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A mixed weekend - Dressage and A&E!

Posted: 27 Jan 2019 - Comments (0)
Typical ups and downs of horses. Yesterday Fliss was entered in the BD dressage at Colraine where she won both her novice sections. Sounds impressive doesn't it? Actually we were the only competitor in the silver section and won by default nevertheless she actually went very well and her way of going is improving rapidly.

Novice 24 we scored 66.7%
Novice 30 we scored 64.5%
Overall very pleased with progress.

Today was very windy but I don't like to give them days off at the weekend this time of year as I like to give them a longer hack which I don't have time for in the week. Even Ellie was bright and spooky but we had a good 90 minute ride along the coast which was spectacular.

Fliss having worked harder yesterday was having a shorter ride but then we had one of those freak accidents. With my old hip injury I'm never the quickest at getting on. Mounting Fliss she spooked forward whilst I was half on meaning I gave her a hefty kick on the rump next minute on my side on the concrete. Landed on my good hip and right side of back. She then trod on my leg too! Was determined to hop back on but admitted defeat as pain took over, thanks Vanessa for rescuing me and untacking Fliss. Then spent the afternoon in A&E where they thought I had bust a rib, x rays on chest, spine and ribs showed no fracture so just soft muscle damage.

I have to admit it is pretty painful getting some hefty spasms on my right side, laughing, coughing or sharp movements are a no go. Luckily also so was crying as I was feeling v sorry for myself! Fingers crossed I mend quickly and can be back in the saddle soon. It is times like this you realise how great the horse world is with many offers of help and support.

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A winter Chard adventure

Posted: 23 Jan 2019 - Comments (0)
A mid winter outside 3 day show may not have been the brightest idea but actually we were relatively lucky with the weather and although it was bitterly cold at times we all survived. It was great to get a few days solid competition practice and we made some big steps forward.

My original intention had been to enter both girls in the Discovery and 1.05 on the first day but actually the Discovery was quite a friendly track or maybe I am getting used to bigger tracks? So just Fliss who has not jumped competitively since November jumped this class and did a nice double clear.
Very happy to win this class although it turned out to be the only frilly of the 3 days competition.

Both girls then went on to jump a decent 1.05 class and we had another double clear from Fliss and just a rail down from Ellie when I misjudged a distance. While we had the weekend before jumped a Newcomers at Duchy I was well away a Single Phase Newcomers at Chard is a different proposition. The course builder Steve Williams always builds well up to height. I walked it and there was a decent treble in the course but brave pants were on and Ellie was entered.

I am over the moon with how well she tackled the course. She actually made it feel easy, yes there were 2 mistakes but she was by no means out of her depth and she enjoyed her round. If she can jump a Newcomers at Chard then she should be able to jump one anywhere!

Day 2 and both girls were entered in the 1.05 and Newcomers. It's seems unfair to Fliss to focus on Ellie's Newcomers achievements just because she is small and we have come so far together. What we must remember is that a year ago I hadn't even jumped a course on Fliss and to be jumping her 3rd Newcomers in that time is a huge achievement. She was fabulous again on day 2 jumping a super double clear in both the 1.05 and another decent Newcomers track. She has a huge jump and is very bold, she wasn't always the easiest with her enthusiasm.

Ellie meanwhile jumped a good round in the 1.05 for a double clear, sadly the competition was such that solid double clears were not being placed and at this point in their education we are not ready to be fast! Ellie and I managed another Newcomers and again 2 mistakes, the first of which was totally mine when an old habit of taking out a stride reared its ugly head! However again she showed that this level is comfortably in her capabilities.

Day 3 Ellie had the day off jumping not that she appreciated this I think she was more put out than anything else. However having made big strides forward and tried so hard I didn't want tired mistakes to creep in on the last day. Fliss who was still rather fresh just jumped the 1.05 and we had the only pole down in the 5 rounds Fliss jumped. I just over shortened her and we lowered an upright.

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Web stats 2018

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 - Comments (0)
Always great to look back on last years website stats, I often wonder if the expense and effort that goes in to run the site is worthwhile however seeing the stats I am very pleased.

Total Sessions: 167,500 Total Visitors: 44,000 Total Page Views: 850,000

Course Pictures 437 courses added 10134 photos uploaded 114 Blog posts written

As you can see a lot of effort goes into this site but really pleased 44,000 people have chosen to visit the site. Looks like I will need to keep it going a little longer!

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A big stride forward

Posted: 13 Jan 2019 - Comments (0)
Yesterday we went to the BS show at Duchy, never the busiest but always nice well built courses and a decent enough arena. There was never going to be enough competitors to make it easy to take both girls so I just took Ellie. Duchy jump their classes A7 meaning a separate jump off. I wanted to finally jump Ellie's first Newcomers a daunting prospect with a 14.1 pony.

We jumped the 1.05 and to be honest we were a bit rusty, well Ellie will say I was, to be fair we haven't done any BS for a couple of months. Despite the fact I needed to ride forward and hook less she jumped a nice clear round, in the jump off we had a lazy rail at the first fence then the rest was clear to finish one place outside the money.

So onto the 1.10 and it was a nice course, there is never many fillers to get you up in the air though. What can I say, this round was our best round of the day and we jumped a super clear.
I think Ellie was quite shocked having been used to Single Phase classes to be jumping a 4th round (the course was now 1.15) and I just didn't get her into the bridle enough for the first fence and had it down, then after chasing her a bit with my leg we rather ran in the bottom of another for 2 down in total but by no means a disgrace and annoyingly just outside the money again!
So can now say we have jumped a 1.10 class and can hopefully build from here.

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Am I mad?

Posted: 8 Jan 2019 - Comments (0)
Considering January can be one of the coldest and harshest months booking an away show at Chard Equestrian might not have been the brightest idea. Saying that it is a fabulous place to jump with a huge outdoor arena, great surfaces, well built albeit top end courses and lovely stables in an indoor barn. I can't get huge enthusiasm for jumping indoors and we haven't done much this winter, we have some nice show centres locally but none have particularly big schools and with most shows running single phase I find the horses get a bit backward, maybe it is me that needs to ride better! So come rain or shine I am looking forward to getting them out jumping next week. Fingers crossed for some reasonable weather!

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2019 Goals

Posted: 7 Jan 2019 - Comments (1)
"Failing to plan is planning to fail". I often fall into the negative trap of not creating any goals as I am afraid that I will fail in their pursuit. I have come to realise this is counter productive and to use another quote "if you aim at nothing you will hit it every time". So I am trying to dream big but be realistic for 2019, also recognising that horses being horses things may change or alter but at this point they are realistic. I also have to accept with two horses at a reasonable level this year finances may not stretch as far as needed.

So my main goals for 2019

x - Upgrade Ellie to Novice BE this Spring x - Jump some Newcomers with Ellie by April x - Start Fliss at BE100 and also upgrade to Novice by Autumn x - Have one or both ready for 1 star by the season end x - Run a 10k in less than 1hr5 minutes x - Find a way to earn more money to support the points above so I don't need to rob a bank - not sure how to achieve this ideas welcome! x - Be positive and enjoy the horses

I have been lucky this year that I have been sent the Rider Performance Journal from My Equestrian Life, see their Facebook page here for more information. It is a well laid out journal which really helps you not only set goals but then put in place the building blocks for achieving them. It helps you identify strengths and weaknesses and break down the goals into bite sized monthly chunks. I love the monthly diary that gets you to record plans, lesson outcomes, competition learning, lightbulb moments and achievements. My only complaint is in a few areas would be great to add pages if it has been a busy competition month for example. If you are the sort of person that likes to keep a written record of your year and be helped put together plans than I would definitely recommend it. Equally if you coast along aimlessly then this will help you focus your thoughts whatever your goals be it Badminton or a fun ride. Would be ideal for children too.

I will be revisiting this post at several points this year to see how well we are doing and if plans have to be tweaked or altered, I am looking forward to making these goals reality.

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Good Start to the New Year !!

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