For many reasons some horses take longer to fulfil riders’ hopes. Some riders even have to breed their horses first. 

NICOLA BELL'S  Hammerwood Rubinetta showed her tricky side in the medium non-qualifier — then redeemed herself to win the test 75 overall on just under 70% in the Stilebridge Barn show (18 May). “In the Medium 61 Rubi decided to do her own thing in one of the corners, so rather than carry on with the test, I decided to tackle it there and then," explained the rider. "I circled, re-rode the movement before retiring to continue her schooling in the warm-up.

"I’ve owned her two years and I’ve had moments when I’ve asked myself, ‘can I get through this?’ but then we have a breakthrough and I know that we can — and she’s learned how I want to do things now."

The Rhondeo-sired 10-year-old can be a little hot, but says, Nicola, “when she’s with you, she feels fantastic. But tension has often spoiled tests for us and we lose marks because that affects rhythm. In the qualifier I focused on rhythm and it was a nice consistent test. She has a very good walk and it’s pleasing that now she is starting to relax the walk is getting eights."

She added: “I train with Hannah Biggs who comes once a month and she’s rider focused, which is what I like. It’s not just about the horse, but also about your position and your balance — and she goes into small details about both horse and rider."

Kent-based trainer Sarah Williams, always a very focused competition rider, is well-known for acquiring and retraining “difficult horses”, which makes her winning game even

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