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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!
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