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One year of competing with Idske

A tall black Friesian horse stands beside Janine, in riding clothes and a Christmas jumper
Idske and Janine at the Christmas Jumper Show

Idske arrived with me at the end of 2022 as a 4 year old. Our first competition together was the "Christmas Jumper Show" , I like to take youngsters out to these local showing shows just to give them some experience of being out around other horses and having an introduction to competition.

She behaved really well in the in hand class and took 3rd place with the judge commenting that she is a stunning horse but at the time lacked the muscle tone to be placed higher against the mature horses in the class. We then did the baby ridden class, where she was placed 2nd and I had the prize for best Christmas jumper. It was a worthwhile outing and a good experience for Idske!

In January 2023, the Friesian Horse Association of Great Britain and Ireland (FHAGBI, now UKFHS) were teaming up with E-riders to start Friesian dressage leagues. Of course I wanted to support this as it is wonderful to have some Friesian specific competitions to take part in. The leagues last for 6 months and participants are to submit 1 test (British Dressage) per month, so in January we started to prepare for submitting Idske's first dressage test. In her first test she scored 68.42% which I was delighted with! This put us into 3rd place and was a fantastic start. Idske really developed over the course of the Prelim league, having a very successful six months with scores ranging from 67.30% up to 72.31%! Since that first month she has never been lower than 2nd place. I was delighted when we became champions of the Prelim dressage league! 

A black horse looking to the side with three large rosettes in her long flowing mane and a champion sash around her neck
Idske shows off her Champion sash and rosettes from the FHAGBI Prelim dressage league

We then decided to take part in the next league up which was at Novice level, where Idske has gone from strength to strength and recently finished as champion of the Novice league too! In between these monthly competitions, she has had an introduction to the affiliated world of British Dressage and in our first two outings qualified for the Area Festival Championships which are to take place in mid January 2024.

A large black Friesian horse and her ride warming up at a dressage competition

It has been such a fantastic year training this mare, watching her change and develop into a capable dressage horse along the way. Idske will be 6 this year and I hope to have more time to take her out to affiliated competitions so that she can grow in confidence in Novice level at more venues new to her. We are also going to make an attempt at the next level up for the E-riders Friesian horse league (if you are champion at a level then you must move up a level for the next 6 month league) so we will now begin some work in Elementary BD. 

A tall black Friesian mare and her rider riding along a green grassy path with a field full of daffofils in the background

Idske was graded as a three year old by the KFPS and received a 3rd premie, UKFHS (formerly FHAGBI) are planning to return to Scotland again this year to do another Friesian grading day, at which I hope to re-grade Idske and see if she can gain a higher score now that she has developed more muscle and is a more mature horse. Her sire is the top stallion Jehannes 484 who has just claimed title of Friesian Horse of the year 2024 at the annual Friesian stallion show in Leeuwarden! 

It has been such a very successful 2023 with Idske and I am looking forward to seeing what 2024 will bring with her.

A tall black horse wearing a saddle and bridle with her rider standing holding her. They are both soaked from the Scottish rain!

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