Posted: 23 Nov 2019 - Comments (0)
A little midweek trip to Millfield for a Caroline Moore lesson with Fliss. I always find Caroline's lesson challenging in terms of exercises as well as attention to detail. So we started off cantering over 2 narrow poles and ensuring the horses were totally straight throughout the exercise and the rider was looking up and ahead. How can something so simple be so difficult and it clearly exposed Fliss's tendencies to pop her shoulder out and mine to look down. It improved but was nowhere near perfect.
We then proceeded to some turning exercises using a variety of jumps and skinnies, Caroline keen that we were riding forwards and not adding strides. The video shows the end exercise and also a near splat for me when Fliss didn't read the question with the shoulder brush fully. We then broke the exercise back down before doing it as a related again. Sharpens us both up to make a mistake occasionally.
Really pleased with the session and as always lots to learn and go away and practice more. As we had an appointment to try saddles the next day we stayed at Pontispool and this was a great opportunity to let Ellie have a school round the Arena Eventing jumps, to be fair we had done them all in the first half an hour so much to her disgust we finished off by doing some flatwork with all the fun jumps around to play with.
Fingers crossed hopefully managed to sort a saddle for Fliss the next day, she has proved rather hard to fit and find something that suits us both. She has changed shape so much in the time I have had her she does need a new one. I have rather excitingly also been approached by a UK saddle maker to become a brand ambassador for them so having a free trial next weekend to see if they will suit us. However much it might come with some big qudos the fit is the main thing so it is not right for us then we will be going with what I tried last in Somerset.
Posted: 18 Nov 2019 - Comments (0)
We took Ellie to do some dressage at a new local venue for Ellie, Poldice Arena. She was pleased to be out and about perhaps a little too pleased and maybe I was a little too relaxed. She did a nice test in /novice 24 to win a small class on 68%
We had a further 10 minutes preparation before doing Elementary 44. At this point Ellie was clearly confused as an event pony she behaves for one test then gets to do some fun bits. So what was this go back and do another test? Much of the test was fine but the canter loops resulted in flying changes and a bit of resistance when asked to change back and certainly needed to be more relaxed and swinging.
We scored 63% for a class win. (Perhaps I should add we were the only one in the class)! Lots to work on and nice to have a low key outing to get our head back in dressage mode.
Posted: 17 Nov 2019 - Comments (0)
Had a great session with Mel Hennah yesterday working on some athletic exercises with Fliss. Using some simple grids and bounces to get her listening and using herself. I will let the video show you the exercise.
Super to get out and doing something as the weather is limiting us to occasional hacking at home currently.
Posted: 15 Nov 2019 - Comments (0)
It is a struggle with the wet having come in so badly so early. I am lucky that I have plenty of good grass (thank you Suregrow) so unlimited turnout. However riding is the struggle, most of my schooling is done in the field and it is just too wet, even hacking on busy roads can be dangerous which is limiting the work I can get into them. At the moment they are lucky to be schooled once a week and whilst I don't mind them having an easier time in winter it is frustrating when I have lots of things I want to work on. There is of course some schooling that can be done out hacking, basic obedience, sideways and transitions can all be done, so not all is lost.
I do have a few things to look forward to, this week I have a lesson with Caroline Moore booked which is always challenging. Just find the travel hard, it seems a bit ridiculous to travel a total of 6 hours for a 1 hour lesson but that is a disadvantage of where we live. Undoubtably if we could afford to move a little further up the country we would but with property prices, jobs etc it is not feasible despite having explored the option seriously. Just means I need to stop moaning and get on with it.
Posted: 12 Nov 2019 - Comments (0)
Great lesson with Fliss this weekend. Working on leg yield and focusing on keeping her straight through the movement. She tries particularly on the right rein to kink her head and neck in and fall through the shoulder. Hopefully you will see from the video and hear from Stef some of the ways we corrected and see the progress made. Lovely to get out and do something, already developing my winter cabin fever when the weather prevents me doing a lot of what I would like to!
We continued on to work on the shoulder in and Fliss is coming on in leaps and bounds.
Posted: 10 Nov 2019 - Comments (0)
You may notice a new logo has popped up and I am delighted to welcome a new sponsor to the Shoestring Team. I have been using the Activate Your Seat programme to target the muscles of the seat leading to improved strength, suppleness and balance in the saddle and helping achieve a more independent seat. You can find out more about the programme here
I have really enjoyed the programme and can truly feel the benefits. I was delighted when the programmes creator Maeve Sheridan offered to become a sponsor.
The programme basically gives a specific set of exercises to do with a special resistance band which you place around your hips. They are quite simple and can be done just before riding in a shortened format or the full programme takes 20 minutes and it is recommended this is completed 3 or 4 times a week. It targets muscles to support the hip and pelvis which in turn will make you sit straighter.
It is a perfect fit for Shoestring and myself personally with so much interesting content and information to share. Maeve is a Chartered Physiotherapist who specialises in the assessment and treatment of horses and riders. She has over 20 years experience of assessing and treating riders.