Rain, hail, wind and a bit more rain, the weather has been miserable but it still didn't put us off competing.....
Afte Hambleden had to be abandoned due to the wet weather after the Dressage phase of the CIC1* I was fortunate enough to get a late entry into the Intermediate-Noivce section at Nurstead Horse Trials with Roxie.
Unfortunately, yet again the weather put stop to this and the event was cancelled, like nearly all events in the country that were meant to run weekend just gone!! As I write this now the majority of us horsey people that scan Horse and Hound, BDWP or British Eventing website will have heard that due to the weather they have had to cancel Badminton Horse Trials this year!!! There goes my lazy day infront of the tele! I feel so sorry for all those that were competing as well as the organising team.....a year of organising just gone down the drain!
Anyway back to last weekend.......after I got the text from British Eventing (superb new system BE have got! Thank you) advising me that Nurstead was cancelled, I had a quick search online to see if there were any SJ competitions locally that we could go to......none! Next search was then dressage competitions, and I found a few to go to but as this was Friday evening and they were being held the following day (saturday) or sunday I wasn't holidng out much hope! Thankfully I got a reply to my email to Sue at Blue Barn Equestrian Centre in Ashford. They had space in the Prelim classes, so on Sunday (29th April) we trotted of to Blue Barn EC with Milli and Todd for Charlotte (my sister to ride).
I did Prelim 14, which was the test she did last time out at LFEC and she really showed how much she has come on in the last few weeks and scored a superb 65.83% to put us in 3rd place! Next was Prelim 19 which was in a 20x60m arena.....as you turn down the centre line 'C' looks miles away on an established horse, but I can confirm that it looks even further away when your riding a wobbly young horse!! Having said that Milli tried her best not to wobble and got scored her first ever 8 for our first centre line and got the comment 'cracking work man-like entry!' She continued to work well throughout this test and got scored 64.55% which placed her 4th in this class. Results updated and Pictures and Videos now uploaded.......
I am now counting down the days until Milli's first ever one day event (Chilham Park on 12th May!!) and can't wait to see how she goes. Roxie will next be out eventing at Tweseldown (2) BE Horse Trials on Friday 18th May. Lets just hope the weather brightens up a bit so that they don't have to cancel these events as well!
Until next time,
Keep Calm & Canter On
Great start at Hambleden where we saw sun, rain, wind and snow / hail and then a fun end to the weekend with Milli.....
After having such a great day at Boomerang Stables for the Supastuds and Roxie schooling so well in our Dressage lesson last week I couldn't wait to get to Hambleden International........
The weather had been slightly, no wait, incredibly unpredictable the week prior to the Horse Trials so we were pleased it was still going ahead! We arrived and I got Roxie into her stable which she was more than happy to do as there was soooo much grass in there! I then went to do my first course walk whilst mum and Max put up the tent.....YES we were camping in APRIL!!!!!
My first thought of the course was OMG! It was a very technical up to hight course, but I hoped it would look better on second course walk?!? I came back from my course walk to find tent up and mum and Max sat down in the sunshine.....well until the next shower anyway! We started getting Roxie ready for the dressage and the heavens opened, so I ran to te tent and got my self ready and thankfully when I came out it was sunny!
Roxie was rather lively when I started to warm her up as the dressage wam up was right next to the XC warm up!! She soon nuckled down and began working really well :) In I went and she did her usual around the arena......she likes to make us think she is going to be an idiot in the arena and canters sideways around the arena! Thankfully as soon as I enter at A she calms down! She was really good throughout the test and I was very pleased with her work.
We got back from our dressage just in time....as soon as we got into the stables the heavens opened again! Except this time it was marble sized hailstones, OUCH! This went on for about 15 minute and made it look like it had snowed....yes were were camping in April and there was snow around our tent......we were in for a cold night :( Next was our trot up and yet again the weather behaved and out came the sun which caused a beautiful raindbow write across the field where the Stables were!
Roxie flew through the trot-up with flying colours. We got Roxie back in her stable and then set of for course walk 2. The course looked much more rideable this time, I think it looked worse first time round because I was just rushing round to see some of the fences. It was still going to be the most challenging XC course that we have done but after closer examination to some of the more complicated combinations I couldn' to get out there the next day! I then went to walk my SJ course and saw my dressage score of............................50.2!!! This fantastic score put us in 6th place after dressage! I was chuffed to bits as I was in a very competitive arena of mailny professionals :)
We then headed back to the tent for something to eat. When I went to feed Roxie the person next to me asked if I was disappointed?! Disappointed?.....with what?! I was then told that the rest of the competition had been cancelled :( The wet weather had caused lots and LOTS of mud which was causing chaos on the main road outside the venue when lorries were being towed out by tractors!
I was so disappointed, although both the SJ and the XC were going to be testing tracks I couldn't wait to get out there......oh, well at least we ae still in one peice and can look forward to another event now! Also on a ositiv note I am so, so pleased with her dressage, she has come on so much over the winter and my score was 66.52%! There are still many little things to improve on as well so hopefully this score can only get better?! As we were all set up camp, we decided to stay the night and head back in the morning ans it did Roxie good to stay away from home for a change.
We were back home saturday after lunch so we got unpacked and then went of to walk the XC course for the hunter trials competition that was being held by West Street Pony Club. I decided to take Milli as she has only been XC schooling so wanted her to be out in the 'competition atmosphere' before her first event next month. She was super, jumping eveything that I put infront of her!! I did the Novice pairs first, so followed my sister riding her horse Todd, just so she got the right idea and then I went back out in the individual competition and she was just as good!
For more pictures and videos from these competition please check out my Gallery page! We are out eventing again this weekend with Roxie at Nurstead BE Horse Trials and then we wil be at Chilam Park Horse Trials in May with Milli for her first ever event....I can't wait :)
So, until next week
Keep Calm & Canter On
Wow, what a fantastic day we had at Boomerang Stables with Blyth Tait and Matt Ryan courtesy of SupaStuds......
Well, where do I start?! Those of you who read my Blogs on a regular basis will have known that I was lucky enough to be selected and invited to the SupaStuds Training Scholarship viewing day.
So, Thursday 12th April arrived and I was very excited. As it was quite a way to travel we left the yard quite early in the morning to ensure we got there in plenty of time. I had looked on the website for Boomerang Stables and noticed they have superb XC schooling fences so I decided to take Milli to see some new fences, and I pleased to say she was very well behaved. She jumped whatever I asked her to very confidently! I can't wait to get her out eventing :)
As I was in the adult category I wasn't riding until 3pm so, once we had sorted Milli out we headed off to go and have some lunch, which was incredibly tasty. With lunch eaten I watched the beginning of the lesson before me, and took note of any useful advice given.
I then went and got Roxie all tacked up for our first lesson of the afternoon, which was an hours SJ lesson with International Event Rider and Trainer Blyth Tait. This was probably the best hours SJ training I have ever had! Blyth commented on my weaknesses and showed how making tiny adjustments can bring great results. Blyth noticed that my left shoulder occasionally dropped down which was then making me sit off centre in the saddle. To correct this he told me to think I had a pet parrot on my left shoulder and when my shoulder dropped the parrot would fall off.....poor parrot! So whenever I am riding from now on I will keep checking I’m sat straight and that my parrot is still on my left shoulder!!
After this we had a very informal interview with Bruce and Annie Jolly. This was our chance to let them know how the scholarship would help and how we would use it and also what we would do for SupaStuds in return for the support. It was lovely chatting to them, and hopefully I said the right things?!
Next I had a lesson with International Event Rider and Trainer Matt Ryan. For this we were jumping a course of SJ's on the grass, which was very helpful as 99% of the SJ at events is on grass. We were told the course and went off to jump it, we were then given advice on improvements we could make to our round by Matt and then told to jump the course again. Matt said that I needed a stronger canter when I approach a combination as she rushes through it because she is struggling to make the distance, so on my second round I approached he triple in a much stronger engaged canter and she jumped it superbly, not rushing at all :) GREAT!! We then went and jumped a few XC fences with Matt, which helped me and Roxie enormously, as we are still not that confident when we drop into water. He sent me away to canter trough the water and then jump the log drop into the water as I normally would, so we did. Matt then asked me to come again, but this time my canter needed to be much stronger (really quite fast!) and when I get to the log drop I was to soften my contact on her so she could lower her head and see what she has to do......off we went again with a much stronger canter and WOW, the jump in was superb, probably the best jump into water I’ve ever ridden!! She got to the log lowered her head, dropped in and swiftly cantered out. Brilliant I thought....''Much better'' Matt said.....''But'' (there's always a but isn’t there?!?) Matt said the jump and drop in was much better but I need to keep my shoulders up a bit more. Once the rider softens the rein the horse has all the space she/he needs so the rider needs to just sit up nice and tall on landing so the horse doesn't land on the fore-hand is properly balanced and ready for the next part or exit from the water. We came round again and this jump was great or ''Brilliant jump, much better approach and drop in'' as Matt put it :)
If you haven't noticed already I had a fantastic day and am so grateful to be given this fantastic opportunity to train with the very best, this was just the training we needed before our first International event of the 2012 season next weekend at Hambleden. So, all that is left for me to say is a huge, HUGE thank you to SupaStuds for organising such a brilliant day. All the advice I was given has been taken in and will stay with me and be used for many years to come. I would also like to say thank you for the superb gifts given out to the finalists on the day.......SupaStuds all the way from now on!!
Some pictures from the day are below and there are more pictures and exciting videos to follow soon so keep your eyes peeled..............including a video telling you the best way to jump and drop into water! (trust me it is great advice that really wor
Also Videos and Pictures taken whilst I was teaching at Chilham Park on Good Friday to be uploaded soon. We had a brilliant day, and the weather was nice to us!! It was lovely to see so many new faces as well. Don't forget keep checking out my Diary to see what's next.....
So, until next time,
Keep Calm & Canter On
We had really good times for Goring Heath....dressage at 14:38 and then time to walk the XC Course before the SJ, so we had a rather leisurley start to the day, which made a nice change!
On arrival I went and got my number, and on route had a quick look at the SJ, which looked very up to height already and it was only the BE100......great!!
Once I had changed and got Roxie all tacked up we headed over to the Dressage. She warmed up really well and was remaining calm and concentrated, so over we went....Thankfully she remained calm throughout the test and we were all very pleased with it. The judge agreed with us and gave us a score of 30.0 which put us in 6th place after dressage! I was very pleased with this score as Roxie still has so much more to give and hopefully the 8's we got may turn into 9's in the near future :)
We got her untacked and the set off to walk the XC course...it was right up to height and very technical, however that was why I came here, so hopefully we would have a confident run before our first International of the 2012 season at Hambleden! BUT before XC we had to tackle the SJ, which was, like the XC very up to height........
She was jumping really well in the warm up, and after watching a few competitiors before me, we jumped a few more fences and went it. She went very green on me as we cantered around the edge and was terrified of the parrot wings at fence 7....great! Although once the commentator rung the bell she soon knucled down and concentrated and i'm incredibly pleased with how she jumped, WE JUMPED CLEAR :)
Now with a very good dressage and a clear SJ round, which there was very few off, it was all to play for! 5,4,3,2,1, Go, Good luck.....Off we set and she jumped the first few fences really well, which got us into a lovely rythm for the skinny to drop and 4a and b, then down a very VERY steep hill to 5a and b and 6a, b, and c, the water. With these first questions out of the way we galloped on the the trakennar and skinny triple brush at 7 and 8. She continued to fly over all fences I put in front of her ad the jump I got over fence 15, a HUGE oxer over a ditch, I will dream about for years :) We jumped a superb clear XC! We did pick up just 3.6 time
faults which I think was possibly on my approach to fence 16a and b which was a corner with a three stride right curve to a skinny with trees covering your initial sight of fence b! It has caused many problems so far so we thought a few time faults is better than 20! The time was quite tight anyway, only one in my arena made it inside the time so my round was quite fast in the end. As you can see from this picturt to the left fence 'b' was quite hard too see initially!!
Once we had sorted Roxie out we went back over to the secretaries tent to see how the scores were looking.....I was 3rd!!!!!! My team were very pleased, but not as much as me It has taken quite a while to fully recover from my accident, and although I am still not, and never may be as I was before I am incerdibly pleased with my recovery and can't wait for the rest of the season to kick in!!
I would also like to say a HUGE thank you to all my fantastic Sponsors who are really helping so, so much! The Global Herbs supplements are helping contribute to enhancing my horses performance briliantly alongside the Hickstead Horse Feeds. I have recently begun feeding Sports Cubes from Hickstead Horse Feeds and they provide the right energy amounts neede without sending them mad!! Full recommended :)
Roxie had a lazy day in the field on Sunday, enjoying the sunshine and then in the afternoon I put her and Milli on my garden for a bit of extra grass......well, it's easier than mowing it isn't it?!?
We have a busy few weeks coming up now with combined training competition, hunter trials, our first International of the year as well as various training sessions! Talking of traiig session, I am holding a XC Clinic at Chilham Park on Friday 6th April and there are a few spaes left so if you would like to joins us, please Contact Me a.s.a.p!
Pictures and video from Goring Heath are now uploaded. Please click on the links to have a look!!
So, until next time,
Keep Calm & Canter On
You'll find regular updates on this page with all the very latest news on everything that we have been up too!