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Horsequest Advantage Posted: 18 October 2017

Just a quick plug for my sponsor. I have just bought Ellie a new lightweight rug from the Fal range, managed to save £30 (20%) using the discount code from Horsequest Advantage. Ellie meanwhile wants a modelling job!

Great dressage lesson Posted: 15 October 2017

Had a dressage lesson with Stef Eardley this morning. Great to have a lesson 2 weeks running and really consolidate on some of the work. Ellie went one of the best I have had her starting off really through and powering along.

We worked on the suppleness using some leg yield and then particularly on the left where she was losing her shoulder we progressed to asking for some basic half pass so that she didn't fall onto her shoulder. This engaged her further although still very much a work in progress.

We then worked on some walk canter and canter walk transitions. On the left they were much improved and once I remembered to ride and sit up, use my core and ride her into the transition we had a couple of nice ones (see video).

I am so lucky to have Stef's support this year and it has really made a huge difference to our dressage.

Productive Day Posted: 14 October 2017

What a productive day! On the beach with Ellie at 8.15 how lucky are we to have 2 mile long Perranporth beach on the doorstep - thanks to Vanessa for taking us.


Back and schooled Fliss who is rapidly improving and frame becoming more consistent and less tight.

Then moved the yearlings, Kensa and her mate Tommy. Thought this may be a major undertaking but they loaded and travelled well. Thanks to Mel for organising and Annette and Louise for moving them. They are now enjoying a huge 4 acre field with plenty of grass and shelter for the winter.

Meanwhile mum was dispatched back to Fliss as she had the dentist while I caught up on fencing and poo picking.

Is it time-wasters or troublemakers?! Posted: 11 October 2017

It has been a while since I posted any pictures of the babies. Now nearing the end of there yearling year they are starting to grow up. They always used to be known as the time-wasters although I am not convinced they shouldn't be renamed the troublemakers! Anything that can be chewed, broken or played with is fair game. Poor Smartie is not allowed in the field with them as he get chased, much as I feel it is in fun I don't think it is particularly safe for him.

Kensa certainly has her mothers sense of humour and many similar attention seeking characteristics. She loves attention and is always keen to be in front the camera although her preference is to eat it! Poo picking is a great sport to see how many times the wheel barrow can be emptied in the middle of the field or Kensa just stands in front of me demanding attention and not allowing me to do anything. I think she will enjoy her work in a couple of years!

Calmsden BE100 Posted: 8 October 2017

This time we got a run after our aborted trip to Bricky and the ground conditions were near perfect.

We headed up on Friday and visited Stef Eardley's lovely yard for some dressage training. Stef's support this year has been invaluable to help us work on the dressage and progress Ellie. This time it was good to progress from riding carefully to actually riding for far more engagement and activity in the work. Really softening her with bend and then pushing her up into the bridle, ace lesson and great preparation.

Stef also kindly organised us with some stabling nearby and Ellie was sure she was in horsey heaven with a huge stable and lovely deep bed. Big thanks to Hannah for putting us up and Stef for organising.

Nice leisurely times at Calmsden we were not doing dressage until after 12. Our first visit to the event which is close to Cirencester on the Fosse Way, an event I would definitely recommend with good courses, plenty of space and nice tradestands.

Ellie did a nice dressage test but was a little tight at times in the frame, slightly disappointed with one of our lower scores of 35 which put us around the middle of the section score wise.



With 3 hours to spare between dressage and jumping plenty of time to walk the course. The cross country was a nice course with some questions but nothing particularly alarming, it used brush to make some of the fences quite imposing. The one thing that worried me was the hills there were a couple of very steep up and down sections. Although Ellie is 3/4 TB I can't help but worry that at her size carrying an adult it was quite a fitness question.

Back to the show jumping and the track was a decent test with the undulating ring not making life easy. They frustratingly adopted a first come first serve system in the show jumping and I couldn't put my number down until I went down with the horse which meant there were 25 ahead of me and I was way behind time.

Last week I bought a Micklem bridle for Fliss but on riding Ellie in it thought she jumped a bit better so used this for the jumping phases with a snaffle bit. In fact she was less all or nothing and we had a better rhythm which I was able to maintain better. The round was better than of late and we had one pole and a frustrating couple of time faults where I still need to move forward more.



So onto the fun bit and after another delay when I went down to cross country in my dressage hat (sack the support crew for letting me!) we were ready to go. The course rode really well with the first test at 4 with a set of tyre on an undulating line between two fields to a corner, luckily she locked on and popped the corner great. A big fly rails in the hedge and we set off down the steep hill to a brush which I had wanted to pop instead we flew it off a long stride and seemed to take a long time to land half way down the hill. A steep uphill to a turning question which she flew though before we turned down the main hill, she kept her balance well down the steep slope and turned over the hedge. At this point my eye started running and I could barely see a thing, luckily we had a long gallop with me trying to rub my eye dry, a combination of narrow brush roll tops had caused some issues but Ellie locked on and popped through neatly before powering back up the hill. A house to drop caused no problems and then we came to the water which she flew through before a couple of simple ones to finish.



I certainly shouldn't worried about Ellie's fitness as I had trouble pulling up at the end, we were about 15 seconds over the time but that wasn't a concern as we were never in contention. So pleased with how easy she made the cross country feel and how much she enjoyed it.

Now off for a final run at Aldon in 2 weeks to finish the season.

Trying again! Posted: 5 October 2017

After our aborted trip to Bricky we are about to try again setting off for Calmsden tomorrow. It's our first trip to Calmsden and really looking forward to going to a new event which I have heard is very nice.

Could be interesting as Ellie hasn't had much work this week after hunting on Saturday and only had the shoe replaced today so she is rather in 'go faster' mode! Gave her a pop in the field tonight and that seemed ok anyway.

Luckily able to have a lesson tomorrow with Stef Eardley in Gloucestershire so hopefully that will get her focused and working again. We stay near Stef and then have leisurely times on Saturday with dressage at lunchtime and jumping at 3.30 and 4.20. Much as this is great never so keen on the long drive home later in the day, not sure how long it will take us but somewhere between 4 and half and 5 hours.

Will update you all next week.

Jumping Fliss Posted: 3 October 2017

With Ellie resting up and the weather ruling out the planned fun ride for Fliss an alternative plan was needed. A couple of us booked a nearby indoor school to have a play jumping. Fliss was ace well behaved and jumped really well. Probably best to let the video do the talking, apologies for the slight condensation on the camera! So pleased with her and big thank you to Vanessa for her help.