Monday, 24 January 2011

Harriet Upton's Horse Riding: Road to the Olympics: Awestruck!!

Harriet Upton's Horse Riding: Road to the Olympics: Awestruck!!: "Have you ever thought about how it would feel to have a lesson with your idol or even meet your idol. Well this weekend, I was lucky enough ..."

Awestruck!! 24/01/11

Have you ever thought about how it would feel to have a lesson with your idol or even meet your idol. Well this weekend, I was lucky enough to have a lesson with a VERY famous eventer. I couldn't speak much or even ride very well, I was simply ..........awestruck. You might like to know eventually I gathered myself together and managed to ride a bit better by the end of the session. Not quite sure what she made of me!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Painful Gill Watson Lesson 20/1/11

No need to go to the gym when you do an hour of pure sitting trot!!
Yesterday was my lesson with Gill Watson it was the best I have ever ridden but also the most painful I have ever felt the next day haha.
First part of lesson well that was working on me:
Reins and whip into the outside hand and let the inside hand relax and hang, go onto a large 20 metre circle in the middle of the school and guide with the leg which is harder then you may think, oh yer and do it in trot but not just a simple rising trot with stirups, it's a sitting trot without stirups! Shoulders back, chest out and relax the leg. This actually went suprisingly well!!!!
Second part of lesson working on Estella:
Basically work the horse in sitting with no stirups! Fianlly we started to perform, she lightly came into the contact I got her hind leg underneath her and it felt like we where gliding it's a feeling that I have only had once before and it wasn't on her.
Finally I had my stirrups back and  yes I stayed in sitting trot, I shortened my reins and started lateral work. First the leg yeld where with only a touch of the leg she reacted and did it with ease so then we did some shoulder in and the same thing happend it did just happened!!!
It was just amazing the feeling it gave me and it felt like we were truely connected. I felt like I was part of her not just sitting on top of her, I could feel everything she was doing underneath me.
One hour of sitting trot with and without stirrups, I will tell you one thing I do ache today!!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Introduction to "My road to the Olympics" 19/1/2011

So this blog is about me and my horses and my road to the Olympics.
My story so far ......
I'm 14 years old, I do not come from a particularly horsey family, my Mum rode as a child and my Dad is good at mucking out! I have been riding for 10 years. I had my first riding lesson when I was 4, had my first pony when I was 7 and and then joined the pony club and have had fun being in the teams. My parents believe that if you want something you have to work for it,  I have mucked out (nearly) every morning  before school since the age of 7. We do not have a groom, we do everything ourselves come rain, shine, wind and snow. We used to have our horses in DIY livery until two years ago when my dream came true and we moved to a house where we could have the horses with us.
I have one brother Ross who is at University and most definitely is not horsey!
I knew the moment I did my first One Day Event that was what I wanted to do when I got older, I loved it, I loved the showing off in the dressage, the trickyness of the Show Jumping and the adrenalin kick you get from the Cross Country.
I kept going in the pony club and then my Auntie Tracey suggested that I started having lessons with Ken Spencer who is an Event Rider and had moved round the corner from us . At my first lesson he told me I would ride for him when I was older. It didn't take long (I have already ridden his horses) I am just waiting for the day when I am allowed to compete them!
Then when I was 13 I was allowed two day tickets to British Eventing even though my Mum thought I was too young. I borrowed my Mum's happy hacking horse she brought, not knowing he had amazing paces and a good jump. I got placed in my first events I did and I got the bug for eventing, I persuaded my Mum to let me become a full member of BE, I spent the winter hunting and practicing and then the next season I used my mums horse again and I did a few intros and then moved up to pre-novice and did Junior 100's but I didn't get many placings because my Mums horse was getting older and too slow to do the time required on the Cross Country, we were consistent in the dressage. So I moved him back to 90 and qualified for Badminton  grassroots which I will be going to this April.
Last January I was recommended to go to training with Gill Watson by Ro Jennings. Gill Watson is the British Junior and Young Rider Team Trainer (we had no idea). I was also introduced to the Dunsdons at the same time and Alice and Sarah kindly let me train there instead of having to travel 3 hours to Gill's.
In March Mum recieved a phone call from Ken, he knew of an Advanced Eventer that I may be able to ride, would we be interested?!! Estella was Ken's old ride, she had been off having foals and then had an accident, we were told she was a PROPER horse, NOT a pony club horse, her owner Jill Chator was unsure as I was still only 13, but the moment I sat on her we bonded and then middle of 2010 I started to event her I started her  pre-novice (BE100) and then ended at Novice JRN's and she is amazing!!!! Jill, Estella's owner comes to most of our competitions and is really, really supportive.
Next season I will be going into JRN's  (now called Under 18 open novice). Thats pretty much it in a nutshell, only to say that when I was 7 my Uncle Grant (Grant Laing, a well known and GREAT farrier) apparently announced that I would make it all the way to the Oympics, everyone laughed about it but I intend to make that come true. My blog will be a true acccount highs and lows of how I get there.