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Bicton BE100

Posted: 21 Apr 2019 - Comments (0)
A drama free weekend was required and although I still felt washed out following the previous weeks events there was no repeat of any drama. Rosie was kept firmly on the lead and now also wears a GPS tracker so if the worst should happen we will know where she is. Bicton is one of the loveliest events on the calendar and relatively local (120 miles), I still cannot understand why BE has stripped it of many of it's international classes from next season. It was also lovely to see so many families and spectators enjoying the day honestly not seen as many people enjoying the sport outside the big events.

Fliss was entered in her 2nd BE100 and it was certainly a step up from Bovington. Bicton probably by the time you take account of the hills is a higher end track for the level but always rewards positive riding. The course pictures are online here is you want a nose at what we jumped.

So dressage was first and we kept warm up to a minimum with some unseasonably hot weather. I did something I can't remember doing before at BE and forgot my test missing out a halt! Luckily the 2 marks wasted never made any impact on the final positioning. The test and mark was an improvement from the previous week with a 31.5 which I was really pleased with.
Show jumping was also more testing than at Bovington although still seemed small after jumping some Newcomers. I am very lucky she is a good show jumper who doesn't get careless with smaller fences and she jumped a super clear.
Cross country I decided to let the hand brake off a little more, at Bovington when I looked back at the video I was rather dawdling and with her tendency to drop on her head a little actually to kick forward to the bridle really helps. We had a fair wait at the start and we hid under a tree to take advantage of the shade before a short warm up. I was a bit worried re fitness as I never do any specific fitness work and with Bicton being hilly and then the heat on top I wondered if she would feel it. Luckily she was plenty fit enough and finished with plenty of running. We set out positively and what can I say she gave me a great ride all the way round making the course feel straightforward and coping well with relatively strong waters. The video shows some good clips from the main questions including the decent coffin and final water. Even though I didn't go flat out we finished 4 seconds inside the time to finish on our dressage score.
We were delighted to finish 4th and Rosie was even allowed to help collect the prize!!

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Bovington BE100

Posted: 18 Apr 2019 - Comments (0)
This will be a brief report as things were much of a haze! As there were no sightings of Rosie we did go to Bovington with phone on standby and ready to dash off if needed.

As I say I don't remember much of the day, we did an average dressage 35.3 (in a fairly toughly marked section), clear show jumping and clear XC albeit very slowly. A double in Fliss's first 100 was pretty pleasing.

Show jumping
Cross Country

Off to Bicton this Saturday hoping for a less traumatic weekend!

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A traumatic time - lost dog

Posted: 18 Apr 2019 - Comments (0)
Apologies if the blog went quiet we have had rather a traumatic time. It seems ironic that the last blog was introducing Rosie as she was the source of the trauma. She has been away with us to Chard and is used to the lorry yet for some reason when we arrived at the stabling in Dorset she jumped out over me in the lorry and escaped. She then went over a fence and was gone! To lose a dog for a few hours is traumatic in this case she was gone for 5 days.

A big thank you to everyone that helped in the monitoring and recovery of Rosie, the Dorset community and particularly the supporters of Dogs lost, found & stolen Dorset have been immense. They have got the word out, helped in searching, co-ordinated sighting and offered invaluable advice.

Sighting demonstrated she was covering huge distances of sometimes 10 or more miles a day, however generally the location she ran off from was central. The geography is such that there are loads of woods and common land she could hide in and her nervous disposition meant when she did see people she ran. Yesterday I returned to Dorset and heard she had been seen back at the farm she went missing from. Smartie and I camped out there for the day, had a small BBQ to attract her and set up at small pen (think a turnout pen for something on box rest) with food and liver cake. At 5pm she returned to the farm and she went to Smartie who had been released and was scoffing the food. I was able to shut her in and she then let me put a lead on.

Huge thanks to Michelle Wylde for her help and spotting her back at the farm. I now have one very tired dog, fortunately no injuries other than a superficial graze.

Going forward she is having a GPS tracker fitted tomorrow but of course the main thing is we hope with love, training and time she will never feel the need to go AWOL again.

Thank you all for the messages of support and offers of help, it is times like this I really realise what a fabulous community we have. I now have a rather tired dog.

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An introduction

Posted: 9 Apr 2019 - Comments (0)
I introduced on Facebook but forgot my blog! It is time for an introduction to the Shoestring team meet Rosie.

Rosie was spotted on the internet several months ago (before poor Rebel became ill). Rosie has had a hard start in life and is very timid and thin.

She is a Spanish Podenco who has come directly from Spain. I have always struggled with the concept of adopting dogs from abroad when we have so many British dogs that need homes. However sometimes a story or a picture pulls on the heartstrings as in this case. The more I read and look into what happens to the Spanish dogs and how terribly cruel it is out there then maybe in this case we have at least saved one.

She has been with us nearly 3 weeks and so far settled well, Smartie loves her although she is terrified of the horses! The video clip is Smartie and her playing tonight.

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Ticking over

Posted: 7 Apr 2019 - Comments (0)
Ellie is still off games and Fliss has had a quiet week after working hard at the weekend and having had a busy month. I need to be careful with just one to ride she gets the down time she needs! Mind you maybe I have overdone things as she was fresh this weekend! I'm not sure how the dressage at Bovington will be.

She had Monday - Wednesday off, hacked Thursday and Friday with a little schooling in the field when we got back practising wet conditions! Yesterday I used a friends school and tried to do flat work but Fliss thought this needed livening up a bit. Sunday's if we are not competing I always try and do a longer ride using roads that may be too busy in the week. Wish I hadn't bothered today as it seemed all the idiot drivers were out in force speeding closely by. I always go out in hi viz but sometimes the ignorance of some drivers makes me shudder, I keep threatening to get a camera but never quite found the funds. My mood was improved by a great bunch of sensible cyclists who warned me in plenty of time of their approach and let me get out there way before going on there way.

So 5 days left before our first BE, a little nervous a little excited. I am very excited for Fliss's future and that puts pressure on me for a good performance (the pressure is placed by myself). She is running at Bovington in her first 100 after a run at 80 and 90 last year. Have to admit Bovington is not my favourite event, probably mainly because I always get lost trying to find it! However it is always kind for the level and should set us up nicely for a sterner test the week after at Bicton. Once we have run those two events I will have a better idea about planning our season.

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Posted: 4 Apr 2019 - Comments (2)
Efficiency is a rare word for me but I am quite proud of my latest project. Last couple of evenings I have plotted out a season's calendar with all the BE events that are within reach for us, all the local BS shows, any known clinics and other relevant dates. It just means I have an easy reference of what is happening when and makes it far easy to plan the season.

Saying that with Ellie currently off I currently only have firm plans for the next month and then we can review after our first couple of BE runs.

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What software are you using?

I bought a cheap App for the Apple Mac called 6 month planner which gave a nice simple display and v easy to use.

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