Posted on

Frustrating time at The National Saddlery Competition 2018

This week has been a slightly stressful week. Part of me thought I shouldn’t blog about it because I feel I shouldn’t be advertising my mistakes. The other side of me feels that everyone makes mistakes and it’s best to admit it and see where you can go next. After all I am only an apprentice and just starting my journey.

This week was the annual National Saddlery Competition at Saddlers Hall in London. I entered a few items this year including the infamous stingray dressage saddle I made for my final saddlery exam, and a double bridle I made for the trainee bridle exam.

I actually had a great result with my saddle being awarded a premium award. Anyone who has chatted to me over the past few months will know just how much stress that saddle has created (the price you pay for trying to make something a bit more creative) so to receive some recognition of my hard work is lovely.

The double bridle I made I was actually very pleased with, which is unusual for me as I’m such a perfectionist and very self-critical. On display with all the other bridles it did look really nice and I have to admit I was a little sad to not receive any award for it but at the end of the day the judges decision is final and there is such a high standard of competition you really have to have something exceptional to do well.

Well the really annoying moment was when I got to score card back to read. The trainee bridlework classes are usually done to a specification, so the item you make has to be to specific measurements. Silly old me had misread one of the measurements, so my reins were too short. The judge seemed more frustrated as me because I had received high marks in every other area, but the fundamental problem was that it didn’t match the specification!

Anyway, I’m trying not to dwell on it, as I said we all make mistakes, but this was a costly one and I’ll be sure to not make the same mistake again!