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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.

My old saddles for Thomas were beautiful made to measure Harry Dabbs - one jumping and one dressage, so I was pleased that it was another custom Harry Dabbs that we've ended up with. It's a little jump mono saddle, with less forward cut points at the front, while still having plenty of room for your leg in an jumping or cross country position. I love it!!

(If anyone out there would like an almost as new beautiful dressage saddle, let me know!)

So, we were back in the saddle! The benefits of the lunge work that I'd mentioned in my July Round Up was just as obvious under saddle too & Louie moved so much more freely in this saddle. It also seems to put my lower legs in a better position and allow it to be more stable.

A non-horsey weekend

My mum stayed with us the first weekend in August, so after a couple of quick & light schooling sessions, I was able to enjoy time with her (something fairly rare!), & it was great to be able to take her up to the Scottish borders to watch Hendersyde Park Horse Trials - one of my favourites from when I did event. I also caught up with an old livery and saw her see an amazing result on a brand new horse, doing a bigger class and being back out and out!

But we couldn't sit back and just enjoy it too much, we needed to make sure we put in plenty of practice for the upcoming Championships at the end of the month. & it wasn't just Louie and I who were getting ready - Andrew was working hard to make the horsebox spic & span & looking shiny. Admittedly, he is VERY good at this, and is now even better at cleaning the horsebox with the help of AM Details' product kit! Andrew even did his first blog on getting the horsebox show ready...

A couple of local dressage competitions to get back into it!

I'd planned to enter two competitions to put us back on track and give Louie a reminder of what a dressage arena away from home looked like...!! Unfortunately, I was near to the closing date for our first at Leamside meaning I was only able to get in one of the classes. Still, it would be good to get Louie back into the routine of being bathed, plaited and into the arena... It wasn't the most straight forward day, but ultimately we had a good day out and remained calm throughout!

Take a flick through my Dressage at Leamside Equestrian post if you missed how we got on.

A week later, we headed to Lane Farm Equestrian, about 15 minutes away from our yard. It was an obedient test, but I felt feeling REALLY disappointed - I just didn't ride my test, simply navigated. While we got a decent score, I felt it was distinctly average!

However, in between Leamside and Lane Farm, we'd had a flatwork session with Cathy which I took a lot away from...including a lesson about channelling my frustrations! But I left with some really good bits of homework, and had a real AH-HA moment a few days later when practising what Cathy had said with Louie - these moments really are worth the hard work!!

I sent Cathy the video of my test at Lane Farm (along with all my negative comments, pulling it apart) & it was really positive and encouraging to hear back that she could see I'd done the homework that week and helped the contact and outline that we'd been working on!

Receiving & giving Blogger Recognition Award nominations

During August, I was also delighted to be nominated for a Blogger Recognition Award by two other great equestrian bloggers - Heather Wallace at Bridle & Bone and Roosa Ratanen over on Roosa's Horsey Life. I went on to nominate a further 15, so if you're looking for some other fantastic equestrian bloggers to follow, take a read!

British Riding Clubs Northern Championships

At the end of the month, over the August bank holiday weekend, we were heading to Bishop Burton for the BRC Northern Championships. It was Louie's first sleepover party, and as he isn't exactly the easiest horse to manage in the stable at home, I was concerned that he wouldn't settle - with everyone coming and going, feeding, being in a different routine, etc...

I really shouldn't have worried - he settled so well! We enjoyed a quick school and a hack around the campus the night before the competition. While the test was not, by far, our best test, Louie & I have never done a Championship in a dressed arena with lots going on around, so I was super proud of finishing my test. Now, I just need to put up LOTS of spooky things at home to start getting him used to them!

Make sure you read our full blog post of the Championships to see it from start to finish!

Saying goodbye to summer and hello to autumn

As the 31st August marked time for us to officially say goodbye to summer, we enjoyed an evening stroll across the many gorgeous golden stubble fields. Make sure you're following us on Instagram for our daily stories and pics of our adventures! 

A post shared by Sophie Tunnah (@sophietunnah) on

(Don't worry, we're holding onto summer for as long as we can really...!)

As we head into September...

So, as we head into September, what's our plans? Well, simply to have a good time, enjoy my horse, and stop worrying about everything all the time! After I'd done my test at Bishop Burton, I thought FAR too much about how I was ever going to get Louie used to these environments and found myself in a bit of a pickle about it very quickly. Almost to the point of spoiling my day... But as usual, Cathy reviewed my test, and without ignoring the areas that needed work, she & I came up with a desensitising plan! So the motto now is to stop worrying, & as Philippa always says 'control the controllables'...

Don't forget to pin the post!


  1. Another fun-filled month! I love your recaps, they always make me feel like an underachiever. And thanks for the shout out!

    1. Ahh you're not underachieving anything - everyone has their own goals and pace. We just seem to be doing SO much at the moment!! :)


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