You'll find regular blog updates below with all the very latest news and updates on everything that we have been up too!
Just wanted to give you a quick update before this weekend approaches as we are back out competing again this weekend and I know my updates can sometimes be a bit on the long side
Last Saturday I was up the yard quite early to get Roxie and Diaz ridden before the farrier came to shoe Milli. Roxie had a jump and we did some bigger and wider fences and she is continuing to jump really well and loving it! Diaz went out to do some canter / gallop fitness work and she is really fit now and wanted to do more once we'd finished I think! After putting Roxie and Diaz out in the field Harry turned up to shoe Milli. It was Harry's first time shoeing at our yard and I have to say I was very impressed with what he did and has done a lovely job on Milli's feet! With a quick rug change, Milli was put out in the field and it was clear, after a few months bare foot, that she was very happy to have a set of shoes back on
Saturday afternoon I was at Bonfleur with Icarus doing some XC schooling. He hasn't done much XC and not seen XC fences since I took him round Chilham Park last autumn but he was fantastic and loved it! He responded very well when I asked a bit more off him and coped very well with some of the more technical fences and combinations! Please Click Here to view more pictures and watch a video.
Sunday we were planing to go to a local SJ show but I hadn't decided who I was going to take. Unfortunately in the morning we were advised that the show had been cancelled due to the rain we had the previous night resulting in us being unable to park in the field. Luckily we were able to hire the school and jump around the course set up for the show which was good. I took Roxie and Milli. Roxie had a jump around and continued her streak of not knocking any poles down (this used to unheard of for Roxie over showjumps!) and we finished jumping a lovely round over 1m / 1.05m fences! Please Click Here to view more pictures and watch a video.
Milli was next to be ridden and she was incredibly excited to be out somewhere different as she hasn't been out since September last year! Despite this excitement she tried her best to behave as much as she could and we just had the odd buckin' bronco moments! She was feeling good, so I thought i would take the opportunity to give her her first jump since she has come back into work! She was incredibly pleased to be asked to jump, and jumped the few fences we did jump very well......is great to have Milli back jumping! Please Click Here to view more pictures and to watch a video.
With all four horses going so well at the moment, I can't wait for the next competitions for them. I will need to start looking at some more competitions to get Roxie and Milli out to as well in the near future!
***Keep Calm & Canter On***
After a few busy weekends out competing, we have had two weekends at home, and although my alarm clock hasn't been going off at 'silly' o'clock there has still been plenty going on!
Weekend before last, we had David from D A Saddles come to the yard to check the fit of my dressage and jump saddle. My dressage saddle still sits beautifully and we just needed to add a bit of flocking to the front of my single flap jump saddle for it to fit perfectly. Diaz definitely liked the improved fit of the jump saddle and jumped brilliantly.
After giving Diaz a jump and Milli a schooling session over poles it was Roxie's turn to be ridden. She has been going so well and her knee is coping well with the workload she has been doing so I thought I would see what her thoughts were on jumping a little jump!? Roxie's feet haven't left the floor, well over a jump anyway since our fall back in June 2014! Roxie felt very excited when I got in the school - I think she knew what she was doing! It's safe to say Roxie absolutely loved it :) The next day the girls had physio sessions with Sofia which they enjoyed very much! All in all a bit of a pamper weekend for my girls!
Weekend just gone and we were hoping to go XC schooling on Saturday but after the rain we had last Friday we decided against it as the ground was very water logged and deep. Still in XC mode though I headed over to Blue Barn Equestrian Centre where I met Bronte, Icarus' owner as we entered Icarus for a bit of indoor XC. This was something he hasn't done before and having only seen XC fences once last autumn I thought it would be an educational trip for him. We did the 80cm and 90cm classes. After being a little unsure as we first entered the arena when he saw the rustic fences, think he wondered where the coloured poles were as he normally SJ's with his owner! He did go on and jump two lovely double clears finishing 3rd in the 80cm and then winning the 90cm! Please Click Here to view more pictures as well as a video of our rounds.
Sunday before last a friend from work came to the yard with her two children who were brilliant at helping out with the jobs on the yard. As there was someone on foot I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to jump the girls and took Roxie down the road to s friends school and jumped a few of her fences. Roxie thoroughly enjoyed the outing and was very confident jumping. Please Click Here to view some pictures and a short video!
Diaz also had a jump at home and we did a bit of gymnastical grid work with her which she found great fun! Milli did some pole work too which she is enjoying.....think she's looking forward to starting to jump again!
During the week I had a SJ lesson with the brilliant David Pearson-Smith and Diaz was on great form, just a little bit keen! We had to do some exercises that kept her thinking! For more pictures of our training sessions along with some videos, please Click Here.
Next weekend we have quite a bit going on with a new farrier coming to put some shoes back on Milli after a few months bare foot following her injury, Saturday morning and then Saturday afternoon we were off XC schooling with Icarus. Sunday we are planning on going to a local SJ show. I'm thinking of taking Roxie for a play and possibly Diaz.....look back next week to see who went and how we got on over the weekend.
*** Keep Calm & Canter On***
Busy, yet we picked up great results and the weather was lovely - what more could we ask for?!
We started the weekend with an early start to allow the 3 hour drive to Goring Heath Horse Trials, which although a bit of a trek is such a lovely event to be at and this year didn't disappoint! The going was super, and considering the rain we'd had the week prior to the event I did think it may be a bit muddy but the team had wonder hard to make the going as near to perfect as possible which was very much appreciated by us riders - big thank you to all the helpers!
On arrival I gave Diaz and drink and made sure she was settled so I could head of to walk the course. I was keen to see the new XC course as this was the first time there has been BE90 sections running at Goring! The course was nice, it asked plenty of questions which is nice to see at this level, with skinny fences, angled combinations, a corner, steps and various options at the water. Before we got to do this though we had the dressage and showjumping first so we went back to the box to get Diaz ready.
As we made our way towards the dressage arenas Diaz got her hopes up as we had to go past the showjumping arena but when we started warming up she soon knuckled down and got on with the job in hand. at one end of the warm up and behind the car's a C or the arena was a wooded area behind the fence and Diaz wasn't the only one who was convinced there was a horse eating monster just the other side of the fence in the trees! We went in for our test and Diaz put her brave foot forward and forgot about the monster and performed a nice consistent test and when we later received our sheet this was reflected in the marking as we got marks from 6.5 to 7.5 fr the whole test resulting in a score of 34.5 putting us in the top half after dressage. With a bit more work on our flatwork and we can look to up those marks by 1 or maybe even 2 per movement hopefully!
After having a quick look at the SJ course which looked to be riding nicely I got Diaz ready and set off towards the warm up. Diaz got a bit excited in the warm up and after jumping the cross pole and the upright nicely we had a 'Diaz moment' on the approach to the spread! The atmosphere got a bit too much for here I think as there were plenty of spectators watching around the arena and behind the spectators there were lots of trade stands, most of which had flags flying high above in the wind! After a few more jumps it was time for us to go in and Diaz popped herself in pro mode and jumped round beautifully, continuing her clear round spell! She didn't look at anything which I was very pleased with :)
With a change of tack and boots on Diaz and me into my XC gear we headed over to the XC start. Diaz felt fighting fit and ready to go in the warm up. The starter counted us down and Diaz left the tart box promptly....she knew what to do! I made sure she had plenty of time to see the first fence as there had been a few stops at it we had heard over the tannoy. I was a simple roll top type fences but covered in fake grass and the green was reflecting the sunshine which may have spooked some but not Diaz in fact she took off a stride early! She flew and got off to a great start! We had a slight hesitation before fence 4 which was a skinny fence in the hedge line - I don't think Diaz quite read the question right and questioned why were we jumping the hedge! I kept m leg on a pushed her forward and we jumped the skinny from a trot but we jumped it clear and left the flags in place which is what counts. The next fence was two angled houses on a related distance, Diaz got a bit too big for her boots and pulled me through it getting very close to the 'B' element! She learnt from this which was great and listened to me the rest of the way around the course and jumped a superb clear which I was thrilled with! I was also pleased with how well she finished and by the time we had walked back to the box she was back to normal breathing which showed her fitness levels are right at the moment as it is a very hilly course at Goring!
Chilham is our most local event and they've had a complete re-vamp this year and the course is running in reverse with the start and finish in different places.....fingers crossed our run of good form continues and we have a good first run at this level! Please Click Here to view more pictures as well as a video of our day at Goring Heath.
After a long drive home, due to the M25 'car park' being on top form and the starter motor on Fiona (my little ford lorry) playing up when we stopped at the Cobham services, what was an early start soon turned into a late finish as well. I tucked Diaz up into her stable and headed home to sort tack out for the next day as I was back out early to the Riding Club Winter Dressage Qualifier with Roxie!
We were competing in the Elementary part of the competition so I wasn't riding in the afternoon but after being advised not to drive Fiona until the starter motor has been replaced, my mum very kindly offered to take Roxie and I could follow over in my car later. Roxie had her legs washed and tidied up a bit and was sent of in the trailer with my mum and sister who was riding mum's mare. I got the yard jobs done and then headed over, to find that fellow members of the Royal Oak Riding Club were doing very well picking up individual wins and team placings!
I got Roxie plaited and headed over to the warm up where they said they were ahead of time and I was next! Despite not getting the warm up we needed Roxie pulled of a nice test with a few errors where Roxie thought she knew the test and didn't want to do what she was being asked. We scored 62.4% which resulted with us finishing towards the middle of the field. It was only Roxie's second competition outing this year so she tried her best to remain calm! For more pictures and a video of our test, please Click Here.
We have a quiet few weeks on the competition front now so time to concentrate on some training to ensure we are fit and ready for our next competition! We have David from D A Saddles coming down to see us on Saturday to check the fit of my saddles and make any alterations that are needed as well as take measurements for make a new saddle for my sister. Then on Sunday we have Sofia coming to give the horses their monthly phsyio session which i'm sure they will all enjoy as they do every time!
Sorry for the long update, I hope you've enjoyed reading it.....I promise the next one will be shorter!!
***Keep Calm & Canter On***