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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Riding Club Team Success!

As TTE keep mentioning, it is difficult to keep motivated on the long, dark winter evenings, especially when working on the basics, as well as the new things.

Someone on our yard found out about a local riding club that had been looking for teams to represent it in a winter league and really raise its profile - Bedlington, Blyth & District.

Although the club had been around for a number of years, there hadn't been much activity in recent years, and the committee was looking to change this. This year alone they have run a series of local competitions, with a high number of entrants, they've run training sessions, social events, as well as increasing their member base.

We thought it would be a great opportunity to be part of a team, and it would really help keep motivation through the winter. Great news came when we'd made it onto their team with three other members - Team Shooting Stars!

This Sunday was our first event, when we ventured down Durham, along with the other members (& many others for support) to represent the club in a Winter League - this was the show jumping leg.

There were 23 other senior teams there, from all over the area - as far south as Yarm, up to the Borders & as far west as Cumbria!

Thomas and I were first up. We warmed up nicely, and had a positive round, just clipping 3 as we went. However, our second round a little later proved much more successful, just having an unlucky knock for 4 faults, but finishing with one of the fastest times in the seniors!

The best part of the day was when we all realised we'd come a very respectable SECOND PLACE!! The club was thrilled to bit and is looking forward to entering the team into many more legs of the winter league.

Here's a few shots from the day:

To find out more details on the Bedlington, Blyth & District riding club, you can visit: BBDRC Website

Monday, 12 November 2012

13.5 Miles & 27MPH!

This weekend we'd decided to take advantage of the beautiful, crisp November weather, and go with a friend on a nice long ride.

Arriving early at about 8.45am, we tacked up and set off on our adventure - not really 100% sure where to go, but we had our iphone, and made full use of Google maps...

Based just next to Plessey Woods, we rode out and around the woods, and headed on the road towards Morpeth, turning off early up a Bridleway we spotted to bring us out by Nedderton. Following another Bridleway we've used before, we carried on, before turning onto our new route towards Choppington Woods.

This was all new. We knew there was a 'path' all the way there, but we weren't 100% sure if it was to be a footpath or a bridlepath...

We followed it and although meeting a few bolted gates, that meant we had to find alternative ways around, we got out to the main road in Choppington! Thankfully it wasn't too busy, and we only had to go about a mile.

Taking a sharp right off the road and into the woods we went!! It was great fun, picking our way through a permissive Bridleway, winding in amongst the trees - the alpine was a lovely smell with the sunshine coming through. It definitely made the 1.5hrs in saddle so far worth it!

We found a loop around the woods, and although at one point we unfortunately got cut off by the route turning into a footpath, it was a lovely ride through a new woods.

We found our way back to the road, and time definitely passed quicker on the way back, knowing where we were going!!

Overall, the ride was 13.5 miles, we had an average speed of 4.6mph, with a top speed of 27.3mph when we raced back up the hill on the way home!

If you're interested, here's the ride:

Unfortunately, we didn't get any photos, but we hope to go on another long ride this weekend coming, so we'll be sure to take some then!!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The First Winter Dressage

On Sunday (4th Nov), local unaffiliated dressage was the first thing that Thomas and I had done since our last event at the start of October (Askham Bryan). We've been out hacking and been in the school as many time as I can count on one hand... So really just been having an easy time of it recently!

TTE were getting a little bored at home, and now it is dark on an evening, we feel we need things to aim at. We entered some unaffiliated dressage, doing prelim 13 and 14....

With the way that the classes ran, we did P14 first. Thomas warmed up like a dream, really trying and working lovely in the hand and off the leg:

We went into the main arena, and although Thomas was a little tired from a good warm up we came 4th with 65%!! There was 30 in the class, so we was thrilled!

The second test we were asked to follow straight into the warm-up and go after those there if possible. I wish really I'd given Thomas a rest, but next time I'll know. By the time the test came, Thomas was a little tired and really he is only used to doing one test! We missed a canter transition, Thomas just didn't seem to know what was asked, but I can soon forgive him - he can't be perfect all the time!! 

Here's the video of the first test - P14:

We're all very pleased with this first winter competition outing, and plan to do many more throughout the colder months. Keep following us for updates and to see how we're getting on!

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