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Tuesday, 3 December 2019

MAJOR MILESTONE! British Showjumping at Morris Equestrian Centre

WHAT A WEEKEND!! I have firmly ticked off a major milestone from my list of goals, ambitions and hopes…enjoying a long weekend at Morris Equestrian Centre competing in British Showjumping classes! I really hope that many of you now reading this have followed mine & Louie’s journey over the last four years, because you’ll instantly know how much this means to achieve this. For anyone who hasn’t, it’s a great showcase of what hard work, dedication and patience can lead you onto achieve.

It’s a long one folks, so make sure you’ve a good brew in a cosy spot to enjoy the full write up of our weekend away!

Monday, 2 December 2019

November Round Up

WOW! I think November has been my favourite month of the year…in fact, IT IS! Despite all the rain with many fields, yards and arenas flooding, as well as some icy mornings thrown into the mix, I cannot believe what we’ve achieved in November. So here it is…our monthly round-up! Sit back and enjoy the month with us!

If you remember back to our October round-up, you’ll know Louie came back from his mini holiday in an almost totally different mind with his showjumping. I did too. I suddenly discovered a newfound confidence (& determination) for jumping. So at the start of the month, we’d entered into a really welcoming low key local jumping competition. The format was typical of showjumping – it’s called ‘Jump & Go’ and involves a group warm-up, before jumping one height as your first class, and then a bigger course next to it as the second. Anyway… I’d entered the 75cm and 85cm group. I knew the venue added fillers in at 70cm, so was confident it would give us some challenges in an environment that if all went a little astray, we’d have the help to resolve things and not simply be eliminated and leave the ring.

Monday, 25 November 2019

Showjumping Training - 24.11.19

After missing our showjumping training earlier this month due to a frozen arena, I was so excited to be going to another on Saturday. Sadly, the weather gods weren’t on our side AGAIN, bringing pouring rain to the northeast throughout the whole of Saturday. Literally, it didn’t even so much as turn to light rain from the moment I woke up until when I went to bed… Not much fun for outdoor showjumping!

Fortunately, I was able to find a space on a showjumping clinic the very next day at the same venue, but with a coach I’d not been to before. That’s always a little nerve-wracking as for the last four years, we’ve only been coached by Philippa, who knows us both inside out, and knows exactly how to get the best from us. Anyway, this coach was recommended by Philippa and I knew I was in safe hands by that alone.

Sunday’s weather was much better…as in, it didn’t rain. But it was still typically grey and damp, but at least there was no wind or rain. I’d decided to leave Louie in the stable, enjoying playing with his Silvermoor swinger until early afternoon when we headed out for our lesson.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

November's Dressage Exercise of the Month

It's the second post in our winter training series and this month we're going to focus on how to help you become in control of your horse's shoulders and hind, & we'll start off with a basic exercise to get you going! Later on in the post, I'll share with you our favourite exercises to put the basics into practice.

I'm going to apologise now - there's no pretty photos or diagrams for this. My artwork skills, unfortunately, don't extend that far!

Both of these turns can start to test your control of the shoulders (turn on the haunches) and quarters (turn on the forehand), and are a great way to tune up your horse's aid to move away from leg pressure. 

Some trainers will start with the turn on the forehand, however, I've always found this quite difficult when coming to a halt and moving the quarters over. I also believe it goes against the principles of training to maintain forward momentum in movements, therefore, I'm going to start with riding a turn on the haunches.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Dressage Competition Report - 17.11.19

I have to say in the week leading up to this competition, I wasn’t hugely enthused…It hasn’t stopped raining for what feels like weeks, with ground flooding all over, although I’ve seen MANY worse photos for fields, stable blocks and even houses, so I won’t complain too much! As it turned out, luck was on our side as it didn’t all day & we were even able to enjoy some blue sky and sunshine at some points…But that wasn’t all that was great about the day.

I’d had a bit of a shakey (to say the least!) training session with Cathy on Monday night. Anyone who follows us will have seen that not only is negativity banned, so is perfectionist Sophie also now not permitted at our winter training! I explained it all in my training update blog post, so have a read if you haven’t seen it already. However, the best thing I did was to watch the videos Andrew had taken during the session. Not only did I realise that the work we did go wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I thought it was during the session, but also Cathy repeatedly said to ‘stop speeding’ which I couldn’t grasp at all. I didn’t feel like we were going fast at all! Watching back, it was speedy at the start of the video and towards the end, when we remembered, it was a much steadier rhythm with good engagement and activity.

This was my goal for the competition – correct rhythm without losing the key ingredients of activity, engagement and impulsion.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Dressage Training Update - 11.11.19

Our first flatwork training session with Cathy since the start of September & our first one sat in our super lux new saddle... I was so excited & looking forward to it! Maybe that's where the problem started...

A message from the yard just after 2pm to let me know Louie had lost a front shoe. Great. I called the farrier who was struggling to get to us in time but could maybe have made it to the venue to knock one back on when we got there. On reflection, it seemed a bit pointless as Louie is due to shoeing the next night, and the flatwork was on a soft enough surface, so after a quick trot up on the yard concrete and seeing him not sore, I made the decision to go with three shoes.

I always like to arrive in good time, even when it's only training. I hate being in a rush and it also gives Louie a chance to have a munch on his haynet or on his alfa when we get there. Today was no different and we arrived about 30 minutes before our session. I hadn't yet realised but we turned up with someone completely unexpected & who never helps us complete a productive training session.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Managing a Horse that Has Previously Suffered with Equine Gastric Ulcers

The first thing to declare with this post is that it is all based entirely on my experience, and not on veterinary knowledge. It is therefore just one way to consider managing a horse that can be prone to equine gastric ulcers and is NOT the only way.

The next crucial declaration is that to my knowledge Louie's gastric ulcers were not the result of a stressful situation, or at least that was mine & the vet's conclusion. Instead, the conclusion was that as he was diagnosed in February, the more probable cause was a lower intake of grass, therefore a less 'full' stomach and an opportunity for the acid to come into contact with the lining of his stomach.

We published a blog post all about our story of equine gastric ulcers when Louie was first diagnosed if you've not seen it and want some context.

So what does that mean for my management of Louie's equine gastric ulcers?

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Showjumping Competition Report - 02.11.19

What a fantastic blog post to be writing!! I am beaming from ear to ear and feeling proud, happy, and like all the hard work is now starting to really pay off with things starting to come together! A few weeks ago, I entered a showjumping competition at a local venue, entering the 75cm & 85cm classes. I know, it's pretty unusual to pre-enter local unaffiliated showjumping, but this competition is run slightly differently to normal and is PERFECT for combinations who want to get out & about in a supportive environment.

For anyone who has followed our journey over the last few years, you'll probably be more than familiar with photos & videos from our training, but one thing you'll have spotted is a distinct lack of fillers, planks, and generally spooky fences. We're really struggled to get Louie's confidence over these fences, with many a time capturing on camera Louie's speedy decisions in the final stride to run in the opposite direction.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

October Round Up

On the one hand, October seems to have flown by in a heartbeat, but on the other hand, it seems a long time ago since I came back from holiday. As soon as I returned from holiday, I headed to Amsterdam for a few good days with my team at work. It was fun with an afternoon enjoying a treasure hunt around the city before coming to the office to plan our next 18 months.

The first job when I came home properly was to get Louie’s shoes put back on, which we did on 8th October. The next night I hopped onboard and headed into the arena for a light schooling session where we worked on a couple of suppling and bending exercises. He felt GREAT – lovely and loose.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Showjumping Training - 28.10.19

An unusual training blog update today as this one was from an arena hire without an instructor. Together with my regular showjumping trainer, Philippa McKeever, we've got a plan to get Louie & I out competing once and for all!

For anyone who knows Louie or has followed our journey, you'll be more than aware height isn't an issue. In that, I'm not saying we're capable of going out and jumping around 1.10m+ courses, or even single jumps for that matter. What has held us back is the 'stuff' underneath that top pole, whether it be a filler, a plank or something else, Louie's game until that last stride.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Dressage Competition Report - 26.10.19

Our first outing since mid-August! I can't believe it's been so long... For anyone who follows us on social media will have spotted that our Voltaire dressage saddle arrived last week. We'd given it a test drive at home on Monday and did another schooling session on Thursday, so it was extra exciting to give it its first competitive spin out!

I entered a local British Dressage at Alnwick Ford doing two Novices, both of which we've done a couple of times before and didn't present too much we needed to brush up on before we went - a few changes of canter leads through trot and a walk to canter transition.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

The History of Dressage

Did you know that dressage dates back to classical Greek horsemanship & that the earliest written work on how to train horses goes back as far as 430BC!? Dressage stems its roots stem from the military who worked to train their horses to perform specific movements to aid their intensions on the battlefield when evading or attacking the enemy.

Pioneers of Dressage in the Early Days

Ever heard of Xenophon? No I hadn’t either! Well Xenophon was a Greek Military Commander who is our earliest reference to written work relating to training specific & intelligent movements to horses, aptly it was named ‘On Horsemanship’.

Moving forward through time to the Renaissance period where equestrian pageants were a common event, military personnel would frequently include displays of highly trained horses for audiences to enjoy. Members of the military studied horsemanship in detail to help produce horses that made valuable assets as they headed into battles with their enemy. One of the most famous products of the military roots forming dressage as we know it today is the Imperial Spanish Riding School of Vienna, formed in 1572, whose training principles are recognised in the sport around the world.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

The Story of my Equestrian Blog

The journey started back in October 2012, after my first summer eventing with my then horse Thomas. I’d want to go eventing for a couple of years prior, but unfortunately could make it work, and so bought Thomas in May and enjoyed eventing August to October that year. I was very novice, just sticking at BE90’s, but I very much enjoyed the adventures of eventing that summer.

Winter was here before I knew it, and full of motivation I joined a local riding club and attended a couple of evening showjumping training sessions as well as attending a few area competitions. But I soon found that it was very easy to find an excuse not to ride on a dark, wet and cold winter evening if I didn’t have a competition at the upcoming weekend or a training session to attend. It also felt that I had a lifetime to make the improvements I wanted to before the start of the 2013 eventing season.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Progress begins where your comfort zone ends

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Toasty Toes in Davos Boots!

Anyone who knows me will know that come the coolers days in the autumn, there's nothing I love more than pulling on my UGGs to keep my feet toasty warm. I even have UGG slippers for at home! But one thing I really don't like is cold feet inside wellies or wet feet from wearing your trainers around the yard.

Well, this autumn I've found the perfect solution to keep my feet toasty warm all winter long, thanks to the lovely Laura at Boudica Equestrian & recommending the HKM Davos waterproof boots! Not only are they fur-lined, but they are also 100% waterproof.


Let's look a little closer at them because they have turned into my number one winter warmer item for down at the yard.

Friday, 18 October 2019

What Type of Clip To Give Your Horse This Winter

Images from horseandhound.co.uk

Now that we're in mid-October, most of us who work our horses throughout the winter are starting to think about clipping. I've pulled together a short post about what the best type of clip is to give your horse or pony this winter based on the workload your horse will have, what rugging you wish to use and whether your horse or pony will be stabled or turned out.

Remember the true reason we clip horses throughout the winter is not cosmetic but instead is to prevent our horses from staying wet from sweaty in colder conditions. You may therefore also see a variation of clips depending on where horses are based and the low temperatures that are expected throughout the winter months.

There are seven most commonly selected horse clips to select depending on your needs:

  • Full clip
  • Hunter clip
  • Blanket clip
  • Chaser clip
  • Tracer clip
  • Irish clip
  • Bib clip

So let's take a deeper look at each one to help you decide which one is most suitable for you this winter. Just a quick tip, if you're unsure between two, clip the one which leaves the most hair left on the horse. This way, if you discover it isn't enough and they are still far too sweaty, you can always clip more off...but you can never put it back on!

Thursday, 17 October 2019

2019 Equestrian Blogger / Vlogger of the Year Shortlist Announced

The news that we've all been waiting for is now out & features 11 fantastic bloggers and vlogger for you to follow if you don't already... Best of all, two of our long-standing favourite bloggers feature in the 2019 shortlist, both with creatively quirky names - No Bucking Way & The Sand Arena Ballerina!

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

October's Dressage Exercise of the Month

Let's face it, winter feels like it's going to last forever when it first arrives, and technically October isn't even winter! I find if I am super strict with planning my weekday evenings in the arena, complete with goals and objectives to each individual one, we're able to stay focused, motivated and feel like our goals coming out in the spring are achievable. 

Over the next six months, I'm going to share with you my favourite exercise each month for you, why we use them and how you can get going with them yourself! Mostly the exercises will be aimed at flatwork or polework, but I'll throw in the odd showjumping one too. Give them a go yourself and let me know how you get on...

Monday, 14 October 2019

Showjumping Training - 14.10.19

After a three week break, I hopped onboard Louie last week for a quick 20 suppling session in the school, clipped him out the next evening and enjoyed a hack on a Friday evening after a long week at work.

I’ve recently joined our local riding club, attracted mostly because of a great winter training schedule that they offer with a number of sessions taking place in an indoor arena not far from us. I can be a little cautious going to different trainers after so many years of using the same two (Cathy for flatwork and Philippa for jumping), but I wanted to make sure that this winter I committed to getting out and doing more to progress through the winter months. It’s too easy to just do a quick session at home, not really achieving much but ticking it off as a training session.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

OPINION: Dressage Judging

Over the last few months, I've seen more and more comments & posts in the various equestrian groups on Facebook showing videos of dressage test and asking opinion about the score, or making comments about being 'harshly marked', or that 'the judge just didn't like my horse'. Most recently in light of the Area Festival Finals, where competitors are seeing large differences between the three judges.

As I say, I've seen comments about dressage judging in many different groups across Facebook, but for the purpose of sharing my opinion on the topic, I'm only going to consider those made from affiliated competition. Not because this is more "important" but purely because are processes in place to standardise judging across the country from the grassroots levels, right up through to the top.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

September Round Up

Is it just me, or is 2019 flying past? It doesn’t seem five minutes ago since I was writing a post about my goals & ambitions for the year...and suddenly three quarters of the year has passed!

Still, they say time flies when you’re having fun, which is certainly true for us, and September’s been no exception. So kick back and enjoy our latest monthly round up blog to find out what we’ve been up to over the last month!

Friday, 20 September 2019

Instagram Competition: Winter Warmers Giveaway!

In the middle of September I reached a key milestone on our Instagram, seeing a fantastic 4,000 people following us! Having set a target of 1,500 at the start of the year, to sit here thinking I've managed to surpass that by more than double is very rewarding when I consider the hard work and efforts that I've put into my account this year...

To celebrate every single one of my amazing followers, I've teamed up with the fabulous Boudica Equestrian to create the perfect winter warmer giveaway package worth over £70! The prize includes a Mountain Horse tove hat, a Mountain Horse tove neck tube and a pair of the super cosy Davos boots, all in a colour of your choice!

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

OPINION: British Dressage Equine Influenza Rule

Isn't it great that we participate in a sport that is constantly assessing its rules, guideline and safety measures? I think so... However, I was recently surprised to see the high number of upset members of British Dressage over the introduction of six monthly boosters against Equine Influenza on the Facebook group (By the way, if you're into dressage in anyway, make sure you've joined the British Dressage group on Facebook - it's a really good discussion and support group)

At the start of 2019, there was an exceptionally high number of outbreaks of Equine Influenza, so much so that it made the national press. I had people in my office asking me about it who usually couldn't tell the head from a tail of a horse... It was fairly big news. It broke just before Louie and I were due to go to the Winter Regionals, where we were stabling overnight, surrounding by 100 or so other horses, and in contact with a lot of other people.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Named in Top 3 UK Dressage Blogs!

Team Tunnah Equestrian Top 3 UK Dressage blogs

I'm super proud to announce that Team Tunnah Eventing has been listed at number 3 in Feedspot's Top UK dressage blogs! What a fantastic email to wake up to, having known nothing about the listing, and to see that we are surrounded by amazing equestrian blogging company!

Being featured so highly in a list such as this means a lot to me, as I put a lot of passion into my posts around our training, competitions and general posts about dressage, as well as the efforts that it takes to push my content out into social media. It's very rewarding to be featured and to see that only Horse & Hound and British Dressage were above us makes it even more special...

Team Tunnah Equestrian - Top 3 Dressage Blogger

While we were number 3 in the UK list, we've also been previously added to the top dressage blogs worldwide and feature at number 25! If you really love dressage, then this list has literally the best of the best blogs & websites from around the globe that feature content all about dressage riding, training, industry news and events, so it's well worth heading over to check it out!

Saturday, 14 September 2019

The Six Scales of Dressage Training

Photo credit: Paul Dobson Photography
Do you love dressage? Are you often working hard to improve your dressage peformance? Are you simply new to dressage and looking for a way to understand what it's all about?

Well, the first thing to ask is do you know what the six scales of dressage riding & training are?

I recently took a deep dive into the six scales in an effort to improve our training at home in between sessions with our coach. upon reading several sources and definitions, I realised that the principles to the six scales of training weren't as complex as I anticipated. The more I read, the more sense they made and started to become really natural in my way of thinking towards our own dressage training.

Over the last 8 weeks, I've taken the time to put the six scales of dressage training into my own words, sharing my own understanding of them and have tried to put it in simple words for others to learn about them.

Discover all six scales of dressage riding & training

9 Equestrian Blogs of 2019

Now we're heading into autumn, there's nothing I love more than heading home on a weekend after a busy morning at the yard to get my horsey fix online! Wrapped up in a wool throw, curled up on the sofa, with a pair of fluffy slippers & a hot cup of coffee, I find it a great way to catch up from everything in the horse world from the last week.

In recent years, I used to head to the big horse news publications such as Horse & Hound or Eventing Nation, however with the recent rise of the equestrian blogger in the last couple of years, I'm finding myself spending more & more of this time hearing the latest from a handful of my favourite bloggers! 

So, today I'm going to share 9 of our favourite bloggers from across the globe for you to check out, start following and enjoy their content too! Find your cosy spot, grab that cuppa, sit back and enjoy our top 9 equestrian bloggers of 2019.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

The Six Scales of Dressage Training – Part 6: Collection

Photo credit: Paul Dobson Photography

The final post in our scales of dressage training series covering collection. It’s safe to say that you need to have mastered the previous five scales of training before you can achieve true collection – it is the only one of the scales that is wholly progressive from all the ones prior to it.

In dressage, we want the horse to be the best ride he can be – manoeuvrable, powerful and easy to control. He needs to be able to put his weight onto his engine (the hind legs) in order to balance and effective carry the weight of the ride through the series of movements that we request of him. Very early training will see the horse carry most of the weight through his forehand which will makes it difficult to execute the dressage movements and exercises we will expect of him later. Working through the five scales of training will enable you and your horses to work towards collection.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Summer Round Up

Well, it’s going to be a MEGA summer update coming to you today… I can’t believe I skipped writing a monthly round up for more than ONE THIRD of the year.

Throughout the summer, we’ve enjoyed plenty of highs, but also some lows. We’ve headed out hacking, got a few more competitions under our belt, took part in many training sessions, and completed two Area Festivals. We’ve been had cross country fun in the sun, using a new GoPro to capture it all from in the saddle, discovered the amazing improvement from equine sports massage, invested in a brand dressage Voltaire dressage saddle, and transformed the way we’re riding to find new success.

We’ve had a blast this summer, with never a quiet moment & plenty of happy times with friends & family! That’s right, sit back, relax and enjoy a read through all we’ve been up to from May through to the end of August!

Friday, 30 August 2019

The Ultimate Tips Guide to Clipping Your Horse

It's getting to that time of the year again, well at least for me, where I'm trying to balance the final few sunny days in the field with keeping Louie's coat as fine as possible to avoid clipping too early into the autumn season. Why don't I like clipping earlier? One - because I like him to live out for as long as possible. Two - I like to give him a good couple of weeks off in October and don't like to clip before.

But it's August, how can you be thinking of clipping? Well, Louie has a lot of Irish Draught bloodline - all of his sire lines and all of the sires in his dame lines - so as soon as the temperatures falls or we get cooler winds, his coat begins to build. A lot of people who have irish sport horses, won't have so much Irish Draught running through their breeding, so won't experience the hair thickening and growing in the same way.

In this post, we'll look at the top tips to make winter horse clipping easy, straight forward and something that nobody dreads.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

The Six Scales of Dressage Training – Part 5: Straightness

Photo credit: Paul Dobson Photography

How many of us are right handed? How many of us are left handed? Well, horses can be similar and find one side much easier to co-ordinate and work than the other. If this is coupled with a rider’s strength/weakness on one side, the end result in your dressage training can be a case of crookedness.

How do you know if you’re a rider that’s compounding the lack of straightness – just consider if you tend to sit to one side or keep a stronger contact in one rein or uses one leg aid stronger than the other. But crookedness doesn’t only affect this scale of dressage training – straightness – it also makes it increasingly more difficult for him to keep his balance and develop impulsion.

Twitter's BEST Equestrian Hashtags

Twitter is a community that many say is difficult to crack and create success through, however through the years that I’ve had my blog, I’ve found it the reverse to that. It was where I first discovered that there was an equestrian community of all interests, experiences and locations (some across the world!) that all enjoyed chatting about one thing in common – horses and the equestrian lifestyle.

Twitter is all about chatting and conversation. It’s not only a platform that you can sit back and push content out onto. You need to join in too – talking & replying to other, sharing content, creating original tweets, following profiles. You can find my top 12 tips for equestrian twitter success in a post we created previously.

Over the years that I’ve been active on Twitter, I’ve grown a reasonably sized, relevant equestrian audience who all seem to enjoy my content but who also continue to be active themselves, making for interesting conversation around the world on one common topic – equestrianism.

So if you’re just getting started, or want to give your Twitter efforts a little bit more of a boost, take look at where the equestrian conversations are happening… And there is literally one for every night of the week and almost always at 8pm!

Friday, 23 August 2019

Team Tunnah's Top Ten of Instagram 2019 So Far!

At the start of 2019, I set myself the goal to grow our Instagram account to 1,500 followers, and recently we blitzed that by DOUBLE, reaching a whopping 3,000!! But what has been the best featured photos on our feed so far in 2019...

Thursday, 22 August 2019

The Rise of The Equestrian Blogger

October 2012, Team Tunnah Eventing (now Equestrian) was born…and it looked VERY different to what it does today, physically and in terms of the content published. In fact, here’s our first ever post – how about that for a throwback on a Thursday!

It started as on online diary for me to find motivation as we headed into the winter. I would typically lose motivation to improve our training over the winter months, opting to stay dry and warm, and leaving any training until the spring time. However, in May 2012, I bought Thomas to get me started with Eventing. We had an OK few runs at BE90 in the second half of the 2012 eventing season, but there was PLENTY to work on. Winter time was perfect for this so I started off with a couple of blog posts about the Events we’d done, what we’d scored and what could be improved on over the coming months.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

The Six Scales of Dressage Training – Part 4: Impulsion

Photo credit: Paul Dobson Photography

This is the first scale that becomes separate to the scales prior to it – impulsion. In your dressage training, you must have established rhythm, suppleness and contact in order to effectively work on & achieve impulsion.

A forward thinking horse that will react from your aids is ready to take on impulsion training. Premature training towards impulsion could cause negative effects on the previous scales of training as pushing your horse to create impulsion when he isn’t ready will essentially put him off balance. The way he will counteract this is through stiffening (losing his rhythm & suppleness) and coming against the hand (losing a full cycle of contact).

Friday, 16 August 2019

PetPlan Area Festivals at Northallerton Equestrian Centre

With the PetPlan Area Festivals in full swing, it was a great feeling to have another go at qualifying for the Final, this time at Northallerton Equestrian Centre in North Yorkshire. It's a really great venue, as they put a lot of effort into their competition - regular shows as well as championship dates. The warm ups are correct stewarded, their arenas are well maintained throughout the day, and they accommodate competitors to help them have the best possible day. It really is a lovely place to enjoy giving dressage a go.

Anyway, we seem to have hit the curse of the "midnight" spots when it comes to competing in the Area Festivals - last year I was on at 8.15pm, this year at Alnwick Ford at 8pm, and this time at 7.15pm. So at least I guess they are getting steadily earlier... I actually don't mind the later time as it gives me plenty of time to get Louie all bathed & plaited, especially is we have a longer drive time to a venue. However, one thing I'm learning I really don't like is a relaxing morning at home on a competition day...

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

The Six Scales of Dressage Training – Part 3: Contact

Photo credit: Paul Dobson Photography

Here we are, almost half way through the six scales of dressage training and in this part I’ll take a zoom into contact. The first thing to note which is very important is that you cannot achieve a true contact between you and your horse without establishing correct rhythm and ensuring that your horse is showing true suppleness.

Actually, that’s a very key point to all six scales of dressage training – none are as isolated as independents as this post series would make out. They are all connected and interlinked, and crucially they must be balanced for you and your horse to progress through the scales and advance your dressage training.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

The Six Scales of Dressage Training – Part 2: Suppleness

Photo credit: Paul Dobson Photography

Suppleness is the second scale in dressage training, but is heavily interlinked to the first scale, rhythm. The more supple you can have your horse, the more you can develop the established rhythm. But equally, you can’t have true suppleness without establishing a correct rhythm.

What does suppleness mean when it comes to training your horse to be correct in the dressage discipline?

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

The Six Scales of Dressage Training – Part 1: Rhythm

Photo credit: Paul Dobson Photography

How many of us understand the word rhythm and what it really means? Because without understand something, it becomes very difficult to learn about it and improve your own skills, right?

Well, just in case, put very simply, rhythm is a regular pattern of movements, sounds or words, according to the Cambridge dictionary. Yes, of course, most of us understood that basic definition, but what does rhythm mean when we talk about horse, and especially when how it plays a part in dressage training.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

PetPlan Equine Area Festivals at Alnwick Ford

It's that time of year again... the PetPlan Area Festivals are running, and everyone who's qualified is excited to take part and see what this year's competition holds for them.

We've been fortunate again this year in that our hard work over the winter gave us three qualification codes. I started off by thinking I wouldn't use the three, instead just head to Northallerton in August, but a small part of me thought that perhaps we can use the other two for something a little bit different.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

What helped me to choose a Voltaire Design dressage saddle

I think it’s every dressage rider’s dream to have a beautifully designed saddle, that correctly supports the rider while also providing optimum comfort for the horse.

There are literally hundreds of dressage saddles on the market - made to measure, custom design, brand new off the shelf, second hands. And while this makes it fantastic for having a wide variety to test & try, it also makes it a nightmare to whittle down and figure out which one is best for you, which is best for the horse and which you can afford!

Monday, 6 May 2019

April Round Up

Well, where exactly have I been? I know, I can hear you all asking... My last post is our March round up, which definitely had a different spin on it and really showed just where & what & why we'd been up to what we had during March.

Well, I'm very pleased to say that throughout April, we've been in a much better headspace and although silent on the blog and a little quiet across our social media, we'd been back to our usual "behind the scenes". If fact, with a crazy life right now, I'm appreciating my down time in the saddle more and more... I love not even thinking about everything that's going on and for a short period of time, not even looking at a phone screen. Looking through my camera roll, I haven't even got as many photos of us out hacking as I used to.

Downtime is great for the mind, so I'm glad I'm managing to find it one way or another. So sit back and relax as we talk you through all we've been up to this month...

Saturday, 6 April 2019

March Round Up (with a difference)

I think it says it all that I'm sitting down a whole week late to write up my March round up post... It's been a funny old month, with a few set backs but turning corners & I'm leaving the month feeling positive. So sit back and hopefully enjoy what is going to be a VERY honest monthly round up...

Saturday, 23 March 2019

"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection"

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

12 Top Tips for Twitter Success

Twitter is NOT Dead...You Get Out What You Put In!

I often read posts online that make reference to the glitz and glamour of Instagram and Pinterest for bloggers gaining traction in their reach and traffic, and that Twitter is a dying platform. I also see many comments in the groups I'm a member of on Facebook making the same statements. However, I have to say, I disagree to some extent, & here's why...

Team Tunnah Eventing Listed in Top 20 Equestrian Blogs by Sparpedia

I am super proud to announce that we've been listed in the Sparpedia top 20 equestrian blogs...& we're in amongst some pretty good company with another 19 blogs from around the globe! If you want to discover a few more bloggers to start following, head over and take a look at Sparpedia's top 20 equestrian bloggers.

Monday, 4 March 2019

Thursday, 28 February 2019

February Round Up

February seems to have taken AAAAGES to get through... I'm not sure if it was all the excitement and anticipation of the Regionals at the end of the month, but I think it is the first time I have ever sat down to write a monthly update post where I haven't seen the month flash by in a heartbeat...

So what did we get up to? Well, still lots actually.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

British Dressage Winter Regionals 2019

OK, so for all of you that follow us & keep up to date with us across our social media will probably be more than aware we've been pretty excited about heading up to Morris Equestrian Centre to compete in the Winter Regionals after qualifying back in November.

Well the weekend finally came around...honestly, it seems absolutely years ago that we entered, let alone since we qualified! I'd had a competition & training schedule for the start of the year to help get us nicely prepared and feeling confident. Unfortunately, and as always, it didn't all fall into place, it didn't work out how we had quite hoped, but we made the Regionals, did our test, didn't disgrace ourselves and had a fantastic weekend too!

So, sit back and enjoy our journey to the Winter Regionals!

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Dressage Training Update - 11.02.19

Each month, we attend a flatwork training clinic with Cathy Burrell where we spruce up on our dressage skills. Unfortunately, due to the winter flu, January's clinic was cancelled, so I was even more looking forward to our February session!

It didn't disappoint either, it was a super productive and fun session. We worked on lots of different aspects, starting off with straightening up our canter. I hadn't realised how Louie's hin was drifting inward but with an arena with a few mirrors at the end of the long side, I'd no excuses not to spot it!

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Equine Gastric Ulcers

For those of you who don't follow us on Instagram, you'll have missed our Thursday vlog story with a bit of an update. It was only a minute or so long, so I've decided to give a much more in detail update on the blog as I'm also really interested in showcasing our story and the progress along the way. So, sit back, whether with a lovely hot cuppa or a glass of chilled wine (depending on the time of the day!), and I hope you enjoy the insight from our experience in this post.

After we came back from a dressage competition at Richmond Equestrian Centre at the end of January, Louie seemed fine. Still into chewing the bobble on your hat, getting hold of all the toggles on your jackets & into every pocket looking for sweeties. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, and the key to this, is that nothing ever did. Louie enjoyed the next night off, as did I, and as I happily walked up to his stable on the Tuesday, he was in his usual place, snoozing after a day out in the field. He didn't come to the door of the stable, which was odd, but I didn't think too much of it, and popped my saddle on the rack outside his door, open my cupboard and grabbed a couple of sweets. Still no Louie... That is weird, I thought.
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