Let’s go jumping 

Tags

, , , , , , ,

I recently had lesson with an instructor that I have now had about three lessons from.

As the course was still out from the show the at the weenend we decided to do some jumping.

After warming up over a few of the jumps we stopped and had a discussion about the course. We spoke about various corners that maybe difficult for my mare or which combinations I would have to make sure my mare doesn’t get too long in the middle of.

I then rode the course and while at the end we had cleared the jumps upon discussing how the course had gone I was told I’m essentially not ridding fast enough to the jumps so when we get there my mare is heaving herself over. The example the instructor used was there was a hurdle in front of you would you jog up to it or would you take it at a bit more of a run so that you ensure you have enough energy to get over it.

So I rode the course with a bit more of the “let’s go for it” vibe and the jumps felt easier even though they were all up another 10cm.

The third time riding the course we had a bit of a hiccup over 6 to 8 but I got us back and rode 9 to 11 well. The instructor complimented my keep going had rode the rest of the course well.

Unfortunately the next lesson will not be until the middle of July, while there are other instructors available they are slightly more expensive. I have also had a great job opportunity meaning that I am also changing jobs at the start of July. So with that I have decided that, while I really want to book another lesson – my bank account is screaming no – that I’m going to wait until the lesson I have planned until July and probably wait until August before having another. This also means that the dressage test I was going to enter in July will not be happening. 😔 But oh well with my new job I’ll be able to move forward in my career and have a little bit more money to – lets be honest – spend on the horse!

jumping.png

Fitness Training

Tags

, , , , ,

In my determination to get fit this summer I have been hacking more than schooling. On the hack I have been focusing on forwardness and get my mare to generally stretch out. 

We have had some amazing days recently with some amazing views. 

After almost a week of solid hacking I thought I would go back into the school. And whether it was the time off from schooling she needed or the different form of schooling I have no idea but all of a sudden we had outline! 

While yes this was in no way consistent and she did get distracted when she got tired as per usual. She was much more soft and much more willing to hold herself. She was also much more off the leg therefore I was able to concentrate on my position and my habits like not getting to busy with my hands e.c.t.

This outline also continued into the canter !! 

While usually I can occasionally find the outline in canter it takes a hell of a lot off work to keep it. Where as the other day while yet again not consistent the canter we did get something and I didn’t feel like I needed to hold her up. 

I feel like we are heading in the right direction and I can’t wait for my next lesson on Monday. It’s been about 4 weeks since the last one so hopefully my instructor will see some of our progress! He also said he might hop on so that will be very good to watch. I like seeing our people on my mare as I can take a step back and really have a look at how she is doing. It also tends to give me a laugh at my mares look of fury that I have allowed someone jump on her that she hasbt fully vetted and doesn’t let her get away with the things that I do. 😂

Sensitive Stomach

Tags

, , , , , , ,

My mare is very sensitive to feed changes and I sometimes forget this. When her stomach is upset/uncomfortable she becomes quite difficult to handle and becomes spooky and generally a bit twitchy.

Right now I am on a major fitness drive for both my mare and myself. And I feel like we are doing alright. I have been hacking out a lot more and trying to keeping in trot or canter as much as possible and varying the paces as well. I have a route which I can do various ways and that involves inclines of hill work e.c.t. The route is a decent length and we can do it in about 40min but if Im in a hurry I could cut some of it out and do it in about 20min.  I am still to find a decent running or hacking tracker app for my phone that I can use to track our progress but hopefully I’ll find one soon.

 

As part of this fitness drive I also decided to cut her feed right back as she is now out for the summer on good grass and I don’t feel she needs anything extra as she is also getting hay when I have her in.

Yup, that stomach thing, I forgot.

So she’s gone a little on the loopy side… spooking and snorting at everything in site. I went out for a hack today and we went for a canter and all of a sudden we were standing dead still. I was quite lucky I didn’t continue over her head! So she going to start getting a little bit of feed again just to help with her digestion.  Just balancer – barely a handful-  and a few tea spoons of turmeric. Hopefully this will settle her stomach and I will have my mare back to her settled usual self.

Our First Dressage Test!

Tags

, , , ,

And breathe ….
Ah! So in one of my previous posts I mentioned we had entered a dressage test (Prelim 15 Unaffiliated)! And this morning we did it !

I brought her in nice and early.. or so I though at the time. Plaiting up took longer than I thought meaning I was rushing a little to finish cleaning her. But I still got down to the warm up with about 25mins to go before the test.

In the warm up it is difficult to keep out the way of everyone. It was very much in my mind that some of the other riders are hoping to qualify for the championships therefore I was trying to keep out their way as best I could so that I didnt interfer with their warm up.

During the whole test I think I breathed once! As soon as we stepped in the areana we spooked. “uh oh we’ve only taken five steps in the arena and we are already diving out the way of some scary flowers! Here goes!” 😂 We then spooked again at the photographer clicking away as we went past and therefore getting into that corner proved difficult during the test.

We didn’t exactly do ourselves proud but it was our first ever dressage test so its an experience. I couldn’t keep the contact at all and looking at the video my reins were far too long which obviously lent to that. The judges comments consisted of quite a few “above the bit” which I completely agree on. We didnt have contact.  A comment that made me laugh was “Looking at everything” which we certainly were! I think she inexpected every letter on the way round!

To my surpise our highest marks were in the free walk on a long rein, this is were I was expecting the lowest marks as my mare has the nasty habit of snatching the rein when you realse it. Rather than taking it gentally from you and stretching she will grab the bit and shove her head down. While the end result is kind of want I want she doesnt have a very nice way of doing it.

The final comments from the judge was

” Active forward horse but inattentive today and not working over back to contact.  Keep at it some glimpses of fairly good work”

Im pretty pleased with these comments as we had quite a problem with moving forward. But even though I felt like I was working quite hard to get what I wanted, Im glad it came off to look like she is a “active forward” horse. 🙈
I think a lot of the above boils down to fittness. When we first went in the warm up ring she felt amazing. She was listening to me and moving off my leg. And we had a consistant contact however baring in mind I only warmed up for 20min and I didnt trot / canter the entire time.  She was already behind my leg by the time we went in. I dont think we warmed up too much maybe I didnt warm up enough ??

For next time

♦️ Shorten my reins!

♦️ Work on our fittness!

♦️ Contact!

♦️ Prepare a little earlier.

Purge the Podge

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

My mare is not exactly fit … and neither am I. We aren’t massively obese but we have a layer of podge that is needing shifted.

Now that we are getting ourselves out hacking more I want to use this to work off that “layer”.

Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 16.00.33.pngToday we went exploring and I found two loops that we could do, the beauty is that most of it we can trot or canter. Today as it was our first time round we walked most of it but trotted and cantered in places and it took us an hour. As we get fitter I will be able to ,perhaps, go round one of the loops twice or do the whole thing twice.

It would be great if I could find an app to track our progress on how much we are doing. This is were am I asking you guys if you know of any ?

 

Does anyone know of any good hacking trackers to get on your phone ? (Or perhaps a running tracker?)

Dressage Diva

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

I have entered our first dressage!

After submitting my entry I promptly went on to the British Dressage website and ordered a set of tests. And they arrived today! I ordered the intro, prelim and novice tests as they have an offer on them and I thought – fingers crossed – I will be able to do the novice level at some point in  the future.

I have entered the prelim test as this was the lowest unaffiliated level on the Saturday. This test includes all 17 letters.. this will be fun!

So here goes I better get practicing!

Me trying to memorise the test

Venturing Out

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

At our last yard we didn’t go out hacking on our own we were always with someone.

At this new yard I decided to get hacking as soon as possible. I have been taking my mare down a straight track to cool down. Normally at the end we turn around and go straight back up the track again.

But this time I thought I would try my luck and see how far we would get. From the top of the track we can divert slightly into a field and there is a track that goes all the way around the edge of the field. I thought I would see how far we get. Even it if got half way I would be happy.

To my slight surprise we got all the way round the field. Yes there was snorting involved and we stopped and did some reversing twice but we didn’t turn around !

I plan to use this route regularly as a cool down or some light exercise.

 

Eva2

Short Term Goals

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

So I have my goals for the year – see the below…

  • Get out competing!!  (I had this goal last year but I am now slightly closer)
  • Achieve and be able to hold a more balanced canter
  • TRANSISTIONS TRANSISTIONS !!
    • Both upward and downward transitions need work

I have decided that I need to set myself some short term goals e.g What am I going to do in the next two months to reach the above goals?

Well lets face it enter a bloody competition woman I need to enter a competition! (and now that I have moved to a place that holds competition at the yard I have no excuse!)

I need to get myself sorted. *Write out long rant about getting my ass in gear then delete it as it makes no sense*

*Cough* Moving on.

There is a dressage competition coming up in the middle of May unfortunately it was an affiliated competition that you needed to qualify for and the next competition that held unaffiliated classes wasn’t until June which happened to fall on the weekend of a family event therefore I wouldn’t be able to enter.

But this all changed yesterday! As they announced that next week they will be opening entries a few more unaffiliated classes for the competition in May!!

 

Showjumping wise there is a “To Be Confirmed” date in June which I will be keeping an eye on. Hopefully the competition falls on a weekend I am free – which in June there only one  – if not I will have to aim for a date in July which is also a “TBC” date.

 

Now to look at “day tickets” for BSJ and BD…

 

 

Holidays

Tags

, , , , ,

Eva1.pngI have just arrived back from a week long break where I went on a wonderful road trip around the Scottish highlands.

During this time my mare was on full livery – Im sure she behaved herself  I hope she behaved herself (Im sure she did… I mean I didn’t get any messages or anything) and I hope she enjoyed her week off as I am feeling refreshed and ready to start sorting myself out to enter competitions.

On Monday we have the farrier in the morning followed by a lesson in the evening. As usual I will need to dope her for the farrier due to her nasty habit of snatching her legs. Ive decided that I am going to get a behaviourist for this issue or at least have a discussion with one because I want to get over this issue! Also while I am at it I’ll probably have a discussion about getting her to load and to clip … it is probably the one under lying issue that emerges under these situations. (I will be getting my moneys worth!)

I am also trying to find a competition that I can aim for. There is an unaffiliated dressage in June but I am attending a wedding the same weekend so unfortunately I will not be able to enter it. So I am keeping a close eye on any announcements for events that they have in the summer.