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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?
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