A look back at 2018 and here we go 2019! With Charlotte Cundall

Hi Form Charlotte Cundall Dressage Review

So I write this as I sit surrounded by diaries, calendars, lists of goals/dreams for 2019 and the remaining boxes of Christmas Thorntons  chocolates (other chocolates brands are available!). The early part of January is always filled with such optimism and hope for the year ahead – I am determined to keep that feeling all year! Before we get stuck into 2019 however, I thought it would be nice to have a little look back on 2018…

2018 was a very busy year with lots of highlights along the way. It is very easy to get so transfixed on the next thing that we are aiming for that we can be very guilty of not actually stopping, taking a breath and looking back on where you we have come from and what has been achieved. Reflection is such an important factor of life. Gosh that sounds a bit deep doesn’t it….but it’s true.

At the start of the season both Bam and Red were new rides for me. It is always a challenge when you start a new partnership with a horse; they need to learn about us as a rider and we need to learn about them. Horses are such individuals and each has their own little quirks, habits, likes and dislikes. So something I quickly learnt was that Red literally LOVES bananas! I was stood eating one in his stable and he stole it out of my hand! Since then he’s had the odd banana here and there when he’s been good boy and deserves a treat.  Not that the boys are spoilt or anything!

Competition wise we had a season which far exceeded what I thought we could achieve given the new partnerships we are forming. I set out to make 2018 a learning year and I think we can safely say we did this. I am the type of person that likes things to happen immediately but in conjunction with my sports psychologist though the World Class Programme we have really been working on the realisation that things don’t happen RIGHT NOW…it takes time. We are still all learning about each other and every time I get on them, and each test I ride I keep learning that little bit more about how as partnerships we can be the best we can be.

Having said that though when I put it on paper I’m pretty proud of what me and my wonderful boys have done, in summary;  I rode in my first Inter 1, Advanced Medium Silver Area Festival Champion with Red, Inter 1 Area Festival Champion with Bam, with both of them qualifying for the National Championships in 2019, Grade 5 Summer National Champion with Bam and Reserve Champion with Red, and something I am really proud of was my first International 70% winning a class with many of my peers and idols in the class. It was a very special day. I feel we have given ourselves a brilliant grounding to go on in 2019 and hopefully do even better.

Going into the winter both boys have had a little holiday which they really needed. We have pushed ourselves so hard trying to get better and better that we all needed a rest…mentally more than anything. Anyway we are back in action now, working towards the 2019 season which is not all that far away. We have the able bodied Winter Regionals in early February quickly followed by the Para Winter National Championships. All I can say is that I really hope that the Beast from the East doesn’t make another appearance this winter so we can all get on with our winter training as best as we can!

During 2018 I was also delighted to join the Hi-Form UK Team of riders. As you may have read when this was announced I am a true Yorkshire sceptic of supplements but I can honestly say I truly believe in these! My boys are now fed Proflamaid Plus and Oxydane in addition to their existing diet and I am delighted with the results. Throughout their holidays they continued to be fed their supplements and they both look and feel great now I am back on board. If you don’t believe that they work then why not try for yourself – make it your New Years’ Resolution to be open minded that adding a little bit of magic to your feed could help? ☺ Pick up the phone to Claire or Alice if you have any questions…

I will leave you now with something that an extremely experienced competitor instilled in me during the year. I will not get the exact words right but hopefully you will get the idea;

This is a journey, although you are aiming high don’t forget to enjoy the good days along the way. Just as it is all too easy to forget to look back and reflect, it is also too easy to miss the good days when they happen as we’re all so obsessed with the next level or competition.

I wish you all a wonderful New Year and hope that 2019 brings you all that you dream of.

Charlotte, Red and Bam xx


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