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Thursday, 6 April 2017

March Round Up

WOW! Well March seemed to fly past… & of course, ended on the BRILLIANT high of the clocks going forward – Spring has finally arrived!

Louie had his MOT in February, and in between a couple of visits from the vets, saddle fitter and physio, we spent a few weeks lunging. I’m a big advocate as to the benefits of lunging, seeing the way in which it has helped Louie develop and build up his muscles without the interference of a rider. Some people don’t see the purpose, but with the correct use of the appropriate aid for your horse, it’s a good exercise to support your overall plans.

Mid-March we were back to it – enjoying being back onboard and Louie was feeling fab!

It had been weeks since we’d been on a hack around the countryside, so at the first opportunity (the weekend), we ventured out on a GLORIOUSLY sunny spring morning – we got a real feel of spring fever that morning!

The next weekend was a super busy one – with Bedmax’s Inspire with Yogi Breisner demonstration on the Saturday, and our private lesson on the Sunday. But who can complain when that’s what your weekend consists of!!

We did our first ever social media takeover as a volunteer for Northumberland Sport – live tweeting and doing a couple of updates on Facebook too. I enjoyed doing it, and a discipline that my day job has taught me is to fully understand a tone of voice and persona, while interjecting your own style into it. I feel like I struck the balance, and overall the activity did well for them, so everyone was pleased!

Image credit: Stevie Purves
One thing that Philippa had suggested in our last lesson, and Yogi also supported, was to try as soft a bit as possible for Louie to help him gain confidence and want to take a stronger forward contact. Louie is very happy on a contact that’s the same weight as a feather which makes it difficult when I need him to take more of the bridle.

So, we got a new bit – a super bendy, rubber, mullen mouth piece loose ring. So far, it is working a treat – Louie is taking more of a contact when I’m pushing him into it, becoming longer in his frame & it means when he does get a bit excited, he doesn’t take offence to a harder half halt!

We first tried the bit in our first showjumping lesson in just over two months!! It was very unusual to feel such a firm contact from Louie – it’s something that will take a bit of time to get used to, but really a few weeks on, I much prefer the feeling. You can see how our lesson went in our March showjumping lesson post!

That night…the clocks jumped forward! HOORAY!

We didn’t even blink at the thought of missing an hour in bed, waking up bright & early, and enjoying a sunny hack out with another horse on the yard.

Throughout the week, as it was mostly still dark at 6.15pm ish, we’ve been in the school, working with the new bit, working on my position corrections that Yogi highlighted, & generally enjoying ridden life again, although I do continue to lunge Louie with the Kavalkade every 7-10 days.

Of course, our blog was fairly hectic too in March as we ran our A-Z of Everyday Equestrian. This is an idea I’d had for many months, but never found the time to plan the content and consider a post update and social media content every day for 26 days… Sounds easy? It took up a lot of time, and I suppose I was fortunate in one way that it took place during Louie’s downtime! If you haven’t already read it, head over and take a look – there will be a lot of familiar items, I’m sure! 😊

What’s planned for April?

RIDING IN THE LIGHT ON AN EVENING!!! (OK, so we’ve established the clocks went forward)

We’ve already done a few days of April, enjoying a pleasure ride around Hulne Park, Alnwick, Northumberland.

On top of that, we’re hoping to get back out to more lessons and competitions, enjoying relaxing hacks on an evening after a tough day in the office instead of schooling, and perhaps some cross country schooling, depending of course on the good old British weather to keep the ground good!

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