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Horsequest Arena Eventing Championships - Report

Posted: 13 Mar 2019 - Comments (0)
A 7 hour trip to Aston where we representing Threewaters Riding Club at the Championships. I had qualified both girls individually after winning the qualifiers at Bicton Arena.

There were good bits and bad bits from the weekend. The weather whilst in early March can never be expected to be perfect was pretty far from it! It was bitterly cold, very windy and at times wet (we even had snow), staying in the lorry or even venturing out to watch wasn't that much fun. On the plus side there was great camaraderie from the Threewaters team (the 80 team had qualified as well) and it was super to meet up with my supporters at Horsequest Advantage who even laid on hospitality for myself and the team which was hugely appreciated, even more so as allowed us an hour to get warm.

So onto the important bit the competition. I was quietly hopeful that both girls had the potential to be competitive but sadly it was not to be although both leant loads. The competition at Aston used 3 arenas, starting in one arena by the stables and lorries moving out through some gates and into the next arena via the water jump to the cross country space. I didn't really anticipate how green both my girls would feel having not done a competition like this where you move arenas.

Fliss was on first and the 90 course was lovely the only concern I had for Fliss was leaving the first arena and going straight into water. It didn't help that the water at this time had small waves as the worst of the gale force winds were buffeting the event, She jumped a nice clear show jumping round and was confident over the first cross country fence, she was surprised to leave the arena with purpose and then taken aback to see the water, she stopped half spun and then with leg on worked it out and trotted in. Sadly though a disobedience as far as the competition was concerned and 20 penalties. She proceeded to be a bit green in the arena but actually very genuine and jumped nicely round the rest of the course this included another water question which she did without hesitation.

Video of the 90 round. The pink colours are not my new colours for the 2019 season but team colours sponsored by Woof Wear.
Even without our 20 penalties we would have been slightly slow to have been placed. Really good education for her though.

Ellie was doing the 100 course and I thought this asked some questions, 3 was a decent brush ditch, 5 had a couple of decent steps to a palisade and 7 was a big skinny. I didn't ride the show jumping very well I was a bit backward and that caused a pole to roll at the double. She too I could feel was slightly green leaving the arena but her greater experience came into play and she worked it out, she jumped a super round and cleared the joker which was strategically placed at the bottom of the slope. Although the pole would have been influential disappointingly the biggest influence was the time. Considering the time should have been quicker than Fliss's class we were 20 seconds inside the time despite not pushing it, in fact the majority of the class were inside the time. When I walked the course the day before there had been an additional couple of fences in the course and these were removed on the day I wonder if they hadn't adjusted the time accordingly! Anyway it is irrelevant and with a pole down we were never going to be in the top few anyway.

Overall I enjoyed the weekend, the weather did just slightly take the shine off it but it has to be expected this can happen in March! Both the girls learnt loads and will have come on for the experience. Huge thanks to Threewaters Riding Club for making it such a good weekend.

From Aston we headed to Attington for a few days boot camp with Austin O'Connor blog to follow tomorrow!

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Horsequest Arena Eventing Championships - Preparation

Posted: 5 Mar 2019 - Comments (0)
I am going to be a bit lazy today and add a link to another blog I have written for my fantastic supporters Horsequest Advantage. On Sunday we are competing at the Arena Eventing Championships at Aston Le Walls in Northants representing Threewaters Riding Club. Read about our preparation and meet the rest of you team mates.

Blog Link Here

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Andrew Lovell dressage lesson

Posted: 3 Mar 2019 - Comments (0)
Yesterday I had some training with Andrew Lovell at the Threewaters Riding Club clinic. After all the jumping I felt it was Ellie's turn to focus a little more on the flat work.

After watching us warm up Andrew made us reduce the temp slightly as she was running her head, using my body to sit centrally and balance the body. We worked on some shoulder in to medium steps to help develop this pace. We also worked on the straightness in the canter as I have been losing the shoulder particularly on the right rein. It was mainly by focusing on my body position that I was able to influence the canter and the straightness.

We had an interesting conversation about the point on the circle we were losing the shoulder (leaving the long side), each time I was able to quickly correct but as Andrew pointed out by not stopping happening rather than correcting it I was still training in the loss of the shoulder. there is a little video of us working on the canter.
Today I saw sense! With twinges still in my rib area I heeded the weather warnings and gave the girls a day off!

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Course Pictures

Posted: 28 Feb 2019 - Comments (0)

With the season starting again I will be trying to record all BE and FEI courses in the UK. I can't do this without everyone's help be it event organisers, competitors or enthusiasts sending courses to me, tagging me in online albums or letting me use courses recorded elsewhere like cross country app.

We have the largest database of courses and I aim for this to continue and remain easy to search and free to use.

So how can you help? x - Post courses here and tag me / Shoestring or just write on post that you are happy for me to use. x -Email to me direct at [email protected] x - Message them to me personally or Shoestring Eventing x - Message me a link to an online album x - I can copy from Cross Country App if you have taken the pics and happy for me to share x - If you are an organiser or see an organiser has posted pics let me know and I will ask permission to use x - Regular helpers can have a log in and upload direct.

Courses need to show all or most of the fences and can be sent before or after the event. Even if you see a course missing from last year and you have it please do send it over.

There are usually updates on what courses are received on my Facebook page. I would much prefer to receive 5 copies of one course than none but please don't be offended if someone does send them in first!

This weekend Aston's pics are online but help needed with the other events at Moreton, Epworth and Isleham. I will post on the Facebook page what courses are needed and updates of those received.

Good luck all and thanks for your help. Any question, concerns or comments let me know!

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Mini boot camp

Posted: 27 Feb 2019 - Comments (0)
The girls have had a mini boot camp. Mini in that we have been staying with a friend doing some house sitting accompanied by the girls. With access to a lovely school it has given me the chance to get a bit extra work into them.

Continuing the theme of some Caroline Moore exercises this was the main offering. A small bounce, two strides spread, two strides small (cavellitti size) bounce. Really helps them sit up and not run off after the fence. Fliss was teachers pet whilst Ellie seemed determined to prove it could still be done at breakneck speed.

We then advanced the exercise and did bounce, 2 strides to spread right turn (using my eyes to turn) to blue filler on two strides. Then blue filler back to grid again. It got the horses really starting to listen and equally gave me a chance to focus on my position. Interestingly with Fliss I found on the first bounce I was getting pulled forward and had to really think about using my core and keeping my shoulders up.

Great brain food for me and the girls.

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Costa del Bicton

Posted: 25 Feb 2019 - Comments (0)
Cannot believe the weather we have had this weekend, warm sunny weather and perfect for some jumping at Bicton. It has been a while since we have been out with my sore ribs and I have not jumped competitively for over a month. Just took Fliss this time although I kept my brave pants on and entered the 1.05 and Newcomers rather than stepping back as was sorely tempting..

The Bicton jumping shows at the beginning and the end of the season are some of my favourite jumping shows, with just one arena running and everyone gathered around there is a great atmosphere, it is well organised with great competitive jumping. I was sensible for once and went for consistent quality rounds without getting carried away for fast times. I am very excited about Fliss's future and don't want to spoil her jump at this stage by rushing her.

She was fab and over two decent tracks jumped two nice double clears. In the Newcomers she jumped her first treble albeit rather greenly managing to add a stride but was very honest. It was the only mistake she made in either round and she had the ability to get away with it.

Video below is 1.05, sorry for the poorer phone quality but I forgot the video camera!

A quiet weekend next weekend then we are off to the Arena Eventing at Aston and some training with Austin O'Connor. We are hoping to start eventing in April finances allowing.

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