Posted: 17 July 2019 - Comments (0)
So once a year I venture into the world of showing at Stithians show the largest one day show in Cornwall and one of the biggest in the Country. Ellie really embraced the showing look and certainly carried the condition more appropriate for a show horse than an eventer! I had my usual last minute panics borrowing bridle, boots and numnah more suited to the showing look. I still fell short in some aspects but she was turned out well and as smart as I could make her. The Working Hunter Pony class at Stithians is unusual as there is no age limit on the rider meaning I can enter. The class was for 14hh-15hh so with Ellie the lower end of that range.
The jumping section was 90cm and caused Ellie no problems
There were 9 called back in for judging where we walked, trotted and cantered round together as well as showed a gallop. We then did a set show and stripped off for a trot up. The show was atmospheric with a big jumping class meaning lots of clapping so Ellie was on her toes but managed to hold it together. I thought the class was quite strong in standard so was over the moon to be 2nd. The judge commented that whilst he wasn't usually a fan of chestnuts he would certainly make an exception for her as she was very correct and had jumped very well.
So Ellie yet again proves what a versatile pony she is and you can have fun pretty much doing anything with her.
Posted: 14 July 2019 - Comments (0)
A lower key weekend but good fun with the girls. A double header yesterday with an unaffiliated dressage test for Fliss at Colraine. She did a super test for 69% and a close second (there may have only been 2 in it ). Ultimately with the ground at home now pretty hard it was a cost effective way of using an arena as well as practising a dressage test.
In the afternoon we had Praze Show sadly I had forgotten the camera so you don't get to see the drama. Really appreciated Praze Show making the effort to water and allowing us to jump on acceptable going when everywhere is so dry. Just popped Ellie in the 1m open class as now out of Discovery and first outing since a few quiet weeks for a snotty nose. We were going well to fence 3 but the line from the double at 4 to 5 was rather spoilt as in the adjacent ring in her eyeline the hound parade started including horn blowing! I don't think 2 poles down was too bad all considered! Guess what only 2 in our section and we were second, even coming home in profit. It is lovely to support our local agricultural shows and Praze is a favourite.
Today I took Fliss to Pendarves just to have a jump, play with some bits and get my eye in over some bigger jumps. We ended up in her usual bit so at least others have been tried and discarded.
Tonight Ellie was bathed ready for our annual dabble with showing. Tomorrow is Stithians Show Cornwall's biggest one day show and Ellie will be the Working Hunter pony. Hope to see a few friends there, very leisurely day as our class won't be til teatime.
Posted: 9 July 2019 - Comments (0)
Bicton is a favourite event, it is local (well relatively) and always has fantastic courses, the best ground possible and a super organisation. It had been a tough week leading up to the event with work being super busy. As a health and safety inspector the work can vary enormously but a fatal accident investigation can be both full on and emotionally draining.
I had originally entered both Fliss and Ellie but unfortunately a few weeks previous Ellie had a week of a snotty nose, nothing dramatic but enough to put our preparation and fitness work too far behind. So it was left to Fliss to fly the flag again in the Novice. I have to admit felt quite negative about the event which I shouldn't and the gremlins were creeping in again saying I wasn't capable of riding her. My head said with 6 out of 6 double clears including 2 at novice it was a good challenge but my gremlins were doing me down again and making me feel inadequate. Unfortunately I struggle to control them and Sunday was a day they became a bit much. We arrived and I walked the course, the ground was well looked after, had a good grass cover and been spiked but realistically as you would expect with the dry weather was pretty firm. Fliss does make quite a shape even XC and the ground wouldn't reward this, if I had been positive and needy for a run I wouldn't have had much hesitation but in the mood I was in was a good excuse not to run. As soon as I made the decision the gremlins eased a bit. Then I felt I let everyone and Fliss down by not running when the education would have been beneficial. Basically it left me upset and frustrated as well as an expensive combined training!
Anyway dressage was quite a difficult test (130) and I made a mistake of not putting studs in as we work on grass at home. Poor Fliss really struggled particularly in the canter with her footing. She tried hard but a 37.8 was very fair.
Show jumping was on the lovely all weather arena and at least here I got my head straight and we jumped a good clear round.
So withdrew cross country and headed back home feeling a bit (well a lot) down. Sadly the drama for the day wasn't over as half way home all sorts of warning lights started flashing on the lorry and the stop light came on. I managed to limp half a mile into the services nearby. Luckily we have the brilliant rescue from NFU and a mechanic was dispatched to find the alternator belt had gone. Sadly he wasn't able to mend on the roadside so the lorry and horses were recovered. We eventually returned to the yard just after midnight and the lorry was brought back next morning. So rather an expensive weekend 2 horses entered for a total £190 and just a combined training completed and a poorly lorry to fix although I understand that isn't the biggest job in the world.
I am also investing in some help with my head because if I can't learn to control the gremlins there is not a lot of point carrying on!
Posted: 3 July 2019 - Comments (0)
I am delighted to make a little introduction. My wonder mare Sarnie is with Mel Hennah at Trenarth Equestrian. After we had Kensa we knew we didn't have the facilities or finance to have another baby but agreed we would love it if Mel could breed from Sarnie. Mel is near Leedstown so only a 15 minute drive away and so easy to take carrot and apple supplies.
Born 2 weeks go meet baby Sarnie. Beautiful brown filly by Mel's gorgeous young stallion (My Eclipse / Selle Francais jumping mare). She is such a friendly baby and Sarnie totally adores her and is the most fabulous happy mummy.
We are very proud Aunties!
Posted: 29 June 2019 - Comments (0)
Rather than a heatwave it was more deja vu with thick fog at home today. Luckily there were no plans for outings but any thoughts of hacking were cancelled and both girls worked in the field. This afternoon was actually very pleasant the sun shone and we had temperatures in the low 20s which was enjoyable rather than unpleasant.
I have to admit I am one of these people that really doesn't enjoy too much heat even if I do live in a county with access to amazing beaches!
Posted: 27 June 2019 - Comments (0)
I had some complex plans for this week revolving around heading to Lyneham Heath for a couple of lessons with Owen Moore. Some may have questioned my sanity as this involved a 480 mile round trip, to add to this we were going to go to Treborough xc schooling on the way back.
I had lessons booked for Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, stabling Wednesday night at Lyneham and at Pontispool Thursday night so we could go to Treborough Friday morning. With Fliss having progressed quite quickly up the levels BE I felt this was a much needed time to take stock and prioritise any issues to work on.
Sadly on Monday this week I had an email saying Owen was unwell and wouldn't be able to teach. We debated going anyway and in the end decided to postpone until later in the year. We decided instead just to head to Treborough on Wednesday to school round the flagged track, this was merely a 6 hour round trip! Treborough is the most beautiful venue and I suggested to a friend she came too as she hadn't seen much of Exmoor.
Much as I love Treborough the one disadvantage is the drive, it is hilly and tight in places. As we got closer and gained height we came into fog and the visibility was very poor making driving even more difficult. We arrived at about 11 and made our way into the field. Sadly the fog meant I could barely see the lorry at 10ft! The sum total of the spectacular Treborough that I dragged by friend to see was some grass and a piece of string roping off the tradestand area.
We had lunch and waited for it to clear, and waited and waited and gave up! I understand it cleared at 5pm by which time we were long gone! We did make a hasty plan b (or should it be z) and rang Stockland Lovell and went XC schooling there. This meant navigating off the moor in thick fog down a different windy and hilly trail. About 5 miles from Treborough down the hill the fog cleared and the sun shone - so frustrating.
Haven't been to Stockland Lovell in years certainly since they had a BE event and the last one was 8 years ago! I was actually very impressed with the variety of the fences and the maintenance and upkeep of the courses. I would certainly recommend it for schooling. Fliss by the time we got there was bored and fed up having been on the lorry nearly 7 hours.
The waters were the main thing we wanted to play with as I know this can still be a weak area where she needs more experience jumping in. We warmed up by the water and then cantered through it. The water was quite green in places but soon got her used to it trotting round and through. We then progressed to jumping in over a small log and out over a triple brush type fence. There was a reasonable little drop in and went to pop that in and she said she couldn't possibly drop into green stuff. So I went back in popped out up the drop a few times before turning round and asking her to go back in. Still a big 'no way' and just switched off on me. She is so genuine but sometimes if she really isn't sure it just won't happen. So there was only one thing for it, I had to paddle again, the reins were tied together and a dog lead added to give me length and I stepped into the water in my short boots which quickly filled. I have to say this is where she is very trusting as immediately she followed me in to the water and we repeated this a few times. I got back on and now she understood she jumped straight in.
We carried on round the course to the other water which was clear and probably would have been the better one to start on. It had a variety of little steps in and one about the same size we had the fuss over initially. This time she was really confident and just popped in all the different ways so hopefully we are still progressing. I just have to be aware that water is something I need to work on and if any doubt carry a lunge line and wellies!!
Overall much as when things don't go right it is frustrating you can't improve things or correct things if the problems don't show themselves. By the end she was jumping confidently in to both waters from just slow jog giving her time to look, think and hopefully learn. It is clearly something we will need to work hard at but hopefully over time she will learn to trust me as much in the saddle as she does unmounted!