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6th June

Posted: 6 Jun 2015 - Comments (0)
Back out competing again at Colraine for some more BS. Sorry if this isn’t the eventing fix everyone wants but it is a means to an end and for the moment while we are successful quite good fun! Having at the last competition won ourselves out of British Novice today was the time to up our game and start out at Discovery.

She was actually quite spooky in the first round and you will see her jinx at no.1 and a couple of others. However her usual care and clean jumping continued and we jumped a good clear round.
The jump off looked very competitive and I made a decision to go for a double clear and not a fast round. It turned out to be a very good decision the winner was 13 seconds in front of me and totally out of reach for us but the rest had fences chasing the time and left us in 2nd place. Another frilly and some more money. I think Posy is now on 150 points!!
So brave pants on decided there was no reason to wimp out of jumping a Newcomers. Amazing when you haven’t jumped that size course for a year or two it looks pretty big! I am not sure today my nerves would have stood a clear round and an even bigger jump off!

Well she pull the stops out and jumped a super round and even gave me my wish (careful what you wish for) of a rail down. I have to say she made it feel very easy and I think we will soon be very confident jumping Newcomers and the jump offs!
Really enjoying this show jumping and certainly laying a good foundation for her future transformation into an event horse.

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3rd June

Posted: 3 Jun 2015 - Comments (0)
I need you all to keep everything crossed for the next 14 days please?! We finally managed to AI Sarnie again on Tuesday although as is her way things have not been simple. She has been at stud (Trenerth Equestrian) for the past few weeks to be close to my vet and have a stallion to tease her and other mares to show her the ropes. Poor Sarnie got bullied when she arrived then turned the tables and was the bully, now the two enemies are best buddy’s (who says human relationships are fickle!)

My long suffering vet spent nearly 3 weeks regularly scanning her and in the end last Friday injected her to come into season. Monday’s scan showed she was coming into season so we made arrangements for Nippy (SOS Kantje’s Unicolor) to come down on Wednesday to donate sperm which would be immediately transferred to Sarnie. However when Joe scanned her yesterday she had just ovulated meaning that Wednesday would be too late and we needed to get the AI done ASAP otherwise we would have no hope. It was just not possible to get Nippy down to the stud in time so I was delighted we were able to use the resident stallion - My Eclipse. Eclipse is TB, son of the prolific event stallion Shaab and has himself evented to Intermediate and has the most fabulous temperament. Huge thanks to Mel for giving us the opportunity to use him and trying so hard to make it work for Sarnie.

My Eclipse - Studcard

Sarnie is staying at the stud at least until she is scanned in 2 weeks as she is settled and we want to give her a stress free time. She still had quite a lot of fluid that needed washing out so the chances are not high but there is a chance. So fingers very firmly crossed please!

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1st June

Posted: 1 Jun 2015 - Comments (0)
It has been quite a weekend with the usual non stop pace. We are also back in that time of year that Cornwall gets rather cut off by tourist traffic jams and if I want to head out the county at the weekend it has to be at the crack of dawn. That was what we did on Saturday to head to Warren Farm for my first taste of cross country with Posy. I have to admit although she was meant to have done a little xc schooling I had serious doubt whether she would be bold as out hacking she can be frightened of her own shadow.

We started in the school and warmed up and popped a few show jumps before going out in the xc paddock and trotting a few simple fences. She didn’t bat an eyelid and popped everything happily. We then joined a few together and it was at this point she decided we were taking things a tad too slowly and she would liven it up a bit!!!!
Excuse the bad language in the background!

Mum understandably moved the camera but suffice to say there was no limpet like hanging on and I hit the deck! So ten minutes later having given her a good session of canter work round their large outdoor school we resumed. She was a very good girl from this point on!

She was simply very classy, we didn’t do anything complicated but she jumped everything she was presented with, went in and out of water, over a small ditch, up and down steps and was very bold. I am very lucky to have a very talented horse but with that talent as if often the case is going to come some quirks. Just need to make sure I harness her ability to work with me. So onto Sunday and with Caroline’s advice ringing in my ears that she was a tough cookie and I wasn’t to feel sorry for her (I am worrying about working her too hard) we headed off for a dressage lesson with Andrew Lovell. We had definitely made strides forward since out lesson with Stef Eardley last week and I was hoping we could really move on again. Sadly there was some confusion about the timings of my slot and I missed my shared lesson, Andrew was very kind and offered to teach me at the end.

I have to say I found him very inspiring, he picked up on some little things in both the horse and my riding that made a big difference and another step forward. With my hip issues he quickly identified that I slightly collapsed one side, simply by thinking about keeping my seat bones central (either side of the line I was riding) and occasionally wiggling my hips it helped straighten me and hence Posy could go better. He also used the half halt a lot and the way she moved away from it to ask for that bit more engagement, it was certainly the best she has gone to date and it gives me a lot more tools in my locker.

Mum recorded 15 minutes from the lesson and so there is a very long video. I realise for those of you bored by dressage it is far too long but do flick through and see how much better she is going. However as the tape caught much of what he said it is a useful reminder to me and there are some really good tips that may be useful to others.

The clip starts with us working on increasing and decreasing the size of the circle not using leg yield but just spiraling in and out.

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27th May

Posted: 27 May 2015 - Comments (0)
With the bank holiday weekend it was another chance to jump on Monday and perhaps my best rounds with Posy to date. I am not going to bore you with all the videos but we won the 95cm open with the only double clear. We then jumped out biggest class to date the 105. I have to say it wasn’t the smoothest round, she is not always easy to turn right handed and the turn to the second fence was more a question of pulling her round and losing her through the shoulder resulting in a total miss and taking off a stride early! We landed on the back rail which bounced back in the cups and jumped 3 on a long rein - luckily the round improved after that and we finished clear.
The jump off was a good 110 and pushing my comfort zone as been a while since I have been jumping this sized course. Luckily it wasn’t outside Posy’s comfort zone who made it feel very easy and jumped a super clear round, no placing this time but I was over the moon with how she went.
A quiet few weeks now with some flatwork polishing is on the cards aiming towards the Burghley Young Event Horse at Chepstow in July.

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24th May

Posted: 24 May 2015 - Comments (0)
Good dressage lesson last night with Stef Eardley. I asked her to sit on Posy and have a feel as I have never found her contact easy. She just walked her in a 10m circle and analysed what her body and contact was doing (all wobbly). She had a very simple ethos in that if the contact was not as you wanted it or being fought you opened the hands and offered a steady but firm contact and as soon as they gave you just softened in a normal hand position making a reward for the right feeling. The leg straightens them round the circle so with posy even on a left circle it is outside leg to inside hand to straighten her. They should then smoothly change from circling one way to circling another. After 5 minutes playing with 10m circles in walk on both reins I hoped back on to a much improved contact. We agreed the outline was a bit babyish but for a minute that is where she needs to be. I certainly had the best contact in walk trot and canter that I have had to date.

This is a little clip of the canter and whilst not the best work you can see (with Stef’s voice in background) how we were trying to progress.
So onto today and we went show jumping at our local centre Colraine. The main aim was to get a double clear in the British Novice and hence complete 4 for next years second round. She jumped a nice first round and here she is in the jump off jumping another clear - as you can see the Cornish fog was rolling in off the coast!
Despite not hurrying we came second which means some prize money and a few more points. We are hoping to stay in the top 15 of the bronze league so we can have a crack at the HOYS qualifier later in the year. I believe it is the end of June that is the cut off point.

The Discovery was a fair track and the weather was quite miserable by this point (hence the change to waterproofs). Jumped another clear round although we did have one lucky rub.
I was really pleased with her in the jump off although again the rider spoilt any chance of a result. We were drawn second and the person before me had done a reasonably quick clear. I intended to have a bit of fun and have a slight go against the clock, came into the first too causally and had it down then turned far too early to the double and had to circle. After that she jumped fabulously and made some good turns and angles. The really annoying thing was without my missed turn we would have been second as only one double clear - grrrrrrrr!
Really pleased with the progress we are making. There is another day jumping at Colraine tomorrow so going back for a 95 and 105 (our biggest class to date). Then a few days off for the girl and no jumping next weekend. Very hard to balance not doing too much with giving a good education, I do feel at this stage the ground is very important as don’t want to jar her up but the surfaces are good and she is clearly enjoying things!

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21st May

Posted: 21 May 2015 - Comments (0)
I don’t think I have mentioned Sarnie for a bit (trying to forget all the problems she is causing!). As you are aware we didn’t get her in foal last year so this year we decided to try a totally natural route, this came to a sticky end when she tried to kill the stallion (or at least made her opinion v clear). We decided to have one last go and use the stallion to help her come into season then do the deed by AI, literally take the donation from Nippy and put it straight into Sarnie. So guess what she is now not coming into season - what other tricks can she try? She is currently at stud out with cycling broodmares, being teased and scanned regularly but no sign of coming into season. I think we can only wait a little longer and then the vet will inject her to bring her into season. If this doesn’t work, or for any reason we can’t AI her or if we do and she isn’t pregnant then we will call it a day. I simply cannot afford to keep trying and also there needs to be a point when you accept that nature is telling you that something isn’t right. So please keep fingers crossed that our luck changes.

Bobby meanwhile is having a few quiet weeks whilst he is having some acupuncture to help his nose rubbing. As the summer has advanced this is bothering him more again and I would love to find a way to ease the irritation. It is not stopping him perform but we are not at the worst time of the year yet and acupuncture has been quite successful in similar cases. He seems quite reactive and has been very good to do, having around 10 needles in at any one time.

Posy I am trying to focus on improving the flatwork and having a better contact. Although it has improved greatly she is still quite one sided and doesn’t give a great feel in the hand. I have a few dressage lessons booked with different trainers so will be interesting to see how they want us to move forward, I am at the stage I need some fresh ideas.

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