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Dressage Lesson

Posted: 13 Aug 2018 - Comments (0)
Had a really good lesson with Stef Eardley yesterday. While Fliss has been to see Stef consistently recently Ellie has rather missed out so time for a change. I was delighted that Stef could see a huge change in Ellie in strength and way of going.

We spent the lesson working on developing the medium trot which is where we have been losing marks. We did a lot of lateral work including leg yields gradually increasing the amount we asked her to cross until she was leg yielding across the length of the school. We also used shoulder in to really engage the hind quarter. Although we were still quite quick Ellie was starting to sit and open out. As Stef said it will probably take 6 months for her to develop the strength to really produce a good medium.

A little clip of video you can see there is real promise.
Tomorrow we head to West Wilts for Fliss's first BE90, looking forward to progressing although a little worried how little XC practice we have had. Course pictures are in and it looks a nice course. Report to follow later in the week.

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Caroline Moore Training

Posted: 12 Aug 2018 - Comments (0)
Every wonder if something is a silly idea? Was driving 3.5hrs each way for a couple of lessons going to be worth it. The training was at Millfield School, luckily the evening before I worked out not the same location as the horse trials otherwise could have been very confused.

Anyway trouble free journey and traffic was kind. Fliss was on first and the lesson focused on technical exercises towards xc using a variety of material and skinny fences. This is very new to Fliss and she coped really well soon getting the idea of skinnies. The video gives a good reflection of the exercises we worked through. Loved the imaginative use of dressage boards far better than doing flat work in!
The main points for me to take away from Fliss's session were:- x - Try her in a different bridle, Micklems hold the bit low in the mouth and not ideal for horses that don't take the bit x - Don't tip forward (might of heard that before) x - Keep eyes up and ahead x - Ride more forward

Ellie's session was slightly more advanced, it was great as Caroline adjusted the exercises to the group she had and what they wanted to achieve. Ellie was on fire, really pinging and picking up the difficult technical exercises really easily.
I have to admit the improvement Ellie has shown this year has taken me by surprise having thought maybe we had reached our level I think we can progress again to the next level in all disciplines.

The main point from Caroline for me with Ellie is to be bolder and more forward in the way of going.

So was it worth the trip, yes definitely. It did them both the world of good and brought them on nicely, Caroline comments were intuitive and very valuable I would definitely recommend her for lessons if she is in your area.

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Jumping and dressage updates

Posted: 5 Aug 2018 - Comments (0)
I have had a bit of a more negative time again but the girls have certainly done their best to help this weekend! It started on Friday when we travelled up to Okehampton for some lessons with David Reddan focusing on showjumping.

Fliss was first up and I explained that lovely as she was I struggled with the contact / frame in that she would curl in on herself or drop down on the forehand. We worked on getting her more forward to the fence and trying to ensure the last 2 stride were forwards strides so she could take her head and neck forward and out. Also on landing used quite a high hand to encourage her head up but then really sent her forward to go into this. David encouraged me to jump off some longer strides to open her frame out. You will see from the video the improvement was coming.
Ellie meanwhile was not to be left out. I explained where we were and what our aims were. Also we discussed whether Novice BE was out of the question. Well we didn't mess around and the jumps quickly were raised so the course was 1.10 / 1.15. I have to say I am starting to find when we test Ellie that is the time she really steps up and jumps. She made nothing of the fences.
We were discussing how diverse they are to jump which doesn't always make it easy.

Anyway Saturday we had a chance to put practice to the test at the BS show at Pendarves, a nice local one for us. The main thing with Ellie was a double clear British Novice so she has her 4 for the second round next year. She not only managed a double clear but won the class as well. Although I have to say she definitely jumped the bigger jumps better the night before.
She has now won herself out of British Novice and over 100 points this year. Feel very much time for her to move on. She had a pole in the jump off of the Discovery and was 5th.

Fliss just did the Discovery, we worked very much on being a bit more forward. It was far from perfect and we had some rather flyers in the jump off section but she jumped her customary double clear and won the class. Over the moon to win both classes and come home in profit.
I didn't realise it was going to be quite so warm this weekend otherwise I might not have entered Ellie in the BD dressage show today. There are very few ponies that jump for 2 days running and then come and do dressage (in exactly the same saddle, bridle and bit) and do a nice test. Well this is clearly the way to go as she did two lovely tests.

We won Novice 27 with a score of 71%

Novice 34 she was even better and we broke 72% although we were 3rd in a small strong class only a single mark splitting the top 3.
We need to get our mediums more established but really pleased how she is going and hoping to try some elementary's soon. Also would like to do the winter regional which she has nearly qualified for.

So all in all a good weekend where both girls tried so hard and gave me a real boost.

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Posted: 30 Jul 2018 - Comments (0)
I am very lucky to have a fabulous team of sponsors. Sadly this year I have lost my biggest sponsor Equicover who are no longer trading. Realistically my sponsors make a huge difference to the viability of what I do and I would love to keep my two special girls out competing for as long as possible before finances force a sale.

I currently have time and space for further sponsors to join the team, they must be complimentary to Shoestring Eventing and the current sponsors.

I am very aware of looking after sponsors and work hard to promote them. I can offer the following to sponsors

x Exposure through Shoestring social media and Website x Website had 50k unique users in 2017 and a million page views x High interactive social media traffic across Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram x Unique honest approach to eventing with followers trusting content (Shoestring survey 2018) x Happy to test products and provide honest feedback including photos x Regular blogs or blogs tailored to sponsor x Want a two way relationship with sponsor that can mutually benefit all x Well known in Cornwall and all over the country, high exposure with grass roots riders. x Possible name association with course pictures x Hard work and commitment

If you think we can work together please do get in touch. If you are reading this and would recommend us for sponsorship please do please pass my details on.

Contact me via here or email [email protected]

Thanks to current supporters Horse Quest Advantage, Super X Country, Morwenna Foster- Equine sports massage therapist, Woof Wear, Cousin Jack Cornwall, Interactive Dressage - Stef Eardley and Suregrow UK.

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A weekend at home

Posted: 29 Jul 2018 - Comments (0)
I thought it would be nice to have a weekend at home with no shows but actually I was bored! We were meant to be jumping locally but sadly the show was cancelled. It did give me a chance to catch up on a few chores and enjoy watching the rain come down, hopefully it remembers to do this a bit more often now!

I did this week have my first fall off Fliss. We were hacking to the school I use, trotted around the corner only for a rabbit to shoot across the lane in front of us causing Fliss to violently spook and me doing a flying dismount off the side, I semi landed on my feet and then slid along on my knee keeping hold of her. Main plus point was despite a grazed and bleeding knee the jodhpurs survived without any damage a definite plus point. I haven't got a good history with animals hacking my last fall off Sarnie when I broke my finger was when a pheasant shot out under her feet.

Looking forward to jumping next weekend, then a bit of a road trip to Millfield School for a lesson with both with Caroline Moore which will be an exciting opportunity. Then mid August Fliss is entered for the BE90 at West Wilts. Keep your fingers crossed for a bit more rain!

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We made Horse and Hound

Posted: 26 Jul 2018 - Comments (0)
I was delighted to speak to the local reporter after our reserve champion finish at Stithians Show. I was surprised as we were only second in our class but they wanted something a little different and to highlight the way Stithians had opened up the class for entries from people of all ages. Great to get a picture too and doesn't she look smart?

Typical though with eventing being my main discipline it is dressage and showing successes that has made it to Horse and Hound!

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