A month of ups – and a bumpy down

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Stepping up the levels has been an exciting move – though there was an unexpected dunking for Toots Bartlett at Freestyle R’s 4* debut

Toots and Cor y Taran competing in July
All images: Luke Perrett Photography

There has been a lot of training going on for team TB, with coaches Lisa White (for flatwork) and Robin Dumas (showjumping) helping both me and the horses step up levels.
Freestyle R had his first CCI4* at Aston Le Walls at the beginning of July. He did a fabulous dressage of 29 – inside the top ten in a section of more than 100 top athletes! He was jumping very well, till his 4* debut ended with a sudden dunking in the water after misreading the fence in.
Fortunately we were both fine –
Freestyle cut free and I only suffered from cuts and bruises. Sadly, my fall meant I was unable to compete at Upton House – where Cor Y Taran was meant to be stepping up to his first Intermediate competition.
I was able to re-route him to the next Aston Le Walls last weekend, however. The weather tried incredibly hard to spoil the day – it didn’t stop raining once! But Cor Y Taran moved into Intermediate in style. We got a top five dressage, followed by two fabulous jumping rounds, even in the bad conditions! Planned time penalties meant he missed out on a top ten placing, but I am incredibly excited by this lovely seven-year-old!

Toots and
Freestyle R

Positive thinking
I am incredibly lucky that when things go wrong I am able to stay positive as a jockey. I have confidence in my training program and in my horses, and know that any issues will be ironed out quickly. I feel that as long as I learn from the days that just don’t go to plan, then I won’t make that mistake again – and therefore it doesn’t seem to knock my confidence. Of course I know the risks that come when riding horses … although it’s probably no worse then getting in a car. But a lot more exciting!
Finally team TB is looking forward to welcoming some new faces to the yard – one of my lovely Ragdoll x Maine Coon cats is pregnant; keep your eyes peeled, we’ll soon have kittens!

Let me know
I am currently available for teaching and freelance riding – are you in need of any help? In any discipline, no matter your ability or age. Or do you simply need some help with someone riding your horses? Please don’t hesitate to contact me on
tb@tootsbartletteventing.com

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