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Wonderful weather!

Posted: 21 Jan 2018 - Comments (0)
Today has been miserable on the weather front, the forecast for the week ahead is looking no better. This morning was a why do I bother moment. I had turned Fliss out for a couple of hours as I feel turnout is very important, Fliss however was less keen and in an hour had dismantled and pulled out the electric fencing and was literally dripping in mud belly, legs and face. So this afternoon while she spent her time cosy in the stable I spent an hour in the driving rain and mud repairing and re-fencing the field. If she trashes it tomorrow burgers have been mentioned!

Luckily she did redeem herself, having been forecast miserable for a few days I booked an indoor school to go and have a play in with friends. They had left a loose jumping lane up in the school which was soon adapted to a grid. Really pleased how well Fliss is coming on. Despite it not being small Fliss makes it feel like she is just stepping over her fences.

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Andrew Lovell Lessons

Posted: 20 Jan 2018 - Comments (0)
Andrew was doing a clinic for Threewaters Riding Club today with both jump and flat sessions. For Fliss it was flatwork which she enjoys and really does try hard, although at the moment her frame is still quite tight it is improving all the time. We actually did a lot of work in walk getting her frame longer and once her frame lengthened getting her to step through more.

In the trot and canter we played with a gentle shoulder fore positioning off the track to help straighten her. Reviewing the video she is still far too tight in the frame but overall it is improving particularly in right canter . Have to admit it was a delight to work indoors and it is much easier to keep straightness and focus without wind and rain blowing in!

A little clip from the lesson today

So later in the day it was Ellie's turn and she had the jumping session. Some imaginative exercises in what is quite a small school (20 by 40) focusing on keeping the balance through the turns. It is with exercises like these I was quite glad to be on a pony as it really made life easier.

One of the areas we focused on today was the landing of the jump and keeping the seat out the saddle so as not to chase her forwards with the seat.

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Website Stats

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 - Comments (0)
A quick thank you to the Shoestring readers and followers. I have some interesting website stats

  • Over 850,000 page views in 2017
  • 46,500 unique users
  • 2,000 sets of BE course pictures
  • Over 48,500 fence photos in the database

Huge thanks to everyone who has contributed, followed and supported.

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Weekend of two halves

Posted: 14 Jan 2018 - Comments (0)
I was meant to be having a dressage lesson with Stef Eardley on Saturday but sadly much as I am not a fair weather rider the weather simply was horrendous and any lesson would have been fruitless. Horses had a duvet day which they didn't seem to mind. Really disappointed to miss my lesson as Stef is only down monthly and wanted some pointers with Fliss.

Today was certainly a contrast weather wise with sunshine and I braved a trip to the beach with Fliss. Actually maybe things are turning a corner, I actually looked forward to it and we had a lovely time walking and trotting across the 2 miles of sands before having a gentle canter on the way back. Fliss was great and actually showed her 22 year old companion up for good behaviour. We had a little paddle in the edge of the water and then a canter (see video) this was great until a dog decided to rush into join us and Fliss and I headed seawards at a rate of knots! Sadly missed this on the video, the dog returned to its owner and we paddled back to dry land!

Weather not sounding great for this week sadly!

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Posted: 10 Jan 2018 - Comments (0)
Following my previous post talking about the struggles I have been having with my confidence I have started trying to find some solutions. Perhaps I have tackled it in an unusual way! I have an allergic reaction to doctors and traditional medication unless absolutely necessary. I do believe in some alternative treatments and have decided to try homeopathy. The nice thing about this is if it doesn't work then there is no harm done other than to my bank balance and if it does work great. I have used homeopathy on the horses with great success.

Rather than self medicate I visited a well recommended registered homeopath for a consultation. It was actually far more enlightening / thought provoking than I expected. (Please be warned you may read on and think I have lost the plot) Peter Smith as well as a registered homeopath uses a number of different natural techniques to promote body wellness. He showed me a number of self help techniques to reduce stress and anxiety as well as increase body energy and get a more settled aura. Honestly it sounded a bit off the wall and mumbo jumbo, the really confusing thing was I drove home feeling more aware of my surroundings, energised and aware than I have ever felt before. Weird I know but I will be reading the literature he has send me and continuing to practice these techniques as well as taking the homeopathic remedies over the next month and see how we progress. It was interesting as he quickly understood me and explained a lot of how I was feeling in a way that I couldn't of explained any better myself.

If it is a placebo effect long may it continue but I am quite hopeful. If anyone is interested to read the 'grounding' and some of the stress and anxiety techniques I am happy to forward them as he was more than happy for me to send them on. Just use the contact me page to send me your email address.

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Posted: 7 Jan 2018 - Comments (0)
A weekend of consolidation for the horses and myself. Yesterday Ellie enjoyed a hack in the lovely frosty weather whilst Fliss went on a trip to Tall Trees. Tall Trees were running a BS club and schools show and it was a good chance to go in at the end of the day in a quiet atmosphere to her her popping round a course. She made the 80cm feel easy but her canter is still a bit flat which means she loses her rhythm to a fence. We went back to using a canter pole 2 strides away to help balance her and set her up. Anybody watching would have been in stitches of laughter as we were singing Humpty Dumpty! These has a nice 3 beat rhythm which helped me both relax and try and ride her more to the same tempo. I think I need to learn the whole lot though as repeating the first 2 sentences was getting a bit repetitive!

Today roles were reversed and Fliss had a nice relaxing hack in the sunshine while Ellie had a jump. You will see since the Chris Bartle lesson our martingale remains discarded. I was however struggling with our tempo to a fence and losing the revs on the turn. We focused on me keeping her together but not restricting her and in particular moving round the corner. A very good session to help dust off some cobwebs. By the way I haven't put a stone on since Christmas I was just wearing a lot of coats!

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