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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!

September started by reminding us all that perhaps summer was in fact over and autumn was on the way, thanks to a few early days of rain. Having spent the previous few months with very little wet & windy days, it was a bit if a shock to the system, but thanks to dragging out a few of my autumn essentials, I found myself suitable ready! Ironically the month also closed with a week if almost constant rain and temperatures below 10 degrees...

After pulling myself together that summer was over, I actually enjoyed the beautiful crisp, clear sky, sunny mornings at the weekend, & treated myself to a British Showjumping Academy training session. It’s in small groups (there were three of us) and was being coached by our regular jump trainer, Philippa, so I was still reasonably in my comfort zone.

I really enjoyed the session, and it was great to see Louie stand patiently while others jumped around, but also getting him used to being picked up, rested, and picked back up. We worked on some basic things, such as rhythm to a fence and keeping looking at the fence nice and early. I always look early for a while, then look back in front of me, and then back to the jump. The glance back to in front of me is a bad habit I need to get rid of!

While I enjoyed the session and enjoyed the company of the others on it, it was probably one of the worst training sessions I’ve had in a long time. Nothing happened, or went wrong, and Louie was excellent, but could I heck my myself together. I felt like I could only grasp one thing at once - if I looked at the fence, the rhythm was lost, if I kept the rhythm, I forgot to look, and if I thought about anything else, my hands would soar skyward. I felt a mess. But, there were plenty positives to take away, particularly in how well Louie behaved jumping with others. That said, I booked a private training session with Philippa for the very next weekend.

In between, I had a session with Cathy to work through our flatwork. Over the couple of weeks before, I’d lost my enthusiasm for the arena. Maybe it was just a phase of not being able to pull myself together, but I felt a really blocker if some kind to be able to establish some nice work with Louie.

During the training session, we worked on being able to get Louie to be more up through his shoulders, truly engaging his inside hind leg & increased suppleness when moving all around the arena. It was a very positive training session - we achieved a lot and I felt much more motivated about getting back in the arena at home!

In between our flatwork training and scheduled jump session coming up, we enjoyed a few evening rides out, and on Saturday afternoon, Andrew even joined us, while he searched high and low for sloe berries to make this year’s batch of sloe gin!

We returned to Philippa’s on Sunday afternoon, and my goodness, what a difference! We started off in our pretty dressage canter which led to Louie chipping in extra strides and finding a good technique quite difficult... We turned up fgs volume by about 25% and it was incredible to feel the difference! It was a much better and more correct feeling, it was powerful and gave Louie the chance to help me out when I made the odd mistake here & there.

We left feeling much better about things, and with such a fantastic flatwork session just five days prior, I almost regretted that we were going on holiday just the weekend after.

That’s right... I FINALLY booked just over a week away with Andrew. My parents live in the south of Spain, so we surprised them by just turning up on the Saturday evening! We both felt like we needed a break from everyday life, so it was easy to switch off and relax. I knew coming home, I flew straight back out to Amsterdam, so despite a positive couple of training sessions, Louie got a two week holiday - shoes off, left in the field, not thinking of his work either for a few weeks!

We were away until 30th September, so thankfully swapped the low temperatures & heavy rain for blue skies, sunshine and 28 degrees. It was a bit of a shock to the system to go and see Louie in the field the afternoon we got back to Northumberland when it was TWENTY degrees colder than what we’d been used to! Still, when you shout his name and he comes trotting across, it’s more than worth the cold!

Now that I'm back from holiday, I'm ready and a real keen bean to get back in the saddle... Well, apart from I sit writing this from a hotel room in Amsterdam city centre late at night... But from the first weekend in October, we've got plenty planned already. Make sure you keep checking back, or follow us on social, to keep up with what we get up to!

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