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The impeccable timing of the horse!

Posted: 24 Nov 2018 - Comments (0)
This weekend we are representing the riding club at Arena Eventing at Bicton. Both girls are going with Fliss doing the 90 team and Ellie the 100 team. I worked slightly later than usual last night (Friday) and got to the yard to find Fliss in a bit of a paddy. The neighbouring farmer had put cattle in the field (the next but one field over from Fliss) and she was having a tantrum about the fact they were 'so close'. I rescued her to hear that depressing clip clop, thud of a missing shoe! I did try my farrier on the off chance he may be passing by but sadly at just before 5 I couldn't reach him.

On the plus side Fliss has very good strong feet and the shoe was removed cleanly. Sadly she had slightly buried it in the mud meaning it took an hour to locate. I have decided to take her anyway as the surfaces at Bicton are very good, I was slightly more worried that she may be a bit fresh not having been ridden since Wednesday but luckily I was able to give her 20 minutes in the field tonight so hopefully no explosions tomorrow! Ellie meanwhile is feeling very well so fingers crossed she doesn't copy Fliss's trick out tonight!

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BE SJ Training

Posted: 21 Nov 2018 - Comments (0)
I had that feeling last night I may have finally lost the plot! Having done a morning at work, finished late lunchtime so I could be pummelled back into alignment by the physio and then got to yard about 3.30. Yesterday was bitter so not the best night to pick for some BE training leave alone a hour and half drive away! It had seemed a good idea when I booked it.

The training was with Mandy Frost a BS trainer with a good reputation. We were back at The Grange (Okehampton) for a group session. I enjoyed the training although diverse needs of the group wasn't ideal. We did a range of exercises starting off by ensuring the horses were obedient in the transitions:-
We finished by jumping a course and have to say Ellie was jumping really well. Mandy liked her and was very positive about progressing to Newcomers BS and Novice BE. Main thing to focus on was moving forward more on the landing stride to ensure we make our distances more easily.

An enjoyable session but home to bed after 11 and knackered for work the next day!

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BS and jumping fun

Posted: 17 Nov 2018 - Comments (0)
A fun couple of days jumping the girls. We had planned to jump two days at the Grange indoor show but in the end we just jumped the first day. This was Fliss's first time competitively jumping indoors and Ellie hasn't been indoors properly for a couple of years. This was also a new venue to both of them.

Fliss as I suspected went slightly green on me although despite partly trotting through the second double she still managed a double clear.
Ellie was less green and managed a super double clear in a decent time to win the class. Even better we achieved the perfect Shoestring result with a 1-2 in the class.
In Devon and Cornwall none of the BS venues have particularly big schools and with the popularity of single phase 14 fences in smaller schools gets quite tight as well as a lot to look at. The Grange is actually the biggest school we have locally. It can make you ride a bit more backwards and defensively just to get the lines. Like anything else it is a skill that clearly needs practice. In the 1.05 both girls had fences you can see from Fliss's round we just misjudged the distance along the line and made a bad mistake.
Both girls and I have learnt loads from this. However I decided against a second day particularly as the warm up is quite tight and testing when busy.

As we had stayed away with friends it seemed silly not to make use of her lovely school and get some practice in for next weekends Arena Eventing competition. I used some free standing fillers to make some skinnies and then improvised a number of testing lines to get them really thinking. Ellie was her normal awesome self but I was impressed how quickly Fliss understood everything and she was jumping some quite good lines.


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Posted: 13 Nov 2018 - Comments (0)
I am not a fair weather rider but if there is a torrential downpour I will try and avoid it. I'm not sure how I missed the threatening black clouds yesterday that within 10 minutes of setting out with Fliss the heavens opened and it was like someone throwing a bucket over us. Poor Fliss was less than impressed and we were both drenched my shoes filled with water as it ran down my legs under the chaps. It has been a long time since I got totally soaked quite that quickly. Also I never find that fluorescent coats are the most waterproof and it certainly failed that test!

Had I taken a change of clothes? Of course not! This is where there is a distinct disadvantage not having the yard at or very close to home. I shivered and shook whilst ensuring Fliss had a warm drying fleece on and was dried off enough to change rugs and be left. I will certainly be looking for big black clouds a little harder next time!

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Team dressage

Posted: 11 Nov 2018 - Comments (0)
Today we headed off to the RC area dressage at Duchy College as part of Threewaters Riding Club team. We were entered in Novice 34.

Ellie warmed up beautifully and when going well I'm careful not to overdo her, I let her relax for 10 minutes and then with 2 to go restarted the warm up. Well not sure what happened but turned into hyper active pony! In the end just walked her quietly to settle before starting our test.

The arena was wet and stodgy in places which actually helped us, I think a good surface and she would have charged off. As it was she contained things and did a super test just with a mistake in the second medium canter. Her medium trots were the best yet so I was delighted with her. In a very tight and strong section we were 5th with 72.5% so pleased with the result but over the moon with her effort.
A nice day, great team spirit and fun and well organised. However I do think Ellie is more looking forward to representing the team Arena Eventing!

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Riding Club Teams

Posted: 10 Nov 2018 - Comments (0)
Over the next couple of weeks we are looking forward to representing Threewaters Riding Club in a couple of team events. Tomorrow Ellie is part of the dressage team and then in a couple of weeks both are doing the arena eventing at Bicton. I may of chosen the wrong horse for the dressage as Ellie is feeling very bright and well. They both had a few days off after Chard and when I worked Ellie on Wednesday she was in manic show jumping pony mode with nothing resembling what you would see in a dressage test. You don't argue with Ellie and with light fading we accepted a minor improvement before giving up. Today at least we took a step forward and were a little calmer but I think we may need another week to get the fully function dressage pony back. Hopefully we won't let the team down too badly tomorrow.

Hope everyone is coping with the horrid weather we have gone very quickly from dry fields to mud and wet. Really miss being able to ride in the fields which severely limits the amount I can do any proper schooling.

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