Following a couple of lessons with Caroline Moore and watching a recent Horse and Country programme she featured in I was inspired to set up a simple flatwork exercise in my rapidly drying field today. The following diagram should give you an idea sorry if the text isn't clear but I big thank you to the team at E-venting for letting me use it.
This seems a relatively simple exercise yet is deceptively difficult. To get the balance on the tight turn and then achieve the straightness away is a brilliant exercise, it is more difficult in a field as there is nothing to hold you in. My original set up can be seen left. I found this difficult with Fliss even in trot and had to enlarge the space as well as move the poles back to give me more room to turn. Even then she found it hard and I tended to do 2 or 3 turns before riding out of the area. A really good exercise and I could feel her starting to engage more in the turn and stay straighter away. However it is definitely one to stay up for a week or two and have a bit more practice at. Will be interesting what Ellie makes of it later in the week.
If you are able to set it up I would highly recommend.
It seems a while since there has been much to report and indeed with more set backs this week I wondered if I would be able to get going this weekend. Who would have believed a short run on Wednesday would have been so sore? However this weekend although still a little sore I have been able to do more riding wise, indeed a little pop with Fliss yesterday followed by a dressage lesson today felt long overdue. Clearly for Fliss too who is feeling fresh and well and in need of some decent work!
I though after some schooling yesterday and a little jumping she may be quite tired today but anything but she is clearly ready to start eventing soon! It was great to see sponsor Stef again after a few months where we have missed each other. Really pleased that she could see a big improvement in Fliss and her way of going. However with Fliss fresh it was the simple things we worked on today, discipline for her and correct position and core strength for me. We started by changing the gears within the pace and getting her to respect the half halt, she always seems to be in a rush to get places. For me it was sitting up and tucking my tail in, Stef asked me to imagine I was coming into a fence with a big drop on landing.
We then worked on trot and canter transitions, literally every 1/3 or 1/2 the circle and particularly not allowing her to run into the trot, it was important here that I didn't collapse with my body. The clip gives you an idea of the work we were doing.
Massive improvement, you really inspire me. As you work so hard & deserve all the success you get. Also you ride a pony which awesome, ponies rock.
Thank Sonia so pleased with progress.
I am often asked for tips on obtaining sponsorship. Whilst I am no expert I can give some useful tips.
Generally for an amateur like myself the likelihood of finding a financial sponsor is very slim (unless a family member). Most support will come in the form of products or discounted products. Providing these are things you use this can make quite a big saving.
I read posts online and have been approached for advice by people who may be very successful in what they do and have approached companies asking for support yet are continually turned down. There is a couple of reasons for this! Firstly money is tight and many companies don't have any budget for sponsors but more importantly it is often the way the approach is made. Too often it is listing the success or ambitions of the rider and what they need but forgets the key point. What can you do for the sponsor!
What can you offer?
If you are looking for a sponsor you need to sell your services to the potential sponsor. What can you offer in return their support? Unless you are competing on the world stage you are unlikely to get rewarded for just being successful. So what can you offer :-
The hospital said nothing was broken so why do I still feel rough and in a lot of pain! I guess it was a fair blow but I like to get on with things, I have kept working and although walking Ellie still feel quite uncomfortable to ride. Sometimes though it is the little things that show you are improving like I can now turn over in bed and have a small cough with a major spasm so hoping I can get back to doing things soon.
Worrying news today about the Equine Influenza, luckily not in my area currently and with my current health I can watch and wait until the picture is clearer before taking the horses out. Luckily with this period of quieter work I decided to have their flu jabs done early a week ago so they should be getting the maximum protection possible. First big competition is the Horsequest Arena Eventing Championships at Aston in 5 weeks so hopefully time for things to settle.
There are so many reasons that Ellie is special and has stayed so long. Yes she is talented but equally on weekends like this she is worth her weight in gold :)
I am still v sore following the fall last weekend, a mere sneeze and the pain in my side is stratospheric! Saying that things are improving slowly and I was determined to get back on this weekend and at least walk Ellie out.
Bless her she stood like a rock as I clambered on (consider she is fit and not been ridden for a week), and then plodded quietly round the block whilst I worked out what was and wasn't comfortable. She stood equally still as I worked out how to get off! Certainly going to be some quiet hacking before I can do much more but at least this way our combined bellies won't expand too much more. Fliss on the other hand will benefit from 10 days off as hopefully can ride in a few more days.
Ellie really is a pony in a million!
I have been pretty sore since Sunday's mishap. Around the rib area is extremely painful and keeps going into spasms. No chance of riding at the moment but at least with the horrible weather it is not a bad time to choose to be off games. Not been feeling particularly well either not sure if my body is just focusing on healing the broken bits or it is the shock. The good news is I saw my physio today and he was quite positive that over the next week I will
see some significant improvement, hope so as not finding things easy. I am managing to care for the girls at least, although have had to have words with Ellie regarding the speed of marching in.
Ellie had some fun tonight as Cornwall was affected by some unexpected snow. We were forecast to miss the worst yet we had a really heavy flurry turning everything white and bringing the road network to a halt. Ellie is out by night and it has to be really bad for her to have a night in, so she was popped out in the snow where she loved showing off her moves.