Combined Training with Coco

Its been a while since I’ve done a proper update on Coco and what we’ve been up to lately. Well, we’ve well and truly settled into our new yard and the progress we’ve made since the move has been incredible. About two months ago I made the decision to get my big girl pants on and start pushing mine and Coco’s jumping. We had been coasting at the same level for a while so I decided to recruit Jer in to give me and Coco the push we needed. I seemed to learn something new about Coco with every lesson while also finding different areas of my own riding that need improving. So while we still have a lot to work on, we are now at the stage where I’m feeling much more confident about bringing her out. So we started with our first Combined Training show…


I’ll be honest, I was a bit worried about going to this event. I didn’t know which Coco I was going to get as she had been very difficult the week before the show. She was in season and not in any mood for work (can’t say I blame her to be honest). Well, I needn’t have been worried at all because Coco exceeded all expectations. I genuinely couldn’t have asked for more from her. 

For our combined training, we took on the BD Prelim 7 Dressage Test and an 80cm Showjumping course. Between tantrums and spooks I managed to learn our test a few days before the event and keep her keen by popping around a handful of jumps, making sure not to overdo it. We got to the venue and found that the entire event was going to take place on grass which Coco took to like a fish to water. We warmed up and entered the arena for our dressage test and I can genuinely say she didn’t put a single foot wrong. I was so proud of her. We even came out with a very respectable score of 31.7%.


Next it was on to the showjumping round and with that came the rain. This was the part of the day that I was most nervous about. I had a quick look at the course before I started some warm up jumps and the first thing I noticed was that there were fillers at nearly every fence. I quickly realised that this was going to be the real test for me and Coco. I was going to ask her to jump 8 fences that she had never seen before and in an arena that she had never been in deep end. Again, my fears were completely unfounded as Coco went in and took on every single fence like a pro and didn’t knock a single pole, giving us a lovely clear rou

This had been probably one of our most successful days together. I was absolutely beaming with pride and to top it all off we came home with a 1st place rosette!

Needless to say I was delighted with Coco! I felt like we were FINALLY starting to see the progress we’d been working towards for the last year and a half.  When you have so many setbacks and knocks to confidence it can be so hard to push yourself to try again. It’s a great feeling when it eventually pays off.

Make sure to check in soon for more updates on Coco and what we’ve been up to! We’ve had a busy few weeks 🙂

Thanks for reading,


Dante’s Diaries – Our First One Day Event

Yes, you read that correctly, Dante & I have finally cut the cord, we are officially out competing. Over the weekend we took part in our first unaffiliated ODE & holy shirt, the nerves !!

There were a lot of ups & downs during our preparations for our One Day Event, the week prior consisted of a lot of headless humans running around the yard, setting out Dressage arenas, setting up jumps, to lessons with Jer & Sue to prepare!  

What is an ODE you ask? Well it is a single horse and rider competing in all 3 horse riding disciplines, Dressage, Show Jumping & Cross Country.

From learning the wrong dressage test, to not having jumped any Cross Country fences for at least 4 months. Keep reading to find out how we got on in each discipline,  & how we pulled it off & got placed 2nd!


I will start off by saying this is my least favourite out of the 3. Dante is not the most willing horse to accept the contact, if you have been following us you will know how much work I have to do to get him to use himself properly. It can be torture at times! untitled7

As I wanted to challenge him slightly in his jumping abilities, we had to enter the 1m class, the only downfall with this is that I had to do the Novice Dressage test.

Being our first ever dressage test, and me being quite the ditz, I of course learned the completely wrong test to begin with, having a massive panic attak on Friday two days before the event forcing Coach Sue to come out and give me a quick run over on everything flat work related. After her tough instructions & excellent tips by the end of our hour session I had the correct test mastered & was slightly less nervous about doing it on Sunday!

Sue’s Tip: When transitioning to canter, keep your outside leg back the entire time until you are transitioning down to trot, this will not only help your horse cue a trot transition, but it will also help your horse stay in canter until your leg is placed forward.

Due to dreadful weather conditions, and no stud holes in Dante’s shoes, we were faced with doing our test under quite slippy ground conditions. Typical Irish weather, it stays sunny for 2 months & the one day you decide to do an event on grass it pours down from the heavens! We managed to cope, with a lot of our comments saying “unbalanced” – I am surprised they didn’t say well done for staying on him!

He was quite sceptical of his surroundings looking at everything he was moving forward but was also moving away from the outline of the dressage ring, it was a really awkward feeling to try ride him correctly, but overall I couldn’t have been more proud of him. He really did try his heart out. We scored a 55.4% which for our first ever dressage test, I am delighted with! And for a novice test at that too!



As we moved on from our dressage test, we walked back to the box to put our martingale, boots & the most important Jesus (neck) strap back on before going in to practice for our showjumping round.

This is were a few risks were taken. We went up to the jumping practice area & as Dante tried to move up into canter the ground had him slipping everywhere underneath him. I mean I nearly pooed myself, I thought we were going over on our side. With this I walked down to the jumping arena, which was also on grass.

After walking around the outskirts, the ground was in much better condition than the practice area. So we took a massive risk & jumped straight into our round, having already warmed up from the dressage test, I just bit the bullet & went for it. At this stage I wasn’t really planning on placing anywhere considering I was ready to quit due to the weather & him not having any studs in.


This horse never fails to surprise me. He jumped out of his skin. Approached everything with such care, and the cheeky brat even began to show off over the fences. The comments from people watching he was practically jumping everything as if the fence was up on the top hole of the wing. He is really starting to come into his own when it comes to his jumping, I could point him at anything he is so honest.

Finishing his round, I was delighted. I knew I never had anything to worry about when it came to his jumping, this is really where he shines & comes into himself.

Sit back & hold him with your legs, your legs keep him balanced helping him flow smoothly around the course of fences. Jer’s words are forever in my head anytime I jump a course!


Cross Country

Dante had a well deserved packet of polo’s & a good 30minute rest before we took part in the last part of our ODE, our Cross Country. I really wanted to call it a day after our showjumping. He went so well & I didn’t want to push my luck with him.untitled11

With an outfit change,  fresh numnah and his XC boots on we headed in to walk the course. I yet again was quite unprepared. I knew fence 1-4 out of 10 luckily I was last up so I got to watch everyone before it was my turn.

Watching people is one of my go-to ways of learning courses!

Our turn quickly approached, as we walked in Dante began to get that spring in his step, it didn’t help that half way down the field a speed boat kept speeding up & down the lake, this was quite the distraction & caused us quite some time to get going as he began bunny hopping away from the start of the course to try get out of things but with a quick boot on forward we were off!

Once we got going we were both in our element. From jumping fences from practically a walk to trotting in calmly to fences that freaked me out, we both started getting into the swing of things as we got half way around the course, We even jumped the big scary yellow man fence – the one fence I was 100% positive I was going to take the time faults for before I even entered the field! But we did it, we finished the course!


This horse is something else, we both really click & give each other the confidence and the boost we both sometimes need. The trust we have in each other is really coming along. And I couldn’t be happier. To top everything off placing 2nd overall really set our sights high – we are certainly off to a great start.


Once back to the yard, I undressed Dante of all his travelling equipment, gave him a quick leg wash as he had a lot of dried in muck around his hooves and applied a quick layer of Leg clay to his back hocks.

Applying the leg clay wasn’t due to injury, he is quite the bad traveller, always whacking and cutting himself in the box even with his travel boots on, and with such a long day competing, something that he wouldn’t exactly be used to, it is better safe than sorry!untitled12

A massive thank you to Daffodil Lodge Stud, they ran an excellent event, a great place to bring any young horse in training, such a relaxed environment. And OMG their hills, their horses hind ends must be out of this world!!

Following our success, hopefully over the next few weeks we will be getting more competitions under our belts, after doing this I am full of confidence, Dante is more than capable – no more excuses!

Thanks for Reading,



Tatts 2017

Darielle here!

This weekend, is Tatts weekend! We here at No Bucking Way are so excited, neither myself or Orla have been before so we have no idea what to expect. So with that, I have done a bit of research about what is happening and have listed our top 5 riders to watch over the weekend. But first…

Tatts, What Actually Is It?

Tattersalls International Horse Trials & Country Fair (aka. Tatts) is taking place the 31st May – 4th June 2017. An annual event, it is one of the biggest sporting events held in Ireland.  It combines three equestrian disciplines Dressage, Cross Country and Show Jumping. However, the event itself caters for more than just the typical horse lover, it also has a shopping village, (I will be sure to splurge a little there!) it has a kids zone, this includes train rides & pony rides and a waggliest tail competition for the dogs!  We have decided to attend on Saturday which is Cross Country Day! From speaking to a few friends that go every year, one of the best spots for watching the Cross country is the picnic area as this is normally located near the water jumps. We’re considering bringing rain jackets!

7 Things to Know before you go: 

  1. The Hound Parade takes place on Sunday in The Irish Independent Main Arena
  2. The Novelty Dog Show takes place Saturday @ 2.00pm and Sunday @ 12.00pm. Competitions include, most waggly tail, dog with the best trick, best fancy dressed and so much more!
  3. Walk the course. This year it is deigned by FEI Cross Country designer and former Olympian Mr Ian Stark.
  4. This year the XC course got a total make-over, competitors will no doubt be doing a lot more course walking than most past years.
  5. The Water Fence Bar. This can be found beside the water fence complex in the Mitsubishi Picnic Square and open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12-6pm.
  6. The Shopping Village! Open from 10am-7pm each day (woo-woo) it has up to 90 concession stands, a seating area & food stalls
  7. Buy Tickets online for 20% discount off regular price!!

Tatts Tickets (Kids under 12 go FREE)

Click To View  Tatts Daily Timetable

Click to view the course Map 3* Course Map – XC

Wanna have a go at one of Tatts dressage tests? FEI 3* 2015 Test A Give it a go!! See if you have what it takes!

So without any further delay, below I have outlined who I will be keeping a keen eye out for over the weekend, a mixture of Irish & British riders. Have a read below!


Another great Irish event rider, Sarah is based in Dunboyne Co. Meath so will be returning to her hometown for the Tatts event! Sarah has been a member of many International Irish teams, with a HSBC World Ranking of 18th, she has years of experience in the business and with that amazing background and recently having great success at Belton International Horse Trials, she makes the list as one to definitely watch.


Another Irish rider to watch (we are just so talented)! Very excited to see this pro in action. Having finished 9th in the 2016 Olympic Games, the best placed finish for the Irish that year, Jonty recently went on to set a national record at four-star level in dressage on the Friday of Badminton 2017 with a score of 37.2 penalties. Wonder if he’ll be able to set any new records this weekend!


Across the pond we go! Zara (Phillips) Tindall, granddaughter to Her Majesty the Queen – she has such an amazing eventing track record! Zara was a member of the two British teams that won silver at the 2012 and 2014 Olympic Games where she placed 8th individually. It will be spectacular to watch how she tackles Tatts! 


Eventer Rachel Robinson what an inspiration, she seems to be superwoman having a full time job, children & having the time to compete, I aspire to be like her like how does she do it!!! With that in mind I definitely want to see what she’s made of competing this year at TATTS from looking at some of her pics she looks like a badass!!!  


He’s coming to Tatts!! I think literally every horse crazed person has heard of this man! One of the most successful event riders in the world, he is a LEGEND!! His most recent competition was at Houghton where he placed 7th so I am super excited to see how he does this weekend! 

Amongst a number of other riders to keep an eye out for include Mark Todd, Tim Price & Ben Hobday!

I don’t know about you, but I have gotten myself so excited about the weekend and our first trip ever to Tatts! I hope to get a good few pics & follow ups on my top 5 riders above!! Keep an eye on our Instagram page, we plan on walking the Cross Country Course!

#tatts2017 #seeyouthere

Last but not least a huge Best of luck to all Irish Eventers competing this year!!