Sunday, 29 January 2012


At work I am currently riding and hopefully will be competing Liz Geldard's super talented 3 and a half year old called Dancer. He is a15.2 chestnut Gelding with four white socks and is an absolute power house! Rode him for the first time last week, I got on with him straight away. Yesterday we worked on the consistency of the trot and I feel a cracking partnership developing. Watch out British Dressage here we come!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Schools Jumping

The Annual Farlington show!  (We have one every year you know)! It was a very cold day and Sands Farm always seems like the coldest place on earth! It was such a busy show and bit manic when we arrived at lunchtime Dad ended up "policing" the warm up arena (those of you who know my dad will know that this is the perfect job for him) and Mum stewarding. Marion our Team Manager and overall in charge of the show seemed to have everything under control, which was amazing considering how many horses and riders there were.

Plan A - take Yara my new horse and Estella to do the 90cm and 1.00m classes

But you know with horses, you always need a Plan B!

Yara true to form seemed to have cut herself on her leg in the stable overnight being the delicate flower that she is we couldn't risk jumping her so on to Plan B - Glimpse and Estella.

A little reminder about Glimpse - 5 yr old, ex-race horse, who has just been brought back into work after having a foal. Never been in an indoor school before, never jumped more than 80cm before and only ever been to one tiny show down the road and that was cross poles last summer! Perfect back up plan - NOT!

Well she was an absolute superstar. The indoor school did not faze her, the crowded warm up arena did not faze her and then she went in to the ring, it was an up to height 90 with big bold fillers. She did have a refusal but it wasn't a big deal, it was a green mistake, she jumped big into the double which was a one strider, and because she jumped so big I could not get her straight for the second part and we found ourselves face to face with the wing. So I brought her round again and she jumped it perfectly the second time round. She rolled a pole too, but I was so pleased with her. She is going to make the most amazing pony, what an attitude.
Stella did a lovely clear in the 90cm which was a perfect warm up for the open and team got a very respectable 5th placing.

In the open I think I jumped technically the best round I have ever jumped, because finally everything Ken Spencer has been saying and drilling me about recently, about that canter fell into place. Stella has to have it just right as she is so difficult to jump. Not to fast not to slow but powerful and not to let speed become the enemy which it has been. Not this time - I had a collected but powerful canter which gave me enough time (if we were on the wrong stride) for me to try change it, I am finally learning how to show jump.

WE WON and I was one of the only clears so I was even happier!

We finally left at 6.45pm and I was due out for dinner at 7pm. Needless to say when I eventually reached the restaurant an hour late my food was waiting for me and so were my lovely friends. Happy Birthday Amelia!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Tina Cook lesson

Due to both our busy lives, Tina's being more so then mine I haven't had a lesson in a while. I wanted to take Yara this time because I wanted Tina to see her in all her glory.
And it was a jolly good lesson. Tina really liked Yara (doesn't everyone) and she said she was a really sweet horse that tries really hard, she said it will be interesting to see what she muscles up like, since she has very little muscle now and to see how her paces and movement improve.
It was a really great lesson, Yara always has the tendency to rush things, so the whole time I am asking her to slow down, this was one of the things  we worked on a lot.
Tina told me that "even though she is young it doesn't mean you can't do some of the exercises that you do with Estella", for example shoulder in on a small 10 meter circle really gets Yara  listening to my leg, I just have to ride it more sympathetically and not do it quite so extreme. This really helped when it came to my canter, this exercise was got her listening and really using herself, so when I came to the canter it was slightly better but still it needed a bit of work... 
So then Tina brought in a really challenging exercise for Yara, again back onto the 10 meter circle and walk to canter, canter to walk. Now being a big horse with a slight weak back end and really long legs, it was very hard but my god the result from it was amazing.
She started really bouncing it was hard work for me I really worked up a sweat but it was worth it; we did that on both reins 5, 6 times. 
After all this work on the canter we came back to the trot and it had improved dramatically she was carrying herself but she wasn't  light in the hand she was using herself and taking the contact which is what I had been trying to achieve but she is always too light in the hand which means she isn't working over the back and into the contact, so this was nice to feel. 
After a long 1hr and a half lesson I was shattered and so was the horse, we have taken this whole training session away with us and practiced very hard over last week in the dark cold evenings after school and there is a massive difference, I realised this today when I had a jumping lesson with Ken, he noticed a big difference as well. 

Next updates Schools Show Jumping and Jumping lesson with Ken!!!!!