up. Although feeling very nervous, my desire to do well and jump a 1.30 was a far greater and I decided to just “go for it”.
We were absolutely fine and jumped a respectable round with just 4 faults, something I was very happy with. My 1.30 round really instilled me with confidence and I felt excited to go out and jump another class.
This time Matt wouldn’t be there, so I just warmed up how he had told me to and tried not to over think anything.
A fabulous clear in the first round and one of the only 4 faulters in the jump off – nobody went clear. I was really happy with another great round and went back to the box feeling really pleased with how things had gone.
Suddenly over the speakers I heard “a win for B Full Colours and Katy Thomas”, I couldn’t believe it, we had in our only ever second 1.30 managed to steal a win. Not only was I very Impressed with our performance but it also motivated me in to realising that all the hard work was beginning to pay off –
This win means so much when you are trying to keep up with some of the BIG names such as the Saywells.
Another goal ticked off my list!
It’s been great feeling to know that I have reached a few of my goals already. It makes me realise how far I have come and gives me the confidence to continue!
My biggest piece of advice to anyone at the moment is – ‘simply get on and do it’.
Every time you ride, you learn. Even the bad experiences are better than no experiences at all. If you are afraid to do something and don’t give it ago, the fear will stay with you. Yes over coming fear is difficult but you should definitely try and go out and do what ever it is that is creating the fear… It is the only way to get over it and master it.
If you never take yourself out of your comfort zone, then how can improve? You can’t!
So don’t let the fear of what could happen stop you - stop worrying and go for it.
I am so proud of our achievements and although it hasn’t always been easy, it has show me that by simply getting on and doing it has given me the confidence and desire to continue with our success, and hope it wasn’t just beginners luck.
My next big challenge on my list is to attend Arena UK’s Festival in September which will be a great experience for me. I have two good horses to take and I am really looking forward to it. Although a little nervous my plan is to just go and have fun in the hope success will come. Wish us luck
Katy, Olly and Apollo
Goal setting tips
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