Friday, 28 February 2014

All the motivation you need before your first event of the season

As you know I have been training hard all winter, we live on top of a hill, the weather is harsh and the wind has been incredible but we have hardly lost a days training and now my first event is a couple of days away, I am excited and motivated beyond belief, I am not expecting great things early on in the season, I just want to give my horses confident runs. This week I received this letter out of the blue from someone I have never met. I won't embarrass her by putting her name on there but I was so touched and if I ever need a confidence boost, I think I will read this.


I know this will probably come across as very cheesy and out of the blue but I just wanted to say how much I look up to you as a young rider trying to make their way in this tough and selective sport. Not only do I view you as a talented rider and horsewoman but I also see and appreciate your hard work and your work ethic. I remember seeing an interview of yours from fit to ride and how you said that you don't go out to competitions to win as such but see them as 'training' and believe that the results will come when the foundations are solid and have been put in place when both the rider and horse work together well on the day. I also share this view and I have always struggled with it because of how patient you have to be, I am constantly saying to myself that I must be disciplined and school all of my horses slowly and correctly in order to get results when it matters at the higher levels as our basics will be so solid and there is no point in rushing a nice young horse for the sake of a rosette at a 90 or 100 etc. I wanted to wish you the best of luck for this season and beyond and I really am rooting for you to have a great junior year as well as your young horses putting in further quality rounds at the lower levels because they seem lovely types. 
All the best fellow aspiring event rider "

Debut in British Eventing Life Magazine!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Ramping up for the season!

Training and fitness has been ramping up here at Upper Barn pre season.

Rocklodge Nasdaq (Hector) has made a very welcome return (in his brand new rug) and has settled right back in as if he never left. Mum looks forward to her cuddle with him every morning and he has come back better than ever, he is much softer and working really well. He will be ready to event by the end of March and we will start doing some dressage in the next week or so. He has now been clipped so is ready for action!

Photo: Gorgeous Boo doing her thing!Our baby Dramatic Effect (Boo) is just fantastic, we have been out winning dressage shows, getting placed and qualifying for the British Eventing JAS finals, she is jumping clear rounds consistently. However her time back on the cross country at LMEQ was somewhat tentative, I am not worried, she is such a fast learner and next visit I know she will fly round. Cannot wait to start the season on her.

Embedded image permalinkFitness training has involved a lot of water work due to the nature of the flooding, but we have to get on with whatever weather we have, these horses have to be ready for the season. But as you can see this week the weather finally got to me and Danny and whilst it was raining and howling gales outside we hid in the stable and went to sleep!

Photo: Me on Joe and Pip on Shredder at Merrist Wood today all three Upper Barn horses went double clear, I think you call that a hat trick!  xJoe is still with us but his owner Eliza has gone off to learn to be a skiing instructor and then will go travelling later on in the year so Joe now has Megan Rogerson riding him. I am still going to compete him occasionally. He came 4th and qualified for the JAS championships with me and came 1st in his first showjumping competition with Megan. He is looking fantastic at the moment and I hope he does well at the championships at the end of February. He will do his first BE event with me at Tweseldown. We send photos to Eliza every week to keep her updated.

Danny and I are off to Junior Training this week at Aston le Walls, we have also been showjumping training with Ronnie Healy, we have a comprehensive plan for the season. He has had all his pre season vet checks, legs have been xrayed, he has been shod up to Xray and he ready to go. Our first dressage show was interesting, well to give you an idea. He and Boo were in the same class, he should have walked away with it but Boo beat him and he was barely placed! Naughty boy. Our aim next time will be to stay in the arena and contain our medium canter instead of flat out galloping down the longside!

In addition to my own horses I am still working for Carolyn Gorman, schooling the pointers, I have a few people that I teach and a couple of other horses that I ride. I have also been asked to ride for a couple of other people which I hope will start soon and when I do I will let you know who they are. (I am very excited).

Sadly I will be saying goodbye to my groom and good friend Catherine. Catherine and I have worked together for nearly a year. I will miss seeing her everyday but she will still be coming in to cover when we need her. I would like to thank Catherine for everything, come rain, wind and the little shine we have had she has been there for me.