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Team dressage

Posted: 11 November 2018 - Comments (0)

Today we headed off to the RC area dressage at Duchy College as part of Threewaters Riding Club team. We were entered in Novice 34.

Ellie warmed up beautifully and when going well I'm careful not to overdo her, I let her relax for 10 minutes and then with 2 to go restarted the warm up. Well not sure what happened but turned into hyper active pony! In the end just walked her quietly to settle before starting our test.

The arena was wet and stodgy in places which actually helped us, I think a good surface and she would have charged off. As it was she contained things and did a super test just with a mistake in the second medium canter. Her medium trots were the best yet so I was delighted with her. In a very tight and strong section we were 5th with 72.5% so pleased with the result but over the moon with her effort.

A nice day, great team spirit and fun and well organised. However I do think Ellie is more looking forward to representing the team Arena Eventing!

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Riding Club Teams

Posted: 10 November 2018 - Comments (0)

Over the next couple of weeks we are looking forward to representing Threewaters Riding Club in a couple of team events. Tomorrow Ellie is part of the dressage team and then in a couple of weeks both are doing the arena eventing at Bicton. I may of chosen the wrong horse for the dressage as Ellie is feeling very bright and well. They both had a few days off after Chard and when I worked Ellie on Wednesday she was in manic show jumping pony mode with nothing resembling what you would see in a dressage test. You don't argue with Ellie and with light fading we accepted a minor improvement before giving up. Today at least we took a step forward and were a little calmer but I think we may need another week to get the fully function dressage pony back. Hopefully we won't let the team down too badly tomorrow.

Hope everyone is coping with the horrid weather we have gone very quickly from dry fields to mud and wet. Really miss being able to ride in the fields which severely limits the amount I can do any proper schooling.

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Final 'summer' show at Chard

Posted: 7 November 2018 - Comments (0)

Just back from our last stay away show of ‘summer’ and sadly the change to winter weather has been very evident! Definitely feeling some of the winter blues.

Lets reflect first on the great time at Chard and progress made. Fliss is jumping better and better since I have settled on a noseband and bit that she seems to both like and respect. On day 1 she jumped a good double clear in the Discovery for 2nd place and had a spooky pole in the 1.05. I don’t like to complain as it was a lovely day and the sun was bright but at this time of year it was low and left some interesting shadow, Fliss spooked at 6 and took the back bar but otherwise was great.

This led me to brave thoughts on the middle day and I gave the Discovery a miss and jumped the 1.05 followed by Newcomers. My only previous time jumping Fliss at this level had not been successful when I had cricket score and ridden badly at Dorset. This was a decent track and I promptly saw a poor stride to 1 and thought history was to repeat itself. Luckily I gave myself a metaphorical kick up the backside and rode her forward. The round was far from perfect but she tried her heart out and we finished with a fabulous double clear.

The last day was wet and miserable and we planned to step back and just finish with a Discovery. Clearly after my high of the day before I was too complacent and came round a turn with half revs and no stride, panicked asked for a nothing stride and we demolished the fence and nearly hit the deck - whoops. We circled and continued the round without incident so fingers crossed no harm done.

Ellie was fab after her short break and quickly back to her best. With her she has all her double clears so it is fun to try and be competitive. On day 1 we had a pole in the jump off going quickly but she jumped a super round in the 1.05 for 4th place.

Day 2 she was 3rd in the Discovery but had a pole in the 1.05. Like Fliss on the last day she just jumped the Discovery and just got a bit quick and opinionated for 2 poles down.

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Ellie's turn

Posted: 29 October 2018 - Comments (0)

With Fliss jumping at Bicton yesterday Ellie had a more low key outing today. She has had a few weeks off and a quiet week so wanted to get her out again and the Threewaters Riding Club show was ideal. First off was removing the fur coat can't believe how much she has grown since Dauntsey, sadly my clippers are playing up so it seemed a good excuse to get a pro in. Big thanks to Marilyn Stead for doing a fab job.

Ellie was really pleased to be out and feeling v bright. She also had her eyes out on stalks at some of the Halloween costumes and colours on display. I have to say if I had the time and imagination I think she would take well to being dressed up! Anyway when it came to the jumping she didn't put a foot out of place and jumped a nice double clear to win the class. Perfect outing for her as the courses were kind for the height and helped get both our eyes back in again.

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Bicton BS

Posted: 27 October 2018 - Comments (0)

It seems ages since we last did some proper show jumping. With Ellie just being picked up after her little break and a tad fluffy it was left to Fliss to fly the Shoestring flag. Probably madness with a 5hr round trip for 2 rounds of jumping but actually it was lovely show with nice numbers, lovely weather and good courses making it very worthwhile. I was convinced I was probably going to fall off as things usually go in 3's! Having brought Ellie in this morning in the dark I was popping her feed in while she was eating breakfast didn't see she had a front foot stretched out and went flying over it. 10 minutes late having left the wheel barrow outside Fliss's stable I fell over that too! No excuses just clumsy!

Fliss luckily looked after me at Bicton and was fab. She has not jumped in that arena before and the light wasn't the easiest but this didn't phase her. She is finally getting a lot stronger and with her better frame she was jumping really well. The Discovery was probably one of our best rounds to date and without even really trying she was quick enough for 2nd place.

The 1.05 wasn't quite such a good round I ended up thinking slightly backward and just needed to ride slightly more forward, we were caught out at number 8 when instead of riding forward I just held a little long meaning she dropped a back toe. Still a pretty good round and definitely moving in the right direction.The Newcomers also looked very jumpable which was encouraging.

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Winter training commences

Posted: 25 October 2018 - Comments (0)

Well despite the fact it doesn't feel winter has quite arrived yet the indoor training has started. I am determined this year to get more competitions and training to focus on rather than the dreaded long dark, wet and cold nights. I am fortunate that my local riding club Threewaters RC organises some good trainers over the winter and yesterday was the first session with Sarah Thorne a BE accredited trainer.

I had got away from work in good time and hacked out Ellie before fetching Fliss from the field. Her first steps in quickly drew my attention to a flapping shoe, horses why do we bother! Fliss has strong feet and would be fine on a surface less a shoe but on this occasion she had spread it and was secured one side and flapping the other! I actually think it is the first shoe Fliss has removed (or part removed) since I had her so why did she pick this night! Luckily my farrier wasn't too far away and agreed to pop over and replace the shoe. We did discuss I would like to have some basic tools and learn how to remove a shoe, that though is for another day.

Poor Fliss was thrown in the lorry and we arrived for the lesson only 10 minutes late and fortunately the sessions were running late so we didn't miss a thing. We worked on 3 main exercises, using poles to get them to work from behind, a small jump on the turn and then a grid but really using turning initially to engage before jumping through.

A good educational session for both of us with the exercises getting us to focus and think.

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