Posted: 19 August 2019 - Comments (0)
Another fabulous show at Chard really lucky to have such a great show centre where we can compete albeit a 3 hour drive away. It was a tad more than that this time as there was a diversion near the showground and I promptly got lost, it is then not easy to turn a lorry round and I ended up driving back into Devon. Eventually arrived behind schedule and stressed. Luckily we were meeting Nick and Jane Perry when we arrived and Jane was bionic finding out numbers and ring progress while I sorted stables and unloaded. Luckily we weren't too bad time wise.
Thursday Ellie did the 1.05 and jumped a competitive round really frustrated to have the final fence down when going for it in the jump off. For this show at Chard they were introducing Derby classes for the first time. I have always enjoyed these classes and on the Thursday was a 1m derby for which I entered both girls. Ellie jumped this first and it was a long track with 17 numbered fences and 21 jumping efforts including a section out the arena on grass. Ellie loves these classes and stormed round for a lovely clear. As it was A7 she then had to wait for a jump off while I rode Fliss. Typically there was a bit of a clash of classes and we first did the Newcomers. The main ring at Chard is huge but it seems to give the builders chance to build big tracks and I swear I have jumped Foxhunter classes nearly as big! Certainly seemed a good day for a steady round and indeed she cruised round for a lovely double clear and her 4th double clear Newcomers qualifying her for next years second rounds.
Poor Fliss then had to go straight to ring 2 where they were waiting for her to jump the 1m Derby. She jumped a clear round too, so I had 2 in the JO and about a 1/3 class were eliminated with a few refusing to jump out the arena. Poor Fliss was then 1st to go in the jump off which was a bit much jumping together but she tried hard but just fought on a turn and we missed a stride having a pole which meant she just finished outside the placings. Ellie meanwhile did a quick clear jump off but I hadn't realised just how quick they were going and finished 6th.
What can I say about day 2 (Friday) probably wash out is the best description. It started raining about 10 prior to our classes starting and never stopped for the day. The wind blew and the rain drove in. Luckily I had remembered the horses waterproof rugs shame I hadn't packed a coat for me - the ultimate in stupidity. Thankfully the equestrian community is so kind and Jo Rimmer lent me a jacket despite the fact it may be some months before our paths cross again. Fliss made the most of catching up on nap time!
I did manage to get both exercised but didn't jump although the show carried on, I am clearly getting soft but saw neither fun or benefit in jumping in those conditions. As they had worked hard the day before and had 2 classes entered the next day it was no bad thing.
Saturday fortunately returned to kinder weather and we were able to jump as planned. Ellie jumped a super round in a big 1.05 for a single pole and Fliss a good round in the Newcomers for a pole in the jump off when I was moving against the clock. So the final class of the weekend was the 1.10 Derby which both were entered in.
Ellie was first up and jumped a brilliant round one of her best. I was just frustrated that we slipped into an upright on the grass section which denied her a clear round which she hugely deserved.
As Fliss had been beaten by her stable mate in the meter derby she felt it was time to turn the table and jumped a stonking clear.
So a final jump off for Fliss and we did a speedy few turns and galloped properly to the last. No video as we went so quick mum lost us on the camera! We didn't win but were good enough for second place and a very handy £100 prize money which helped offset some of the weeks entry fees.
As always a great few days and lots learnt.
Posted: 13 August 2019 - Comments (0)
Sorry for the silence but it is one of those times in life that everything is flat out. I am working with Sandie Robertson an Equestrian Performance and Confidence coach to try and get my head in the right place. One of the early exercises was to identify where you spent your time which was certainly eye opening and equally frightening as I really do have very little spare time. Summer is always silly season at work and to add to it I am doing a Learning and Education course which gives me a basic teaching qualification (more health and safety than horses sadly). This course is a day a week with an eye watering 6-10 hours homework a week. Perhaps now you may see why blogging has taken a back seat! Sorry am I making excuses!
Anyway off for a rest after my course tomorrow as we drive up for 3 days at Chard Equestrian with the girls. A favourite show jumping venue and they have added some derbies for this show which is very exciting. I am trying not to think of all the work that will have built up on my return!
Ellie's advert has been out a week and have 4 people with varying levels of interest but no viewings yet, I think I am secretly hoping she may not sell although I really do need the funds! Watch this space!
Posted: 7 August 2019 - Comments (0)
I think we all knew it may happen sometime but with reservations I have put Ellie on the market. Find her advert here
A project pony that stayed 3 years and has been one of the biggest pleasures to own you could imagine. Easy and straightforward yet has a huge amount of character. Ultimately though I am very lucky that Fliss is also showing a lot of talent and can I afford long term to run both at a good level? Fliss has a huge amount more progression to make whereas considering Ellie's size I think a lighter weight jockey would help her next progression, equally she can help a inexperienced or nervous jockey reach their potential.
Clearly she is not a cheap pony and if ultimately no one thinks she is worth the money then I will be delighted to keep her a bit longer. I can assure those Ellie fans out there that she will be only going to the best of homes where she will be someones special girl.
Posted: 5 August 2019 - Comments (0)
It has been nice to jump more locally in the last few weeks. Pendarves is my favourite local venue with a good surface and a nice size arena. Fliss was jumping the Newcomers and there weren't huge entries as many of the multiple horse riders were at Bicton's 3 day show. The Newcomers course caused lots of problems with some quite tight dog legs to decent size uprights. We were near the end of the class and there had been no clear rounds.
Fliss made it feel easy despite me adding a number of strides to the last making it more difficult not easier for the clear round. We were the only double clear so fabulous to win the class and come home in profit.
Much as it is a nice round I still need her to sit up more on the turns where she can fall on her shoulder and she also needs to learn to go with her head out more and less tight so plenty to work on. The Foxhunter looked jumpable but this week decided one class, one win it was definitely time to rest on the laurels!
Posted: 3 August 2019 - Comments (0)
Had a super lesson with Ellie this week organised by Threewaters Riding Club. She really has stepped up again, I have borrowed a different bit from Morwenna Foster, a bomber bit which gives room for the tongue and Ellie seems to love it. We spent time working on a bigger trot, some walk pirouettes and some changes. She really is starting to sit behind and use herself so much better.
A few clips from the lesson
Sadly I have come to the decision to advertise her and a Horsequest advert will go on next week. Much as I love her to bits it is time for her to teach a kid the ropes or fly with an experienced pony rider and do FEI. She will not be a cheap pony and should no one want to buy her then I will continue to enjoy having her. I am sure I can offer a hefty discount if anyone wants to buy her for me to ride.
Posted: 31 July 2019 - Comments (0)
Apologies for the slower less frequent updates it is one of those times that everything is happening at once, work is incredibly busy and there seems very little spare time!
Anyway last weekend both girls had a jump locally at Colraine. Ellie jumped the 1.05 and was really pinging but I knew we had missed out on our homework as after an event it is good to give her some athletic exercises at home to get her sitting and listening after the fun of cross country. With the ground so hard and dry at the time I couldn't jump in the field and never had the chance to box up elsewhere. So we got a bit quick in the second half of the course and rolled a pole.
Fliss meanwhile jumped a super round in the Newcomers and was quite quick finishing 4th, typically money prizes and rosettes only to 3rd. We then braved our second Foxhunter. She jumped a super round in the first round for a good clear.
Unfortunately the jump off we rather lost the power and had a major miss at the double, she managed to jump in ok but then couldn't jump out and we rather crashed on the back bar. Hate anything like this happening but she jumped the rest of the round well and good learning for another day.