After a wet and muddy winter last year history seems to be repeating itself with torrential rain and high winds. Although the girls aren't getting any formal holiday December has been a competition free month with plenty of hacking and low key work hopefully giving them both a chance to unwind and relax slightly.
I am over the moon with how both girls are looking, Fliss in particular has really muscled up and is looking amazing. I have always kept the feeding quite simple and totally fibre based. Both predominately have Dengie Alpha A with a little Speedi Beet. In the winter when Fliss can drop a little weight I have found the Blue Chip balancer is excellent, Ellie has no problems with weight in the winter so just has a vitamin supplement and both have salt. Combined with haylage I find this a natural diet which is cost effective and seems to give plenty of energy without any stupidity (well not too much).
Starting to make loose plans now for the eventing season but wondering if the weather will have a similar impact to last year. After such a quiet year this year I would like to get some events in early but will be very frustrating if the weather has other plans. Will have to ensure there is a plan a, b and c!!!
A couple of super lessons with Caroline Moore this week even if I am now totally knackered. We went to the BRC Area 12 training at Millfield for a session with each girl.
Fliss was up first and was on a testing session, they grouped by jumping height and Fliss is jumping good size courses but was probably a fair way behind on the technical side of the jumping. We started off with basic flatwork and progressed through to some quite technical exercises. I will let the video take you through our progression.
Having reviewed the last post and the work the horses have done they are having a low key month with virtually no competitions and just quietly ticking over. We are however looking forward to a lesson with Caroline Moore on Wednesday this week at Millfield. Report to come later in the week.
Time to mention the other important equines in my world. Sarnie is looking great and enjoying retirement helping nanny another friends foal. Meanwhile Kensa her 2 year old daughter is growing up fast, about 15hh in height and should make a nice size for me. Took this lovely pic of her and best friend Tommy this weekend.
They are being very much allowed to mature naturally, very little handling other than worming and farrier with room to play and a shed to miss the worst of the weather. They will be spoilt soon and allowed some rugs once the weather turns a little colder. 18 months and we will start to see a bit more what we have!
I have been reviewing the horses stats for the year. While the year is not quite over they are having a fairly quiet month competition wise and it was a good chance to reflect on our year. Considering this time last year I wasn't even wanting to ride Fliss and was totally lacking confidence we have come a huge way and had a fabulous season with both girls.
My project pony (that I planned to sell this year) has been a revelation, huge fun and as a result came off the market! She has competed in all affiliated disciplines
11 classes at British dressage
58 points (all at Novice)
Average score: 69.5%
4 wins and 10 top 3 finishes
38 classes at BS (British Novice to 1.05)
17 Double Clears
7 wins and 23 places
£310 prize money
6 runs this year at BE90 and BE100
2 wins and 5th at 100 2nd and 6th at 90
5 Double clears - only 11.6 penalties total added after dressage all season
Average finish score 30.95
Reserve Champion Working Hunter Pony Stithians Agricultural Show
5th Riding Club Area Dressage
Winner Riding Club Area Arena Eventing Qualifier at 100 level
I think it is safe to say Ellie has been simply awesome a dream to have and produce as well as fun and competitive to take out.
Fliss has been with me just over a year and has competed less focusing on strengthening up and establishing her way of going yet she too has been very successful and great fun to produce.
2 affiliated classes
A 3rd place
Average score 65%
38 BS jumping classes British Novice to Newcomers
19 Double Clears
3 wins and 14 placings
2 runs BE
Double clear 80 and 90
3rd BE80 Bicton
Winner Riding Club Area Arena Eventing Qualifier at 90 level
Thought I would share this picture taken when schooling Fliss at home yesterday. Luckily the fields are well draining as the school I have been using is now unavailable meaning I need to take whatever opportunities I can at home. The horses are quite used to Smartie wandering out watching and giving advice, the quality of the advice can be questionable!
Smartie has been in the family for 6 years now, a rescue dog originally bought as a puppy by a single parent with 3 children under 5, he was in foster care by 5 months. As many rescues he has never been easy but over the years he has improved. This year though he has had the doggy version of a mental breakdown. It started when we lost Daisy on New Years Eve last year, Daisy at 15 was the alpha female leaving Smartie and Rebel behind. Whilst Rebel (greyhound) has had a new lease of life since Daisy has gone Smartie has become more anxious and distressed. He has been used to us working but now if there are outside triggers such as wind and he is left there can be severe destruction and distress. We have a camera in the house which catches hours of him crying and being unhappy. He has ripped the stair carpet up, nearly gone through a wooden door and it is just sad to see such unhappiness. Rebel is at home with him, but this seems no help and Rebel just ignores him.
We are working with a dog behaviourist from the charity we adopted him from but to date there is limited success. I am trying whenever possible to take him to work with me particularly when windy or stormy. However at the moment trying to accommodate his needs is not proving easy and hoping we can find the key to his happiness soon.
What a week for weather! This morning was horrendous for wind, Ellie was rescued (she is out by night) and Fliss was allowed a morning in. I managed to get over at lunchtime to chuck her out when the wind dropped only to find a full sized trampoline in her field! This caused much snorting and upset!
Fliss is looking super smart with a fresh clip, sadly she is still missing a shoe and I have given up with the prospect of paying £25 to have back on when she is being shod on Monday now. Luckily she has good feet and I have been able to do a little riding in the field, it certainly isn't hard! In fact really pleased how well behaved she was yesterday having been fully clipped the day before she behaved beautifully in the wind.
Ellie was shocked on Monday which should have been a day of rest to see me arrive with tack. Having reviewed the weather forecast the planned beach ride had to be brought forward and I must admit Ellie perked up considerably when she arrived at the beach to meet up with friends, Great for them mentally to have variety and we enjoyed a lovely afternoon and a nice canter. The sand can be a bit inconsistent so we always walk down and never do too much coming back, it is all about fun not fitness.