I hope you have all had a nice weekend, the weather is starting to warm up a bit now which is always nice. We had a weekend busy with outings for both SJ and XC training.
First off was our SJ training Saturday morning with the fantastic David Pearson-Smith. As usual I shared the lesson with Sophie but as opposed to riding ‘big’ Milli, Sophie rode her baby horse, DidHe. It was good for Milli to be doing some work over smaller fences which she found rather straight forward and started to get a bit cheeky!! Once the fences went up Milli’s attention soon returned and she jumped brilliantly. She is really learning to use her back-end more when jumping which is great and helps her with the wider fences!
As I'm sure many of you know, it was Badder’s weekend so after picking up Horse Feed on the way home from our lesson the rest of the afternoon was spent in front of the tele watching a very interesting XC day at Badminton Horse Trials un-fold!!
Back outside after watching some XC to un load all the feeds, then I decided to give the lovely Diaz a jump session at home and she was great! She’s such a bold little mare and is coming on in leaps and bounds at the moment! She absolutely loves her works and I can't wait to get her out and about competing in the near future!
Sunday morning we went to a local XC course for a bit of schooling with some of the baby horses. There are lots of old fashioned type fences at Denne Hill with lots of logs, tyres as well as plenty of educational fences so is a great place to take a baby horse. We took DidHe with Sophie on board and I rode Diaz. This is only the second time Diaz has been ridden away from home and her first time XC schooling, not that it showed! Two of my clients kindly came with us on their horses so we had the option of a lead if any of the fences looked terrifying!
Diaz behaved brilliantly, although I think she was slightly confused as to what she was doing out in the open with 3 other horses. Unlike some babies who, when put in a similar situation get a huge rush of adrenaline and become very over excitable, Diaz remained very calm and walked over to the course very quietly and remained walking when the others trotted and cantered away from her – big pats! J We continued to walk across the field and then we came across this square of funny coloured lumps which looked quite scary! It was a square of 8 logs all of different size! We had a walk, trot and canter around with the others, again she remained very calm and quiet! I then halted her by the logs and let her watch all the others warm up and have a jump over them. After standing very quietly I decided we’d have a trot over to the logs and just have a pop over them and see what she thought of them. She was amazing, jumped straight over them, in fact straight over anything I put in front of her, logs, tyres, ditches and banks….no problem!! She absolutely loved it and I am so excited about her future! She was making a great shape over the fences; especially behind as you can see from the pictures….she wasn’t going to touch anything! For more images & video please Click Here!
Please click on the below pictures of Sophie riding DidHe to view larger versions.....
We’ve got an awful lot coming up over the next few weekends, starting this weekend with Milli and ‘big’ Milli both going affiliated show jumping at Cobham Manor - I’ll have to dig out my SJ gear for this and dust of the cobwebs!! Will let you know how we get on early next week.....
***Keep Calm & Canter On***
I hope you all had a good bank holiday weekend, we did, although we got rather wet out eventing Sunday morning. Unfortunately it wasn't a weekend where we brought lots of prizes back with us but the horses came away feeling great and both horses had just the runs they needed so we were very pleased with that which is most important I think.
First of was mum's 'big' Milli (Foxborough Star) and we were competing in our first BE90 together. I haven't competed the mare out on grass or jumped a XC fence on her since this time last year but she has been going very well for my sisters recently so we felt she was ready, plus she's such a big mare we have to give her something to actually jump height wise or I'm sure she'll just fall over it! We started off with a great dressage test to score33.8 which put us mid-field after this phase, not bad considering we didn't have any studs in and the mare doesn't even have shoes on behind, plus the ground at Chilham was brilliant!
Show Jumping was next and as we entered the arena poor Milli had a baby melt down and the big white tents and flapping yellow flags were terrifying! She did jump a good round though knocking two down which were just baby mistakes and we turned a circle around one fence which cost us some time penalties as well but once she'd taken in her surroundings she got on with the job.
On to the XC and she was very 'full of it' in the warm up with everybody cantering round! She set of out the start box well and was taking me to the fences which felt good as she was being very bold and brave! She was flying through all the combinations and then we got to the second water and I had to circle in between the A and B elements as she jumped in so big over A I didn't want to haul her round the tight turn into the water and then she took some persuasion to go into the water so we picked up some penalties here for a hesitation and circle. A little frustrating as she cantered straight through the first water without hesitation.....she clearly didn't want to get her toes dirty as the second water was muddier than the first! She went on to finish the course very strongly which is just what we wanted. She came away from the event having learnt an awful lot hopefully and we can't wait to get her out again!
For more pictures of 'big' Milli and a video please Click Here...
As we live only 30mins from Chilham we had very early start times which wasn't so nice, but when we were all finished, packed up and ready to head home just after 10:30am it was quite nice.......well that is until the car decided it didn't want to start so we were stuck there until gone lunchtime!! Luckily my boyfriend and his dad who is a mechanic came to our rescue. When we got home I had chance to give Milli a quick bath before heading back to Chilham for the afternoon to have a look at the BE100 course for the next day and also two of my clients were there and had asked for some help warming up etc.
Being local to Chilham I had another early start and an alarm going off just after 4:30am is bad enough but when you turn your alarm off and hear that it is chucking it down outside, you really don't feel like getting up, well unless your #eventinglive that is! :) I had to put Milli's head collar on whilst she was lying down.....Milli doesn't do early starts! Although as she was eating her breakfast and I was plaiting her she was starting to get a bit excited! Due to my early leaving time I was travelling there on my own and mum was coming along after she'd sorted my nan and her horses out so it was my first solo trip in 'Fiona the Ford', despite having to stop at two petrol stations after my fuel light came on, both of which were closed, we arrived at Chilham ahead of schedule on what must have only been fumes!! haha
The rain was slowly getting worse but luckily now, after moving the partitions, I've got plenty of room to sort Milli out in 'Fiona the Ford' :) Once we were all ready we went down to the Dressage warm up which wasn't too busy due to it being so early and Milli was on her best behaviour! I think she has a slight excitement overload when there are lots of people in a warm up! Now soaking wet we went in to do our test and Milli performed a nice test, we did have one acrobatic display when some Geese in the water near our arena made a noise but Milli soon knuckled down again. Unfortunately due to mum stopping to get me some fuel so I could get home she only got to see the end of my dressage test so I haven't got a video of that, but we scored 32.0 which I was pleased with!
Next was show jumping and Milli was warming up very well so in we went. By this point we were both soaking wet and I sat a bit like a wet lettuce, excuse the pun, as we approached fence 1 and nothing happened!! After giving myself a 'wake-up and concentrate' slap we went on to jump a super clear round with just the 4 faults to add to our dressage score.
The rain now looked like it was here to stay so we quickly got ready to go XC and I headed over there. My main aim after our last run was for Milli to have a fun confidence building run and she started off well, jumping all the fences brilliantly and as you can see from the pics attached she didn't want to touch them!! We had a slight mis-hap though at fence 11 and 12, two oast house fences on a very acute angle, Milli locked on to the first and when I took a slight check a few strides away we turned into what felt like a pair of ice-skaters and slid right into the fence......due to the rain I think we needed bigger studs for fences which are on such a downhill slope! We re-presented and Milli popped herself straight through without hesitation, I went on to jump a few more fences which she felt great over and then retired before the last few fences, which were on quite a downhill slope and I didn't want to risk slipping again. For more pictures of Milli and a video Click Here...
We did what we went there to do and Milli more importantly felt back to her normal brave self XC so I thought best to quite whilst we were ahead, as it were. Considering it was such a miserable morning weather wise at Chilham the rest of the day turned out to be lovely and sunny when we got home so Milli got to enjoy a lovely afternoon in the field with Roxie whilst I did the yard etc. As I mentioned earlier unfortunately it wasn't a weekend with lots of ribbons and prizes to show for it but we got just the runs that were needed and there were many positives to take away from the weekend which is great.....roll on our next competitions :)
***Keep Calm & Canter On***
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