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Rain, rain go away

Posted: 19 Dec 2019 - Comments (0)

Really struggling at the moment to get any regular work into the girls, the light is at its shortest and the horrendous weather just meant I can't ride. I am no fair weather rider but equally it isn't safe to hack out in the monsoon conditions on busy roads. They are making do with 3 to 4 rides a week of which if I can box or hack further one is schooling. Certainly not a time they will be improving but if as a minimum I can keep them ticking over and a good baseline fitness I can pick them up when the weather and light improves. Doesn't hurt them to have a quieter time. Fliss can be a bit of a Princes about the wet weather and I worry she is spending too much time in the stable. I am generally getting her out for a couple of hours but I do like them to be out nearer 12 hours! Ellie is a tough pony and is happily paddling round the swamp every night.

It is easy to get bogged down with the terrible weather but certainly it is a nothing as serious as the high temperatures and fires in Australia which must be very frightening. Shame we can't lend them some rain. Fingers crossed for an improvement soon.

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Caroline Moore Training

Posted: 14 Dec 2019 - Comments (0)

We managed our last training of the year at the fabulous Glenda Spooner Centre (world Horse Welfare) near Yeovil. Both girls had aa group lesson with Caroline Moore working over a series of technical exercises.

We started off working over a bounce of cavalettis 4/5 strides to another and then another 4/5 strides to another bounce. (The video shows this). Focus was on straightness and being able to adjust the strides between 4 and 5 as appropriate. We then moved onto to exercises using bounces, turns, skinnies and related distances which tested just about everything! The focus with both was straightness through the shoulders and keeping them in a forward rhythm not adding strides.


As you can see Fliss was quiet feisty and fresh but learnt loads.


Ellie just gave me the most amazing feel throughout.

I also got the chance to try out my Christmas present from Mum. We purchased a Cambox headcam in the black friday sales and it was great to play with some footage from a different angle.

Bounce line


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You know when you should have done something?

Posted: 9 Dec 2019 - Comments (0)

We all have those little jobs that get left until we have time, usually this doesn't cause much in the way of drama (well not in my world). However this time it did. Mum had reminded me several times that a form had come from DVLA and I meant to get round to it. I checked it yesterday and my lorry entitlement had to be renewed on my driving license before my birthday. Mmmm my birthday is this Friday and ok I could fill the form out and get it back but I also need a fresh medical - whoops. If I don't get it in the system before my birthday I have to stop driving the lorry until it was processed - approx 4 weeks! Ok this might be a bigger deal than I anticipated, particularly as my own Dr surgery couldn't fit in a medical until mid Jan!

There followed a mad panic of ringing every company and dr surgery I could think of. In the end I had an offer of a medical in Exeter (100 miles away) on Monday - still too late. I have to say this is where the equine community comes up trumps as a doctor I know through horses very kindly this afternoon gave me the once over so once and completed the form, I have an eye test tomorrow so hopefully all is good to go and disaster averted.

Remind me not to leave things til the last minute!

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Dressage fun!

Posted: 2 Dec 2019 - Comments (0)

Yes I did use the words fun and dressage together! Yesterday I spent the day at the Threewaters Riding Club dressage show which is luckily just down the road from the yard. For the morning I spent my time time writing for dressage judge Laima Davies who was judging the early classes. I always find I learn a huge amount from dressage writing both in terms of what the judge looks for and the simple perspective of watching a test from the judges box.

I would recommend to offer to write at a local competition and it really will give you some great tips and advice all free of charge. Just remember to concentrate on what you are writing as well although this is isn't too hard.

Once I had finished my duty I shot off to fetch both girls. I had entered Fliss in the two novice classes and Ellie in the Elementary. I have to say having taken them to my friends Zoe's school the previous day I did not have high hopes. Fliss was just a bit bleugh, we had combined the session with trying saddles. I had been delighted to be approached to be a brand ambassador for a saddle company but on trying the saddles they didn't quite suit Fliss or myself so looks like back to plan A and find a new one to buy. The saddles I tried were gorgeous but I would never become a brand ambassador if I didn't truly believe in the product and it didn't work for me in this case. So by the time we had tried saddles and I then schooled Fliss she was a tad past wanting to put her best effort in. Ellie on the other hand had had a few days off in the week (lost a shoe in the mud) and was feeling very well. She definitely wanted to do a freestyle test with changes and other grand prix movements, a mere Elementary was beneath her dignity. She had rather a long session and we called it quits with some improvement in the way of going.

So Fliss was on first with Novice 30, I was a bit disappointed as made some mistakes early on including a poor centre line and some very uneven half 10 meter circles. The test was generally not too bad. If I am picky I still want her longer and more out in the frame but there is improvement and clearly it is a work in progress. We scored 67% for 2nd place in the class.

We had a 40 minute break before our second test which was 34. Now this test I was really pleased with, other than a slight disobedience on one of the canter trot canter movements it was flowing and obedient. I was pleased that the judge also saw the improvement and gave us 70% to win the class.

Ellie was then doing Elementary 44 the same test she did at Poldice a few weeks ago. I am pleased to say this was a big improvement with no freestyling (in particular additional flying changes) and she scored 68% to win the class and get some very nice comments. (Ellie is always pleased when a judge refers to her as a 'horse').

The wins qualified both girls for the dressage championships at Hartpury so if we fancy a change from eventing we get some options in May.

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Growing up

Posted: 29 Nov 2019 - Comments (0)

Time to give up and accept with the winter we are having the 3 year olds need their rugs on early. Kensa (sarnie's foal (left) and Tommy) were looking less than impressed although I think this is more related to the weather than the rugs.

Thoughts are turning to backing Kensa and then turning her away again until the summer, Not something I will be doing but she will be going down to my friend Mel Hennah for the honour. Physically she has a lot of maturing to do so it will be case of teaching the basics through long reining and ground work getting her sat on and then turned away again until summer 2020. She looks quite small in this picture but I think she will finish about 15.2 or 15.3 which is ideal for me.

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Show Jumping at Duchy

Posted: 24 Nov 2019 - Comments (0)

There was a relatively local BS show at Duchy college and decided to take Ellie. I don't tend to jump much indoors as locally none of the venues have the biggest arenas which encourages my tendency to ride a bit backwards. With likely low entries it was impossible to take both so Ellie had the outing particularly as Fliss had worked in the week having the Caroline Moore lesson.

Ellie was on fire warming up and really on springs despite the slightly deep warm up arena. We entered the 1.05 and Newcomers which were both being run A7 (separate jump off). I must admit I struggled in the 1.05, Duchy is small and I rode a bit backwards and didn't get the forward rhythm I have been working on. We did however jump a clear round.

The jump off was better and I tried to be competitive but again I just was a bit backward to the second fence which resulted in a pole. Still 3rd in the class was a good result.

We jumped the Newcomers (sorry no video) and was disappointed to have 2 poles which realistically were both my mistake. Clearly need a bit more practice indoors to get properly in the swing of things. Actually the class (of 7 entries) was won with a single clear round so clearly it wasn't jumping that easily. On a positive note great to highlight areas to work, on the negative struggling to get much practice at the moment with the weather and light. A plod round the block isn't quite cutting it!

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