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Sunday, 30 September 2018

September Round Up

Well, this is how Louie started September... 🙈

Over September we've been up to everything we possibly could. We've been out & about exploring the countryside - on our own, with Andrew cycling along, and with old friends who came to visit. We've had flatwork training sessions, dressage competitions and showjumping training sessions, as well as increasing our showjumping homework, both at home and hiring venues local to us.

Focusing on our showjumping development

Since starting to jumping again after Louie's injury earlier in the summer, we've taken things slowly to build his confidence up & get me back into the swing of things, we've had a few hiccups along the way, but overall things are moving in the right direction.

We've kindly been able to borrow a couple of white planks from Philippa for using & practising at home. We have been making sure that that we have put them to good use a couple of times each week including them as trot & canter poles, in our jumps and adding them in when we have been lunging.

But it's not only at home & with Philippa that we've been working hard on our showjumping training this month. We've taken the opportunity to hire a few local venues to not only work on our technique, rhythm and confidence, but also to get Louie out & about and seeing more.

Over the next few months, we're hoping to really grow Louie's confidence & my own belief in our ability together.

Continuing to improve our flatwork & dressage performance

This month, I've been lucky enough to enjoy (& be put through my paces) two training sessions with Cathy - one fairly early in the month, and another just yesterday. Unfortunately, due to Andrew's work schedule & then the Ryder Cup, there's no photos or videos this month. However, both were very productive but also very different sessions.

Starting with the one at the start of the month, we worked on bringing Louie's poll up and out, and trying to get a little more length to his neck when in a higher frame. We also worked on creating better lateral suppleness and driving the engine forward & up into the frame.

Our latest session, just yesterday, I explained to Cathy how I'd felt after our last dressage competition at West Park Arena - a good day on paper but how it left me feeling a little flat and nonplussed. Cathy worked me through not focusing on everything that I don't get right at a competition, but instead look at what I can do at home and how that can equip me better at competitions. So we worked on how to get Louie out of his default - curling up and dropping behind the contact. While this often isn't an issue in the warm up, he tends to dip behind the contact and leg when entering the arena. We worked on a couple of tactics to help get out of this way of going should it arise.

By the end of the session, I felt much better and could really feel the difference the techniques made to how quickly & easily I could get Louie back in front of me. 

Although I was left feeling a little flat after the last competition, I was able to look back at the same test from the same venue with nine months difference and could really see our improvements. A really strong reflective exercise to help drive our motivation to grow & develop over the winter months.

Exploring the Northumberland countryside from the best seat...

Anyone who follows us regularly, will know that we love a break away from the arena and a gentle stroll around the tracks and fields that surround us. We're often out for a couple of hours and I find it a great way to unwind and just enjoy some time with Louie. Recently, Andrew's started to join us, cycling along with us. It's great to show him all of the great places our adventures take us on.

During a few days off, an old friend who we haven't seen for a long time came down to our yard to enjoy a lovely long ride out with us... & a good natter too!! It was great to have good company, enjoying a few canters across the stubble fields, negotiating fallen fir trees and just plodding along without a single car in sight!! 👌

Becoming a brand ambassador

Early into September I was delighted to discover we had been selected to join Team Boudica, along with their existing ambassador Wiola from Aspire Equestrian & three new brand associates too!

Boudica Equestrian launched earlier this year and offer stylish yet affordable equestrian and leisure wear from a range of brands, including Montar, Chillout, HiHo Silver, Equetech and SuperXcountry.

I'm super proud to be part of the team and look forward to bringing you all the the latest products in the market! Plus, all of my visitors and followers can save 10% on all orders, and if you're in the UK, it's FREE delivery too!! Head over to our brand ambassador for Boudica Equestrian post to find out more!

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