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21st January

Posted: 21 Jan 2016 - Comments (0)
Exciting news I have been selected by Supplement Solutions to be their ‘Strategic Worming Ambassador” for 2016. I am excited about the opportunity but also keen to get my worming regime in order, I have to admit at best it is a little hit and miss and has no scientific basis!

A link to Supplement Solutions worming programme is here. The programme simplifies the process by sending out everything you need for the year at the appropriate time; Encysted Small Redworm Treatment, 2 x Tapeworm Tests and 3 x Faecal Egg Counts plus any wormers that may be needed following testing. It will certainly bring my worming regime up to date and ensure I am worming appropriately and more importantly not pumping chemicals in when they are not needed.

I will be updating on here and a separate page the process and the results over the next year.

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17th January

Posted: 17 Jan 2016 - Comments (0)
Sometimes things click into place and I started to see evidence of that yesterday when having a lesson with Zoe. Suddenly we have flying changes from right to left which should help our jumping enormously. This has come from hours of hard work meaning that she can now sit better in the canter and do the change. At the moment we only have right to left as this was the more important side and hopefully the other change will now come too. Then probably I will have to go back and establish counter canter!
Posy still tires quickly when asked to hold the more balanced canter. It is hard sometimes to judge when to finish a session as I don’t want to push tired muscles but also she does need to get stronger so she can do more.

We finished off by working over a small triple bar and then used wings to make a slightly narrower area to jump through. Just putting in place some building blocks after our trouble with the triple brush last week.

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15th January

Posted: 15 Jan 2016 - Comments (0)
Hacked out today (a quick lunchtime ride) and took this photo when I got back. Really pleased how she is looking at this time of year. She is getting quite a lot of high calorie food (Alpha A oil, Baileys no.4, speedibeat and pre cooked linseed) but reckon she is just about how I want her for this time of year.

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Bicton Arena Eventing

Posted: 11 Jan 2016 - Comments (0)
It was lovely to do something a bit different yesterday and go to Bicton for their super arena eventing competition. Posy can still be a bit green and I did wonder whether cross country jumps in an arena would worry her. We were actually lucky the competition went ahead as the day before’s extreme rain had evidently put the arena under water, luckily a 7am inspection was passed and it was all systems go.

The weather was kind and we actually saw that strange yellow thing in the sky! We had entered 2 classes the first class was the 90 cm and involved a course of 8 numbered show jumps followed by 9 numbered cross country combinations. In the 90 the corner caused a few problems as did a fairly big double of houses

I took Posy out early for a mooch in hand and to watch to see if I could show her that there were cross country jumps in the arena. She was more interested in the grass and the only time I did get her to raise her head and watch the person they promptly stopped! That didn’t work very well then!

I have been working on Posy’s canter a lot and you will see in the video we are starting to get some right to left changes! The disadvantage of this is she is getting pretty fit! I wanted spurs on in case I needed a bit extra leg in the ring but warming up it was a case of making sure I didn’t touch her with them otherwise I could have been off!

In the ring she was super quite forward and still needs to be more together but bold and forward just how I wanted her. She attacked the cross country jumps but certainly also gave them a fair bit of air (see pic).

We had a double clear but were 3 seconds over the optimum time which put us out of the placing.
I was really pleased with the round. We were also entered in the 100 and that was a good step up again.There was a decent corner, narrow yellow roll top and the final fence was a triple brush (pictured right). I felt it was a tough ask as I have seen very few like it in proper BE100s and often then there may be a tree either side to guide horses in. Posy is still quite inexperienced and this was going to be a big ask.

She lost a bit of sparkle in this round but never the less jumped superbly well. She was clean and clear in the raised show jumping round and ate up the cross country making it feel easy. Sadly when we got to the triple brush she didn’t understand the question so we didn’t complete. Very frustrating and hindsight is a wonderful thing. Knowing how little she has seen or done like that I should have stopped at the fence before or not competed at all. She is an out and out tryer but she just didn’t get this. I did ask if we could go in afterwards and Bicton as accommodating as ever were more than happy for us to do so (we weren’t the only ones that had problems)! However when I really thought about I decided to wait for another day, this wasn’t the friendliest triple brush and I know Pontispool have a wider and lower one so we can introduce it more carefully. At the end of the day it wasn’t a huge issue but if I had gone in afterwards and even with poles she had still not understood I could have made an issue. So something to work on for another day. Anyway the video.
So overall despite the hiccup I felt the day was very positive. I must admit though I did shed a selfish tear on the way home as it is the days things don’t go right I so miss the support of friend and mentor Caroline Creighton who passed away last year. However as Mum said she has left me with so many tools and the knowledge to know how to put things right. Sadly though I can’t pick the phone up and hear her say it, because whenever she told me it would be ok I knew it would be.

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7th January

Posted: 7 Jan 2016 - Comments (0)
Working hard with Posy at home trying to improve her canter. Although it seems slow progress there is progress which is encouraging. Doing lots of transitions in and out of the pace, bringing the circle in and out, lengthening and shortening as well as using pole work. She easily falls out through her right side in canter so I am trying to use my right leg to bring her round rather than be tempted to pull with my left hand!

The other issue that is a struggle is taking off and landing on the left leg, she always changes to the right. There is no physical reason for this although my weight may influence her if with my old injuries I am putting more weight down one side.

You can see in this video clip of working at home how she struggles. I do remember a really good 4* horse that did this but at least he would change within a stride, Posy still struggles to change as well. You can see from the video that I really had to simplify it to get a result.
Very much a work in progress and things won’t change overnight.

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5th January

Posted: 5 Jan 2016 - Comments (0)
Well the mud and rain is still causing problems but thanks to a very generous Shoestring follower I hope the computer problems are gradually moving behind me.

So still catching up with what was missed when I was inactive. We went show jumping on 28th December at Colraine. A day of my lasts! (No we weren’t last in each class) Posy jumped her last Discovery as she has been out on points for quite a while but remained eligible as 5 year old and I used my Gatehouse Conquest hat for the last time as it no longer complies with the new standards.

The classes were single phase and in the Discovery we jumped a double clear with a round that really pleased me.
The 1.05 we had 2 fences down. The first at fence 2 when I asked her to change onto her unfavoured left leg over the jump and she promptly forgot her hind legs. Then in the related distance she had backed off the white fence in the first round and I used a fair bit of leg to prevent this happening again. Although the distance was fine I then struggled to sit her back in the bridle and we ran into the bottom of a subsequent fence. Funnily enough in a lot of ways I was very pleased as she is starting to listen a bit more and jump in a better rhythm.
Posy has finished 2015 having won over 300 points and nearly £500. Very impressive.

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