Normal service to be resumed soon as now back from our weeks break on Exmoor. I am not the biggest holiday person but nevertheless good to get away from the everyday worries and see some new sights, enjoy some local food and do some running to lessen any long term effects from the increased calories.
For anyone interested I have added an album of photos here
The blog is likely to be quieter (if not totally silent) for the next 7 days as we head off on a weeks break Shoestring style. Horses have been packed off to my friend for safekeeping and will have the week off. Meanwhile Mum, the dogs and I are heading to a mobile home in deepest Exmoor, there is evidently no mobile signal or Wi-Fi!
Huge thank you to Dengie Horse Feeds for this fabulous goodie bag including £100 of vouchers that I won in their Facebook competition.
I am a huge convert of Dengie feeds and both my horses are currently competing on Alpha A with just an addition vitamin supplement. I like to keep my feeding fibre based and with minimal concentrate and this has suited my horses for years, I have probably been using Dengie for over 20 years.
Haven't competed at Dauntsey for a few years now and it has always been renowned as a top end course that asks plenty of questions at all levels. Really good to be able to take Ellie who is now well established at this level and see how she coped. We were also in a very hot section with the top riders including this years Badminton winner, a WEG team gold medalist and a host of other WEG team members. I actually love testing ourselves with the best, the commentator XC said how unfortunate I was to be in such a hot class but actually to do well in this company is a huge achievement.
Dressage was probably my least favourite test, with an extra halt and 15 meters circles. I seemed to have a crisis about these circles and usually end up with them the wrong shape or size. Luckily this time we nailed them and did a very sweet test. The main areas to work on are our downward transitions particularly from canter to trot, this was a bit abrupt and fell on her forehand. However, I was chuffed with a score of 30.5 with the best in our section being on 27. Always nice when I judge comments 'Lots to like about her'. (Not sure if that meant the rider had less to like or I am just being over sensitive?)
The Video (test 101)
Having done the 5 washes from Chard the lorry is being repacked and tomorrow we are heading to Dauntsey with Ellie for a run in the BE100. We seem with the weather this year to be a bit short on outing so lovely to be going back to one of my favourite courses a really bold galloping course. Only one more run after this we finish the season at Bicton in the BE100. Been contemplating the 3 day event BE100 as never had the opportunity to do one with roads and tracks and steeplechase but in the end the £370 entry proved a step too far.
Fliss meanwhile went XC schooling yesterday and was much improved in her way of going, the end of the season has just some a little quick for her but hopefully she can go out next year all guns firing.
We certainly had some dramatic weather at Chard but with fabulous barn stabling and a great all weather arena we actually coped well and survived still managing an enjoyable weekend. Thursday to travel was windy and neck straps were a necessity when exercising as plastic was flying and the wind was whistling. Ellie even had to negotiate a couple of helicopters that were being tuned up (yes helicopter and equine hobbies do mix at Chard).
Thursday overnight was interesting the lorry was rocking in the wind and the rain was thundering down. It almost felt like we were rocking at sea! Luckily enough Friday itself was the nicest day of the 3. Both girls had a couple of classes to jump with a 1.05 class as well as an amateur class. For Fliss the aim of the weekend was some experimentation with bridles, bits and nosebands. On the first day I continued in the gag which was a definite improvement but she did open her mouth quite a bit so far from perfect. Anyway in the Discovery she jumped a nice double clear and just had a pole in the 1.05. I hadn't even realised she had had it and was about to argue the 4 faults however the video clearly shows the pole at the double.