We had a great time competing at the Kent County Show at the beginning of the month and shortly after this I went, for what was supposed to be a long weekend, away for Ryan's birthday but this turned in to a week away due to flights being cancelled and it proving rather hard to get a replacement flight back from Vienna!
We arrived back almost 3 days later than originally planned! With just 2 hours sleep in the early hours of Thursday morning to say I was tired at work on Thursday would have been a slight understatement.....I needed sleep!!!
I just about got through the rest of the week at work and after a lazy day yesterday (Saturday) I'm starting to feel a little more human now! It was great to be back and to see the horses, who had clearly missed me!
Anyway, back to the beginning of the month and Kent County Show. We had a great day out and with it being so local we managed to get there early enough to get some shopping done before it was time to ride....bonus!! 😊 Roxie loves performing in front of a crowd and there was certainly a lot of people watching!
It was one round against the clock and before I went in there hadn't been any clears and times weren't that quick so I went in and just went for it! Roxie had a great time and thoroughly loved what she was doing. We did have 2 rails down however but compared to some of the other scores that wasn't bad at all! We did pick up the fastest time at this stage even with our 8 faults but i'm not sure if or where we finished in the placings as I wasn't near the arena when they read out the results and I can't seem to find them anywhere online.
To view a video of our round as well as see more pictures form the day please CLICK HERE and check out Roxie's Gallery page.
We are back out again next weekend, this time at Hickstead for the Riding Club team jumping at the Royal International Horse Show which will be another big atmosphere competition so i'm sure Roxie will rise to the occasion!
Back to the Bank Holiday weekend and it was a weekend of mixed emotions with my girls 🐎 I finished work early on the Friday before the long weekend as I had an appointment with Milli at the vets as I was convinced there was something not 100%. It is so unlike her to stop when jumping and turns out my instinct was right 😞 She has damaged the top of her superficial flexor tendon, very similar to what she did 18 months ago, just the other leg this time! I'm devastated as we had quite a lot planned this summer but with box rest and good management, hopefully she'll be back ready for the autumn / winter jumping season!
Roxie managed to put a smile back on my face though as we went to Chilham Park for a bit of XC schooling with a friend and her baby horse. It was the first time Roxie has been XC since our fall, nearly 3 years ago, and although we only jumped the little ones, I had forgotten what a XC machine she is 😍 I even let her have a gallop up the hill which she loved🏇 Roxie thoroughly enjoyed playing about at Chilham but it goes to show how traumatic experiences can effect them even years after as she was very hesitant when we first got to the water, although it wasn't where we fell she clearly remembered it so I just let her stand at the edge having a look and then a short while later she splashed her way in and after no time she was confidently trotting and cantering through the water which was nice to see 😊 For more pictures and a video of Roxie and I having fun at Chilham, please Click Here
Last week flew by, I am so busy at work at the moment and getting everything done that needs to be done in a 5 day week is a challenge, let alone a 4 day week following a bank holiday! Although the additional day at home and with the horses was lovely!
Weekend just gone, I was back out competing and with Milli on box rest, which she really isn't too happy about, it was just Roxie out to play. We shared a lift with a friend as she has a big lorry and had space for Roxie along with her two horses, plus Roxie kept her young horse company whilst she was riding the other one. We went to Felbridge Show Ground and I love jumping in their big outdoor arena and so does Roxie! In fact I think Roxie loved it a bit too much and she was still in speedy mode after XC schooling the weekend previous so I had little say in the speed! 😂 Roxie jumped a super speedy double clear to finish 3rd in the first class and then we had a very unlucky 4 faults in the Discovery. Roxie jumped clear through the triple and double of uprights clear and these are usually her nemesis! Speed just meant we tapped the front pole on first fence in the jump off part. To view more pictures and a video of our rounds, please Click Here.
I'm now going to have a look at what other competitions are coming up over the next few weeks and months and plan some things and have some fun with Roxie! We have a few riding club competitions coming up which include team SJ at both Kent County Show at the beginning of July and The Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead at the end of July. No doubt Roxie will rise to the atmosphere at both of the big competitions ......best get saving some pennies and make the most of the days out and do a bit of shopping too 😊
had a good day out jumping in the sunshine last Saturday when I took both Roxie and Milli to Felbridge. Roxie hasn't been out jumping since our few days away at Weston Lawns in April so she was happy to be out jumping that was for sure. We did the 95cm open and she jumped a super double clear in a quick time to finish in 2nd place! We were less than a second behind the winner and had I not steadied Roxie up to jump the double of uprights at the very end of the jump off we may have been fast enough to win, although a double of uprights is ones of Roxie's nemesis so I think if I'd kept up the speed we had she may have had one or even both parts down so clear and second place I was very pleased with. It was Roxie's 16th birthday last week and after all she has been through recovering from our fall I am pleased she is back out doing what she loves and competing, despite it being at the slightly lower levels she is still happy!
I also jumped Milli in the first class as I have decided to step her down a bit and let her have fun jumping around some smaller heights for a few weeks as she seems to have lost some confidence when out jumping outside. She jumped so well indoors through the winter around 1.10m and 1.15m but she just isn't as confident jumping this height outdoors for some reason - wouldn't it be so much easier if horses could tell us when things aren't 100%?! I' not 100% confident with the fit of her jump saddle at the moment as she has trimmed down a bit now so I think it is a bit low on her withers and after previous saddle issues she is very sensitive when something isn't 100% comfortable on her - I think it must be the small % of Arab in her breeding from her dad, Mill Law!! Anyway back to our round and Milli jumped a great, she felt much more like herself and after putting a front riser gel pad under her saddle I think we need a bit more flocking for it to fit her without additional pads. We did pick up an unlucky 4 faults when she tapped the back rail of a spread, the ducks playing in the pond by the fence spooked her and she went airborne over the fence a although only small she didn't quite make the spread! She was very cross with herself though and had a little buck and squeak after which is much more like the normal Milli I'm used to so hopefully we will be back out jumping the bigger heights soon 😊
The above pictures are from Felbridge Photography (www.fphotos.net).
I was there on my own so only managed to get pictures (please see images below) when I wasn't riding and unfortunately I don't have videos of our rounds either, but they were good rounds - not that I'm biased at all 🐴
We are out again this weekend, this time at Petley Wood Equestrian Centre for Roxie's British Novice 2nd rounds. Milli is also coming along to jump a round or two as well. Petley is somewhere I haven't been before and it is relatively local, 1 1/2 hours away so I'm looking forward to going there. I will let you know next week how we got on...wish us luck!
I hope you are well and had a great weekend. Wasn't Badminton great?! I haven't yet watched the SJ from yesterday as we were out jumping ourselves but it couldn't have been won by a better man! Thoroughly deserved 😊
Yesterday we were out jumping at Codham Park Equestrian which isn't somewhere I have been before but definitely somewhere I will be returning to. The arenas are lovely, the team very efficient and friendly.....all in all a very well run event! Bit of a shame our results weren't as good though!
We did the 1m warm up class first and picked up 4 faults after Milli had a spooky moment at the banners hanging on the fence at the end of the arena. With this we picked up a few time faults for the first part of the course too. The rest of the course she jumped really well though so I was looking forward to the next class.
Next we were having our first go at the Discovery 2nd rounds trying to qualify for the finals. Unfortunately it wasn't to be yesterday and Milli just didn't want to play ball! She just wasn't feeling herself and I think our few quiet months on the competition front at the beginning of this year is catching up and she has lost some confidence when jumping courses in the competition environment.
Because of this and seeing as we had driven 2+ hours to get there I decided to jump her in the 90 Open for a bit of a confidence booster, fun round. She jumped a nice double clear but still wasn't her usual confident self so the next few shows we go to I will jump her around some smaller tracks so she can have fun and enjoy it again. I will be getting her saddle checked too as from previous experience she is a very sensitive little flower and I just want to make sure nothing is too tight anywhere!
I am hoping to be out again this weekend coming with Milli and possibly Roxie, then the following weekends Roxie has got her British Novice 2nd rounds before I may have another go at Discovery 2nd rounds with Milli towards the end of the month, providing she is back jumping like her normal cheeky self again!
Please Click Here to view more pictures from Codham Park of us jumping plus a rather funny picture of her poking her nose into the living asking for a sweet after she had jumped......how could I say no to that face! 😂
I cant believe we are nearly at the end of April already......where is this year going?! After having a slow start to the year competition wise due to me concentrating on my running training, now I had finished this and more importantly completed all 26.2 miles of the Brighton Marathon, although rather tired, I couldn't wait to get back out competing with Roxie and Milli and start to bring Diaz back into work properly.
With 2 days rest post marathon I was still feeling incredibly tired as well as feeling rather sore and stiff, but I started packing Fiona (my little lorry - Fiona the Ford!) slowly as I everything I was doing was slightly slower than normal, and after Roxie and Milli were loaded we started our journey 'Up North' for the Easter Extravaganza British Showjumping Show held at Weston Lawns.
After 5 hours on the road due to a bit of traffic we arrived, got camp set up and Roxie and Millie settled in their stables. As I'd arrived mid afternoon there was plenty of time to give them both a ride around and a leg stretch before the few days jumping we had ahead of us.
Milli was first to jump on the Thursday and we were in the main ring jumping the 1.05m open to get started. Milli was jumping a cracking round until the 2nd to last fence which was an open water. She has never jumped one of these, she is fine jumping water trays so I didn't think she would find it too scary so I didn't over ride it as she can then get a bit vary. Unfortunately on the stride before take off Milli decided that it was quite scary and stopped. I gave her a pat and brought her round to it again and she flew straight over it and finished the course well. Putting this behind us and down to experience as now at least she has jumped an open water!
After a short break over lunch Roxie was next and she was jumping in the back ring. We had the 95cm Open first and to say Roxie was rather excited to be back out competing would have been a huge understatement. We entered the ring flashing our twinkle toes and doing a rather impressive extended trot! We started our round, well I say our round, I mean Roxie started her round with me sat on top, holding on as a passenger. The only control I had was guiding her from fence to fence, she decided the speed. Because of this a few poles came down!
Day 2 and with a change of bit on Roxie I now had control.....a snaffle just wasn't enough when she hasn't been out competing for almost 3 months clearly?! Roxie was jumping in the main ring today and she liked it in there and jumped a super speedy double clear to finish in 8th place in the 90cm Open out of 100+ entries!
Milli was next jumping in the 1m Open class and lets just say Milli had a temper tantrum during her round! She can do this from time to time and become rather tricky and very cheeky! We came out, jumped a few jumps in the warm up and then went for a nice hack around the show ground and decided to leave it there for the day and start again tomorrow.
The next day Roxie was jumping her usual class and I decided to drop Milli down and jumped her in the discovery as well so she could have a confidence boosting round. They both jumped two great rounds to finish in 9th and 10th place.......I won't tell Roxie that Milli beat her though!
Day 4 and for the first time we got to have a bit of a lie-in as neither horse was jumping until after lunch. Roxie was first to go in the 95cm Open and she jumped a nice round but unfortunately had the last fence down after we did an incredibly tight 'pony' type turn and jumped the last on a very acute angle which was a same as she was very speedy! Roxie just jumped the one class on day 4 as she was starting to feel a little tired.
Milli was next and she rubbed a few poles for 8 faults in the discovery, she was rushing slightly against my contact and not really respecting the fences that much as they were smaller than what she has been jumping. After a few months jumping in a hackamore I was jumping her back in a bit which seemed to help but she was a bit argumentative over the contact. Persevering with this new way of riding we jumped in the next class, the 1.05m Open and she jumped a really lovely double clear. With cutting a few corners in the jump off section of the class we managed to pick up quite a speedy time too and finished in 4th place!
On to our final day now.....how times flies when your having fun!? As we were travelling back Monday afternoon I decided to only jump them both in the first class in the main arena so we could be on the road and heading home soon after lunch so we weren't back too late. Roxie was first and she does love jumping in the main arena there, she's a real show off!! Roxie jumped a lovely round but unfortunately we did pick up 8 faults. The faults didn't reflect the round she jumped the whole course in a lovely rhythm and did great turns, just with the fences being a bit bigger than what she usually jumps and her being a bit tired after the week away she just tapped two fences.
Milli was next and after how well she jumped in the 1.05m Open the day before I was hoping for a good round to end the show on. She felt great warming up despite the fact it was day 5 of jumping! We went in and Milli jumped a super round but just got a bit careless behind at fence 2 so we finished on 4 faults. After she had this I knew we had missed out on a placing as there was so many in the class so I thought I'd test her a little bit and she responded well and jumped a very quick jump-off part of the course so had she picked her tootsies up at fence 2 we could have had a top placing!
Despite it being a bank holiday Monday we only had one slight delay with traffic on the M6 during our drive home which was lucky and the journey took us just over 4 hours. As we had got home early evening and the sun was out Roxie and Milli got to have a bit of time in the field which they really appreciated. Diaz was certainly pleased to see us get home - hopefully she will be there with us at our next stay away show!
Although it wasn't the best results on paper, I was very pleased with how they both jumped and we learnt a lot which is always important. Due to all the fitness training I have been doing before Weston Lawns, we had only been out to one SJ competition and that was the second weekend of January so we were a little out of practice. With the horses feeling fresh and excited to be out jumping again and me not feeling 100% as I was still incredibly tired plus a bit sore and stiff from my marathon run two days before we left, I was pleased with how we got on.....roll on the next!!
For more images as well as a video of our rounds whilst we were away please click on the following links to be taken to the various Gallery pages:
Up next we have second round qualifiers with Roxie competing in the British Novice and Milli in the Discovery so fingers crossed for them both at these during May. Then as we approach the summer months I'm already looking for our next stay away show :)
Until next time,
Well, I don't know about having fun but surprisingly enough, despite the pain I have been in at times, I am quite enjoying this running training I am currently doing. For those of you who may not be aware I am currently training to run the Brighton Marathon on the 9th April 2017 - less than 4 weeks to go!! I am fund raising for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust.
This is a trust very close to my heart as without their fantastic service just over 7 years ago I wouldn't be here today! They saved my life following a horrendous car crash. After stabilising me, I was air lifted to The Royal London Hospital where it was touch and go for the first few days, but being the determined individual I am and with thanks to a few lucky stars I am here to tell the tale, not that I can tell much of it as luckily I don't remember exactly what happened.
Following the accident things were very tough indeed, it took me quite a while to come to terms with the person I had become, the broken bones would heal over time but dependant on severity, it isn't as easy to recover when you have suffered severe head trauma. Once I'd accepted this was me and I'd been given a bit of a second chance as it were I decided I wanted to raise funds towards this life saving charity. Last year I did a 5KM colour run and raised over £500! I was happy with this but thought I could do better for them.....
The KSS Air Ambulance Trust offered me a charity space to take part in the Brighton Marathon, after much consideration I decided to give it a go as I have always wanted to run a marathon. I used to do a lot of running when I was younger but following my accident it is something that I have done very little off purely due to the pain I have been and at times, am still in following the multiple broken bones sustained in the car crash. Thinking positive though, my training has been going well and I am starting to believe that I could actually cross that finish line in Brighton after the full 26.2 miles! I have my last 'long run' before race day this weekend and I'm aiming to do a 20 mile run and then will keep myself ticking over with shorter runs the last few weeks leading up to race day!
For those of you reading this and are willing to sponsor me to help me reach my fund raising goal of £1,000.00 please click on the following link to donate to this life saving charity:
Most of us know of someone who has been helped by this amazing charity and as they are not part of the NHS and funded almost entirely by voluntary donations, the saying 'every little helps' really does apply here!! You never know when their services may be needed, either for yourself, friends and /or family, so please dig deep....any donation is greatly appreciated!
Particularly us #horseypeople all understand how much charities like this help us and it is always reassuring to know they are there to help when needed. Parts of some competition venues can't be accessed by cars so an ambulance would struggle to get to you, for instance, a fall on a XC course. An air ambulance trust such as the KSSAAT would be able to get to you and not only treat you on site but also ensure you get to the best possible place for treatment as quickly and safely as possible.
With regards to the horses, my 3 girls have been enjoying a bit of quiet time over the last few weeks. They have been kept fit but with the weather being so horrible at the end of January and through February I have just kept them ticking over. Although this has allowed me to concentrate on my running training and fitness, I have to say we are getting very 'itchy feet' now as we haven't been to a competition for more than 8 weeks!
Roxie and Milli are feeling very well and if anything I think a bit of quiet time has done them the world of good! Diaz has been doing the odd bit, some long walks out hacking and I'm looking forward to having a bit more time to really crack on with her and get her back out competing.
I'm hoping to get Roxie and Milli out to at least one jumping competition before I run the marathon as the Wednesday after the marathon (the 12th April) we are packing up for a weekend away! We are heading to Weston Lawns for their Easter Extravaganza show which I am very much looking forward to.....not so much the long drive there as I think my legs are most likely to still be hurting, but at least once we are their it will be a bit of a mini holiday for me :) It will be just Roxie and Milli going away for this one but hopefully Diaz will be fit and ready to join us at the next one! My sister is coming with two of here horses as well so it will be a bit of a family outing that's for sure!
I would like to say a big, big thank you to all of you who very kindly donate and sponsor my marathon run.....I'm looking forward to crossing the finish line after the last few months of training that's for sure!
***Keep Calm & Canter On***
After having a rather quiet December without any competitions before Christmas due to me obtaining a running injury! I got a stress fracture in one of the bone in my big toe, which doesn't sound like much but it was rather painful. Whilst I am on the subject of running, this injury was sustained two weeks in to my training for my next challenge....and it's not horse related. I am running the Brighton Marathon in April this year and I am fundraising for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance trust after they saved my life back in 2010. I am now back in the full swing of things with my training and as strange as it may sound, I am actually quite enjoying it!
Anyway, back to the horses and we have got our 2017 competition season off to a good start......last Saturday we headed to Blue Barn Equestrian Centre for their first British Showjumping show of the year. I wasn't sure how many people would have braved the cold to go, I have to admit I was a little undecided after the bit of snow we had but on my way to the yard that morning I had a little drive around and the roads seemed fine and the sun was out for a change so I wanted to make the most of it!
On arrival we had missed the British Novice / 95cm class so Roxie went straight into the Discovery. I am chasing double clears before the April cut off so I wasn't planning to go too fast or do any silly turns. Roxie, however had other ideas! Having not been out for 5-6 weeks she thought it was all very exciting and I was just a passenger guiding her round the course, and hanging on of course! Roxie jumped a lovely double clear so I think we only have one left to get now and due to her being 'miss speedy' we finished in 2nd place too.
Milli was next and she was jumping just as well. I am in a similar situation with Milli as I am with Roxie, except Milli has her Discovery double clears but we are chasing for our last Newcomers one before April 2017. Milli too was very excited to be back out competing after a few quiet weeks and as she has done so many times before, there was lots of acrobatic moves performed in the warm-up.....next strap at the ready! We went in and Milli jumped a cracking round and after her antics in the warm-up she behaved and listened to me! I didn't do any silly turns but Milli travels naturally quite forward so with jumping a double clear we finished in 3rd place.
I was very pleased with how well they both jumped, we picked up two more double clears and the placings and prize money are always an added bonus! Fingers crossed we have started the year as we mean to go on......
To check out our results please Click Here and to view pictures as well as videos of our rounds please click on the following links to the Gallery pages:
* Roxie *
* Milli *
Until next time,
I can't believe it is December next week.....where has 2016 gone?! It won't be long until I start writing my review blog of 2016 and although it doesn't feel that long since I wrote my last one, there has been a lot that has happened so I'm hoping it will be a good read!
Back to last weekend and I was out with both Roxie and Milli jumping at Blue Barn Equestrian Centre. With Roxie jumping the first two classes and Milli jumping later in the day I knew it was going to be a long day! Entries were big with 45+ in the first class and 30+ in the second class!
Roxie was on top form, even though she was feeling rather fresh and slightly mad, she jumped brilliantly again! Roxie jumped two lovely double clears in the 90cm Open and the Discovery. She not only won the 90cm Open but she also won the Discovery class as well! In the Discovery we finished a mighty 6 seconds ahead of 2nd place, which coincidentally was Milli! Roxie has picked up 2 double clear now, just two to go for Discovery second rounds. Think she is loving all this jumping.
Talking of Milli, as mentioned a moment ago she finished 2nd in the Discovery jumping a nice double clear, which I think means we have now picked up all four double clears so roll on the second rounds in after April next year! Milli then a little gap before the next class as after she has been jumping so well in training I'm now aiming to jump some bigger tracks with her.
After missing a class it was the Newcomers and Milli jumped a super round but unfortunately we did pick up 4 faults at the smallest fence on the course! Because of this I decided to jump Milli in the 1.15m Open, which although not huge, is the biggest we have jumped affiliated before! At nearly 4pm, after being there since first thing I offered to help set the course and along with the fantastic helper who was with me, Rylea, we moved the fence numbers so you would have thought I would know the course well?!
Unfortunately that wasn't the case and after jumping fence 9, which was the first fence of the jump off and was also fence 1, I continued on the dog leg towards fence 2, only to realise at the last minute that fence 10 was to the left of fence 2! I had to circle round to re-approach fence 10 which upset Milli a little causing us to have an unlucky fence down! I was very frustrated with myself and felt like I let her down as I'm sure she would have jumped clear without my mistake! As they say, we all learn from our mistakes......remember the course!! #sackthejockey
Please Click Here to view more pictures and a video of Roxie's winning rounds.
Please Click Here to view more pictures and a video of Milli's super rounds.
I am so pleased with how well Roxie and Milli are both going and we're not slowing down just yet, we still have a few competitions planned before Christmas for them both as well as some between Christmas and New Year! After these competitions and the festive period I think they will be having a small well earned rest! I have been back on Diaz again and it felt great to be sat behind her fluffy little ears again! Lack of daylight hours isn't in our favour at this time of year but I have a few days off work over the next few weeks so looking forward to getting as much riding in as possible.
After a few busy weekends competing we are having a nice and quiet weekend at home! Although the horses will be having a nice weekend, with the festive period fast approaching I suppose I'd better start my Christmas shopping.....wish me luck!
***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!