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Friday, 29 September 2017

Blogger Review: Horse Addict

First up, what a great concept by Mathilde from Passion For Horse for all the members of the Equestrian Bloggers Facebook group to review a blog, and tell our audiences why we think they have such a great blog!! In short the concept puts all the blogs into the mix, and draw one for you to review, meaning that everyone is review and also gets the chance to make their own review of another too...

I was drawn to review Anne Leueen and her blog Horse Addict. This is a fairly new blogger for me to follow, and I discovered it when Anne post her introduction to the group on Facebook. Anne has something similar to me in that she gave up her love of riding when she went to university - fortunately for me, I managed to get back into it right afterwards, whereas Anne started back up at 50. Today, Anne enjoys dressage with her ginger Hanoverian gelding, Biasini!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Q&A with Diary of a Wimpy Eventer & Allstar Academy pupil, Victoria Brant!

Earlier this year, we all tuned into Horse & Country TV to enjoy the second series of the Blue Chip Allstar Academy! The first series provided some great viewing, enjoying watching the riders and horses being put through their paces both under saddle and on the ground...

Just before the series kicked off, we were lucky enough to catch up with Tina Wallace who was about to feature on the show with her horse, Banksy. But also starring on the show was Victoria Brant, who most of you will know from her ever popular Facebook page and blog, Diary of a Wimpy Eventer.

I started following Victoria on Facebook long before the show, and always enjoyed reading her updates. One thing that always struck me about her was her get up and go, positive outlook on pretty much everything... Since the show, Victoria has been able to leave her marketing 9-5 job, setting up on her own as a consultant, as well as launching her own books prior to the show!!

I felt Victoria was someone that most people could complete relate to - I'm a bit of a wimpy eventer myself, always on the hunt for a pair of brave pants that will fit... I also work in marketing, and have often pondered how & when you know you have the support to get up and turn your 9-5 employment into your own business. I also try to always keep my blog content very real to who I am, being honest and genuine in my posts which is something that I think Victoria has stayed true to throughout her impressive recent growth.

So sit back, grab a cuppa and enjoy our quick catch up with the fantastically positive, Victoria Brant!!

Monday, 25 September 2017

September's Equestrian Blog Hop

During August, Heather Wallace of Bridle & Bone introduced the idea of a blog hop to the Equestrian Bloggers Facebook group, and I'm pleased to be taking part in the first ever one!!

What is a blog hop?

In very simple terms, it is a group of bloggers who all post at the same time on the same topic, all with completely unique perspectives. Using a linky list, visitors can literally hop from one blog to another, discovering new content, new bloggers and new opinions along the way. So make sure you check out all of the great bloggers that are choosing to take part this month - their links can be found at the bottom of this post.

September's Topic: Why Did I Start Blogging?

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Friday, 22 September 2017

A Positive Spin on the Autumn Equinox

Today marks the Autumn Equinox, which you're all probably more than aware of!

So why am I blogging about it? Well, I think one thing that all equestrians have in common is the dreaded 'w' word, as well as the mornings & evenings getting darker.

It's only last week that Louie & I were enjoying hacks out until 7.30/8pm, and that it was light enough at 6.20am to take him up to the field. This week, I'm struggling to fit an hours hack in on an evening and Louie is waiting to out on a morning until after I've mucked out.

But don't get too depressed about those cold, dark nights drawing in! Instead, look at it this way!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Quickfire Q&A with Samantha Hobden, founder of Hay-Net.co.uk

Many equestrian bloggers will already be familiar with Hay-Net.co.uk, but it's not only for bloggers. Anyone interested in finding out the latest news, top blog and product reviews can head over to the site for a daily round up of all that's going on in the equestrian blogging world.

I first started using Hay-Net.co.uk about 18 months ago, both as a way to share my blog post, but to also discover other equestrian bloggers from around the world with all sort of different interests in all things equestrian. Today, the site has branched out a little further into the countryside living, recently awarding Sophie in the Sticks as Country Style Blogger of the Year 2017.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Equine Physio & Rider Balance with Lee Clark

I'm a big believer in equine physio sessions. Some people aren't and ask why I have a session for Louie every 6 months when I don't do the same for me. My answer is simple - Louie can't tell me his aches and when he's a bit stiff or sore. We all know that muscle ache feel that we get when we've gone a harder session in the gym, or when we've used a muscle we don't usually...

So for me, equine physio is as important as the farrier and vets visits, and has long been a part of the routine of having a horse.

Louie last had his physio in December, so mid summer he was due, but without a correctly fitting saddle, I decided to wait to make my appointment. My physio is also trained to treat humans, and runs Rider Balance session, looking at the way a rider sits and rides their horses. It also considers the saddle fit on your horse too. I booked in for both.

Monday morning, Lee Clark arrived bright and early at the yard. I've used Lee for about 8 years now, and think his attitude to his work is second to none. Not only do I see on his Facebook page that he's somewhere in the world giving lectures or attending lectures to learn new techniques and research, but he is always very good at explaining the points he makes. He's very thorough and almost methodical in his approach to the horse and its treatment.

Equine Physio Assessment

We started with a basic assessment of Louie in the stable, standing on hard and a walk & trot up on the hard ground. Lee uses an app that records the trot ups and allows him to watch back in slow motion, as well as adding graphics, lines and such like to show the gradients and movement of your horse.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Blogger's Corner: Boost Your Traffic with Pinterest

Whatever you read online about how to boost traffic to your blog, Pinterest has a high chance of being mentioned as a top source. I've give the social sharing site a good go, trying different tips & technique to try to see how I could drive more traffic from it. You'll notice that ALL of my posts in the last couple of months have Pinterest friendly images, I joined a couple of niche group boards as well as broader blogging boards...but nothing translated into traffic from Pinterest.

Then, Lindsey Rains, from Hoof Print Marketing, popped up in my equestrian blogger Facebook group saying how valuable Pinterest is for her traffic. I immediately wanted to pick her brain and steal all her knowledge to make all my efforts translate. But, instead and better than that, Lindsey agreed to a guest post for my Blogger's Corner series focused all on how she has made the illusive Pinterest traffic come to her!

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Turning our hooves to a bit of showing...

I've definitely never been inspired to have a showing career with any of the horses that I've had, and while I've had a super duper day out on Louie this morning, I'm still not inspired to do so... Sorry to all you showing fanatics out there!! 😬

I've given it a go twice before - once after about 6 months when I first got back into riding with a little loan black mare, and the other when I gave Thomas a bit of a break from eventing in the middle of summer. While I always have had all more horses super shiny when going out competing, I really have felt the pressure of not only a clean horse but also keeping myself clean and my tack clean.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Back in the saddle to showjump

Just a quick update from us today (we need to be up bright & early tomorrow to have a go at showing!)...but today, we got back in the saddle to start some showjumping training. The last time we did, things didn't go totally to plans due to Louie's saddle having become somewhat too tight behind his shoulders.

Friday, 1 September 2017

August Round Up

WOW - where did the last month of summer disappear to!?

August started VERY well and with something very exciting... A new saddle for Louie & I. Louie's had a big growth boom this summer, growing in height as well as finally bulking out (he no longer has two front legs that come from one hole!!) The downside to this has been that rather abruptly, we realised his saddle was far too narrow for his now fairly sizeable shoulders... Louie started behaving quite odd in the right canter, and upon changing to a saddle, less forward cut saddle, the issue was massively reduced.
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