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Sunday, 4 October 2020

Sterling Essentials Leather Cleaner & Conditioner

Sterling Essentials Lavender Leather Cleaner & Conditioner

For anyone that knows me, over the last 18 months, I have become pretty obsessed with cleaning my tack after every single use - whether I have a hard session in the arena, go for a gentle stroll, or opt for a lunge session for Louie. I detach my bit, wipe down my bridle, girth, girth straps and saddle with a cleaner & conditioner every time - it takes literally five minutes (so no excuses with time!)

Last week, I received the Sterling Essential leather cleaner and conditioner in lavender fragrance, and I was really excited to see how these products stacked up against my existing everyday product. I'd heard really great things about both products from Laura at Boudica Equestrian - the only UK stockists - & I'd also read up about Sterling Essential's careful development of a pH formula that of leather. 

Thursday, 1 October 2020

September Round Up

September Round Up - Team Tunnah Equestrian

Although September means the end of the summer, I do love the autumn season, with all the beautiful colours that it brings and especially those fabulously fresh mornings - clear blue skies, sun shining strong but the ground is full of dew and the air is crisp and cool ๐Ÿงก

As the season changes, we all start to think about what we need to do to prepare for the coming months - clipping, what rugs we might need, feeding, turn out & field shelters. I popped a post up a couple of weeks ago with my top tips for horse care in autumn & winter.

But for now, Louie and I have carried on throughout September just as we are...

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Dressage Training - 19.09.2020

Team Tunnah Equestrian Blog Dressage Training 19.09.2020

It had been around four weeks since our last dressage training session and I'd been working hard to practice what we'd done in the last session in between - mostly keeping Louie's neck supple and improving his forward reaction off my leg. However, in between, we'd also been to our first dressage competition since the end of February, and we'd had a couple of showjumping sessions. If you caught up with our most recent showjumping training session, you'll have heard that we were struggling at home a little in between too.

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Showjumping Training -12.09.2020

Showjumping Training 12.09.2020 - Team Tunnah Equestrian

At the end of August, I headed down to Will2Win for our first "proper" showjumping training session since I'd got back in the saddle. It really was a great session - I was relaxed, Louie felt great, and overall it was very productive. We came away with specific homework to work on in between poles and using poles with a stride-distance to small fences. If you didn't catch up with us on that one, you can read about it in the showjumping training blog report that I published.

Last weekend, we headed back to have a second session to build on everything that we'd done in the first session, plus with the support of all of our homework. Or so it should have been...

Friday, 11 September 2020

Autumn & Winter Horse Care Tips

Autumn & Winter Horse Care Tips - Team Tunnah Equestrian

As the summer draws to an end, outside turns into one of my favourites times of year - autumn. With beautiful shades of orange, browns and yellows in fields and trees, and the fresh & crisp feeling of the air on a sunny autumn morning. It's a sure sign that winter is just around the corner and for many of us with horses, that can mean many changes to our routines and how we live our busy equestrian lives.

International Helmet Awareness Day

Team Tunnah Equestrian International Helmet Day

While International Helmet Awareness Day (lead by Riders4Helmets) falls on just one day, it is important to remember 10 key things about your helmet every single day. Firstly, a little about the campaign... International Helmet Awareness Day was founded in 2010 as a direct result of US Olympian Courtney King Dye’s accident, with the aim of educating equestrians on the benefits of wearing a properly fitting, secured and certified helmet. Retailers all over the world come together to mark the campaign and will often offer discount or incentives for riders wishing to purchase or renew a certified helmet. 

Thursday, 10 September 2020

How to Learn a Dressage Test

Team Tunnah Equestrian - How to Learn a Dressage Test

Firstly, there is no correct single way to learn a dressage test. As with everything in life that we learn, we all learn in different ways, and what works very well for one person, might not meaning that learning and recall are improved for another. In this blog, I'm going to share five ways that I think you could approach learning a dressage test, but I'm sure that there are many of you out there that have other methods too. Why not drop yours in the comments at the bottom if it's not included here?

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Thermic Quilt Rug from Weatherbeeta

Team Tunnah Equestrian - Weatherbeeta Thermic Quilt Cooler

Back when I first got Louie, I used to use the Weatherbeeta thermic quilt rug I'd had for years to keep him warm after I'd finished riding - I wrote a blog on how good it was back then! As he got older, stronger and fitter, I stopped using it, instead opting to simply cool him down when I was still riding. However, since moving yards, I've rekindled my love for this rug, and forgotten just how good and effective it was! 

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Dressage Competition Report - 06.09.2020

Team Tunnah Equestrian - Dressage Competition Report 06.09.2020

The day had FINALLY come for my first competition back since lockdown & since my accident! I was SO excited and it felt like weeks ago that I put the entry in...I was slightly apprehensive the evening before - it was over six months since we'd done a competition so I was worried about forgetting my test, not being able to plait well, remembering to take everything that I needed...

Friday, 4 September 2020

Showjumping Training - 29.08.2020

Team Tunnah Equestrian Showjumping Training 29.08.2020

Let's just say I was very excited to be heading to our first proper showjumping training session since the beginning of March...! Why do I say 'proper'? Well, a week before we'd been training over a short course of poles to help us get back into the swing of things with the correct rhythm, suppleness and feel. But this session was where we would start jumping!

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

August Round Up

Team Tunnah Equestrian Blog - August Round Up

It doesn't seem two minutes since I was publishing my July round-up blog, and yet I feel like we've done so much in August! Make sure you catch up on July's blog if you haven't already as there were a few exciting updates - getting back onboard AND moving yards.

So what have we been up to since the end of July?

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Instagram: 6 Picks

And just like that, it was the end of August...So let's take a look at the photos that have impressed the most in 2020 so far! 

#1: My favourite dressage photo EVER

I've waited for a shot of us at dressage like this since forever! Louie is sparkling clean, he's soft and supple in his neck, my position is good, and it looks like we are both enjoying ourselves (we were, btw!) ๐Ÿ’–

Team Tunnah Instagram 6 Picks - Dressage Photo

Monday, 24 August 2020

ONLY ever be proud of what you do, JUST as long as you enjoy it


Team Tunnah Equestrian Be Proud of What You Achieve

Last week I, along with over 2,000 others on Facebook, really related to Inside Track Eventing's post...

How many times have you used these comments? I know I have...
  • It's only a 70cm class
  • It's only an Intro dressage test
  • I just do grassroots, not the proper eventing classes

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Cross Country Schooling Courses in Northumberland

 Cross Country Schooling, Northumberland

I love an afternoon playing around over some cross country jumps in the sun, enjoying a splash through the water, practising different lines and combinations, and doing something a little bit different. I often see people posting on local Facebook groups for recommendations on where to go cross country schooling and it's easy to think that as we're in the very north of England we don't have much choice, compared to some of the facilities further south. Actually, we have some superb courses in Northumberland that cater for horses and riders at multiple levels. So here's my quick guide to where you can go cross country schooling in Northumberland.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

July Round Up

Team Tunnah Equestrian July Round Up

What a whirlwind of a month...& I can't believe my last blog was as far back as 6th June!! ๐Ÿ˜ณ I'm not going to lie, there have been times that I've really struggled mentally while being out of the saddle... At the start, I kept busy with my blog and social media, but the energy began to drain as the recovery took longer & longer. Plus, I've had a really busy and pressurised four months at work - working for a travel company is fantastic, and I love the company I work for, but at a time like Covid when the vast majority of the team around you is furloughed, it becomes really difficult to keep up the spirit and motivation ๐Ÿ˜”

Saturday, 6 June 2020

May Round Up (& a few thank you's!)

When I wrote my April round up blog, I'd really felt as though getting back onboard by the end of May was a reality. It wasn't, & here I am, seven weeks down the line with a wound still on my thigh. On one hand, it's felt like forever, and on the other, it seems only a short time ago, and in the greater picture of what happened, I've still been fairly lucky.

So, in a nutshell, there's not been too much going on over the last May for us, but here's a few updates from us, including a new addition to the team!!

First up, a few thank you's to all those that have been helping with Louie.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Riders Minds Launch Online Mental Health Support

Mental Health Awareness Week, 18-24 May 2020, sees the launch of Riders Minds, a bespoke, comprehensive, online resource dedicated to supporting and improving the mental health of horse riders, across all levels.

Founded by 5* event rider Matthew Wright and his wife Victoria, Matthew has openly shared his own mental ill health struggles.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

The Inspiration Behind The Latest Equestrian App, EquiNation

I recently published a blog showcasing the best horse apps that I believed every equestrian needed. There are five in the list, but that list will soon expand to six as the equestrian world will see the launch of EquiNation, developed to connect horse riders & owners with equestrian professionals locally & globally. The app is due to launch on 1st June 2020, but I've been chatting to the lady who's taken her own frustrations to create the inspiration to bring this app to life, Amna Ahli.

So, I'll hand over to Amna to introduce herself and tell you more about EquiNation in her own words!

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Giving Something Back During Covid-19 Lockdown

It's becoming a bit of a daily joke in our house that every day the doorbell or letterbox goes, and there's some new little treat(s) that's arrived for me. That's what happens when you do your sneaky online shopping at night after your husband has gone to bed... Andrew has dubbed it 'midnight shopping'! While browsing, I've noticed many equestrian brands & retailers that are now offering to give back to charities, communities and causes when you make a purchase or subscription. Some have introduced these initiatives since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with new products, items and services that you can purchase in light of the current situation, making donations to charities such as NHS Charities Urgent Appeal. But it also highlighted to me just how many brands offer commitments to give back to causes as a standard offering, such as sustainability or raising donations for an equine charity. Don't forget too, most equestrian charities will also offer an online shop where you can purchase merchandise with the profits going towards their fundraising efforts.

So, I thought it would make a good blog post for all those other 'midnight shoppers' amongst us to also be able to splurge on some online retail therapy each night, while also giving something back.
Please note: available to daytime shoppers too!

Monday, 4 May 2020

5 Horse Apps You Need In Your Equestrian Life Right Now

5 Horse Apps You Need to Manage Your Equestria Life

Let's be honest, we all use our phones to help us make more of everyday life, especially at the moment with the Covid-19 restricting our usual equestrian lifestyles. I can't imagine living through a lockdown without the technology we have at our fingertips today - FaceTime, Zoom, Teams, What's App helping us all stay connected, an endless supply of films and TV series through Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus, social media platforms to help us escape to our dream oasis, Kindle and books in digital & even audio copies, next day delivery services on pretty much most retailing experiences, and of course the absolute mass of games, puzzles and challenges we can play digitally, either alone, with friends or connect with players from around the globe. Particularly when planning my social posts, I've also spent a lot of time just running back through my camera roll, not to "miss" the experiences before lockdown, but just to enjoy...I also discovered I have 1000's of photos when searching the word 'horse'...

Friday, 1 May 2020

April Round Up

If thought March was a strange month, I didn't know what was about to hit me in April. Life has completely changed for so many of us, but one initial reflection I have is a gratitude for the natural slow down, reflect and refuel we are able to do right now. Of course, many of us are missing the everyday things we love about life, especially family and friends, but in our usual busy world, downtime can be difficult to find and enjoy guilt-free.

I've been very lucky to be able to continue to see Louie throughout the lockdown, mostly as I am on a DIY yard and so need to go to turn him out, muck out, feed and do yard jobs. I also made the decision to continue to ride Louie, as I explained in my opinion blog about equestrian life during Covid-19. I'm used to having my next training date or competition booked in to help keep me motivated and focused on working on various things, but with those now not taking place, the first thing I knew was important to do was to make a plan...

Monday, 27 April 2020

Springtime Feeding

Louie is a good doer when it comes to his condition and feeding regime. And even though he's suffered briefly from ulcers in the past, I keep a very simple approach to his feed all year round. I find it gives Louie everything that he needs, nutritionally, and it gives me the easy flexibility to add or remove energy as I need.

He has two feeds per day, with the same in each - 1x cup dry of Allen & Page Fast Fibre, 1/2 scoop of Dengie's Alfa A Oil, and 1x cup of Top Spec Joint Balancer. He was also on Top Spec's Calmer until February this year.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Saddle Substitutions

I think it's fair to say that the world is split when it comes to spending time in the saddle at the moment - some have chosen not to ride, some have chosen to continue to ride, and others sadly can't make it to their yards & barns to see their four-legged friends. However, even those that are continuing to ride, there's been a lot of adjustments made to their regular work plans - being more sensible, avoiding unnecessary risks and perhaps even reducing the number of times that they are riding per week.

But fear not...you can still get your weekly fix (& your daily exercise!) thanks to some of the fun & slightly quirky initiatives taking place across social media! Here's just a few I've found...

Sunday, 12 April 2020

6 Equestrian Things To Do During Covid-19

The UK is very much on lockdown with no competitions taking place, arena hires aren't possible and there's zero face to face coaching happening. Travel is only for essential purposes, which according to BHS guidelines includes a primary carer travelling to/from yards to look after your own horse so many livery yards with only full livery horses, have temporarily closed. Whether you're usually a competitive professional rider or someone who enjoys just a casual hack out a couple of times a week, equestrian life has temporarily changed for us all, and in my opinion post about equestrian life during Covid-19 I shared how I felt about it all... But no matter how differently we all feel about the current situation, we'll all have more time on our hands than usual, so here are 6 things that can keep you busy for the time being.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

March Round Up

Well, it feels like blinking ages since the start of the month, and I don’t think anyone can disagree, it’s been the most strange month ever! I’m two weeks into full-time working at home, along with Andrew, sitting staring at the same four walls all day long, with the saving grace of needing to sort Louie each morning & evening.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

OPINION: Equestrian Life During Covid-19

First up, this is my opinion. I do not expect everyone to agree, wholly or partly, with it, and I do not criticise, berate, thinking negative, or anything similar, to those who have a different opinion to my own. Secondly, this was written between 26th & 28th March, so any reference to restrictions, advice or recommendations, be will reflective of what was correct at that point in time. I don’t intend to keep the post up to date retrospectively. Finally, this is my thoughts of Covid-19 in the equestrian world – it is not my opinion on the way in which any authority has acted, decisions that have been taken at a national level, nor does it represent my professional views or views of my employer. That’s critical to consider, given I work in a very heavily affected travel sector…

Friday, 20 March 2020

Equine Gastric Ulcers: One Year On

A little over a year ago, Louie almost overnight changed behaviourally. I knew something was wrong, but I didn't know what. A quick phone call to our vet, and I was booked in for a gastric scope. It was hard to believe that he would present with ulcers as he had no other common symptoms, but I went to omit them from any potential issues. I'm so glad I did, as a brief overnight stay and scoping the following morning revealed grade 2 & 3 ulcers. If you didn't already know that, I've got a blog post from last February sharing our story of diagnosing gastric ulcers.

Saturday, 29 February 2020

February Round Up

Well, it’s been pretty crap with the weather over the last three weeks. Storm Ciara, Storm Dennis and then some unnamed one dropped by to say hi last weekend... I’ve had to re-arrange flatwork training sessions, not been able to jump and had competitions cancelled. The horses at our yard are permanently stabled at the moment because the fields are just so wet! However, while I’m usually not a big fan of horses being kept in, it has played its uses.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Dressage Competition Report - 22.02.2020

Thank god....we FINALLY got out and away from home to enter a dressage competition! With storm Ciara, we'd had to cancel our flatwork training session, and storm Dennis later that week put hold to a riding club dressage we'd planned to head out to. The happiness though of it being cancelled on the Saturday night while I sat listening to the wind howling and rain beating against the window outside,  was real! In reaction, I put an entry into another local venue running express dressage format the weekend afterwards, and prayed the weather gods would be on our side.

They weren't, but it wasn't quite as bad as the weather forecast said...not quite!

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

January Round Up

Wahoo! I got through January without even a glimmer of January blues, and it didn't seem like many others suffered with them either...Well done everyone for keepig them at bay! ๐Ÿ’ช So with such a positive start, what did we get up throughout January to kick start our 2020!?

Well, it's been all go that's for sure, but I'm so happy as I haven't felt rushed or under pressure once this month, so it really shows I've got all-round balance struck up pretty well. From cold & crisp morning hacking, to dressage competitions and showjumping training, we've managed to pack it all into the last 31 days!

Monday, 3 February 2020

A Weekend Away Showjumping at Morris Equestrian Centre

During the last five years, there have been times that I have lost all faith and confidence that jumping around a 90cm course, with its questions and challenges, was never going to happen. Even after our very successful weekend at Morris Equestrian two months ago, where we jumped the 70cm and 85cm classes, it didn't feel like jumping a British Novice at a category 2 show was within range of achieving.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Showjumping Training - 25.01.2020

It’s been a little while since I last updated my blog with progress in our showjumping training. We’ve had two sessions with Philippa plus a shared session as part of the British Showjumping academy scheme, and all three have been super positive. Yesterday we had another private session and for the first time in a very long time, I left feeling quite disappointed. Not because of bad performance or Louie losing any confidence, but because it wasn’t perfect...

Saturday, 11 January 2020

2020 Goals

Sitting & writing my blog post a year ago looking at the year ahead & what I’d hoped to achieve seems like two minutes ago! Let’s face it, 2019 flew past, but when I think back about the year, I seem to have managed to cram SO much in. I’m going to dedicate a bit of a round up post of the full year, so keep your eyes peeled for that, but for now, I’m looking forward & thinking about the goals that I’d like to set Louie & I.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

December Round Up

So I took a little break away from my blog over December, Christmas and the New Year. It was a busy month with a work trip away for a full week almost, my parents flew in for Christmas on 21st December, and left on new year’s eve, and I overall just took some downtime to catch up on some rest & relaxation.

But that didn’t mean that all the fun with Louie stopped, and after such a FANTASTIC November, I was on cloud nine…full of motivation, determination and energy to push forward during the remaining winter months.

As you’ve probably seen from our previous blog post, we had an amazing weekend up at Morris Equestrian Centre doing our firstever British Showjumping classes. The final day competing was the 1st December…and what a way to kick the month off but also finish up our year, reaching what has been a long term goal AND taking home a double clear!!
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