Short Term Goals

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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

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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.

 

Feeding – Adjusting to a change in routine

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Stabling my mare means that I am now needing to change her feed. Were previously being out 24/7 on quite good grass and haylage she was able to keep up with the work I was asking of her without much more energy required from feed, which was a molasses free chaff and a “lite” balancer.

With the change in her routine I have decided it would best to adjust her feed as well.

The balancer I have chosen to put her on to now is a joint balancer, I was about to put her on another balancer (a comprehensive one) but while looking at what is actually in the balancer I noticed there is not much difference between the comprehensive and joint balancer. (Plus the joint balancer is cheaper!) So I have decided to keep the same chaff and change to the joint balancer. 

I am also aware of the spring grass coming through which of course will give her a boost! At this time of year I am always so excited for the light nights and the warmerish (I live in Scotland so lets be realistic) weather. But I always forget about the spring grass and the sugar rush that comes with it! 

With that being said I do want to feed her something extra as I believe she might have a slight discomfort as she has become a little girthy. The difficulty is I am unsure if this is internal or external discomfort. At this moment in time it could be a number of things due to her still settling in (and she is a very sensitive lady), hence why I am not overly worried as she still has her appetite and seems content in herself. So I am going to wait until I adjust her feed and we both settle down a bit more before possibly doing some further investigation.

A woman at the yard has suggested turmeric as she swears by it and from reading a few forums it seems like it can either be very good and really assist with various issues or have some adverse affects.

I have decided to introduce the new balancer first and next month I will start adding the turmeric and keep you guys updated with the results. (Also intend on posting about what it should/shouldn’t be fed with i.e should it be fed with pepper.)

Your horses feed should not be a fixed forever thing, while it is important to make changes slowly as to not upset their stomach changes should be made in order to adjust to the amount of work that is expected of them. I feel it is so easy to get stuck into feeding something because “that is what you feed”, therefore understanding why you are giving you horse that feed is very important to! 

On a side note – I came across this very interesting video which contains important information that all horse owners should be aware of.

 

Taking Stock – Whats next on your shopping list?

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Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.


-Epictetus

 

Horsey car boot sales ! I have never been to one but I will probably be signing up for a table soon as moving  my mare has shown me how much stuff that I actually have.

I have decided to have a clear out and hopefully I’ll manage to sell quite a lot of it and if I do hopefully I can save up enough money to buy something nice… but what ?

Whats next on your shopping list ?

Although I have a wish list as long as my arm I am so indecisive on what I would like to  buy first! For example I would love a nice pair of competition breaches, a glittering brow band would be lovely on my mare, ooo or perhaps a new riding helmet. Honestly this list could go on !

 

 

From Hardy Live out to Pampered Stabled

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Have you had a horse living out full time and started stabling them or vice versa ? How did they cope with the transition? 

Ever since I bought her my mare has not spent a single night in a stable. I bought her in July 2014 so that is 2 years and 8 months that she has lived full time outside, she is a definitely a toughened up mare! Through warm summer nights and half a foot of snow she has always been quite happy living out and never been sorry for it.

Putting her in a stable is a slight gamble, what I am hoping for is she will settle in to a routine and begin to enjoy having a stable to herself.

It will also be a lot easier for Schoolingme to control her diet with her coming in at night. While her weight is ok right now she’s not exactly fit. She really needs to drop a bit of weight. We both need to drop a bit of weight to be perfectly honest!

One thing I have noticed is that as she has settled into her stable she is beginning to get a little boisterous when in the stable – this is something that I will have to keep under control – but this will also be slightly due to the fact that she is not in full work.

She is also going to have to get used to living in a small herd (only 5 in total)  when previously the herd got as big as 15! She is also stabled next to her one of the mares she shares the field with which is quite nice for her.

Over all I think she is happy with her stable mostly because she can be nosey as where our block is we can see down on to the outdoor arena and she can spectate anyone using the school from a distance.

The human who does not hack.

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For the first time in about two and a half years we went out for a wander completely by ourselves!

It was such a windy night and after pottering about in the school for about 20 min with no success. I decided I may as well have a try and see what happens.

To go out on to the track we needed to head up past her stable, where there was slight hesitation but after a little encouragement she walked past quite happily.

We then reached the top of the track where we came to a halt and did some reversing, trying to turn back but I kept quiet and asked again for her to move forward. After 5 min she was persuaded and off we went walking out completely by ourselves!

Our first wander by ourselves in over 2 years! #horsestagram #instahorse #equestrian #equine #spring

A post shared by Fi (@macmurray93) on

Plus look at her ears! They keep flicking back checking on me!

Personally I don’t mind hacking but I am not one to think of hacking as the first thing we could do. I am quite indifferent about it. I know my mare isn’t particularly confident out by herself so she takes a lot of encouraging and I never feel you can relax as she can start spinning round to head home at any point.

But last night was a wonderful wee hack which I hope to use to cool down more often!

Schooling Night

Last night there was a jumping night at the yard, as there was jumps out in the school from the weekend before I decided to have a bit of a practice.

I think she enjoyed getting back jumping again, as you can see she was springing over no questions asked.

I decided to enter the 80cm as this would give us something more to thing about. However as you can see from the picture below, my mare makes it look like she could step over it 😂 🙈 You can watch it below

Our round can be simplified into pros and cons

Pros

– we got round clear with no refusals

– she quite happily trotted into the areana

– I discovered that my mare is capable of jumping 80 out of a very unbalanced approach (A.k.a she will get my ass to the other side of the jump)

Cons

– we did alot of what I would call “running”  – That pace that is between trot and canter, and the legs are every where and you are just hoping for the best. 😂

– we landed on the wrong leg quite a few times

Reflecting back the round was ok.

As far as jumping wise we did clear everything with a bit of scope, but it was the flat inbetween the jump that pulled us down. While there was some elements where we focused and got our selfves together there was quite a lot of it were I think we both were hoping for the best. At the end of the day this was a schooling night. I should of put a few circles inbetween the jumps to collect ourselfves and “gather up my knitting” so to speak, then ask for the canter. I think there was a few times where I tried to do this on the way to the next jump which neither of us are balanced enouh to do.

But this is a learning experience so I dont feel I should be too hard on myself for it.

Im glad I did it as it has highlighted a big area to work on, this is getting a consistant canter in between jumps. In general canter is our weakest stride, its lovely but not flexible.


So what next? 

I am going to sign up for a few lessons. There is regular instructors that I spoke about in my previous post that I want to sign up for but to make the most of those lessons I feel we need another week or two to focus on getting a bit fitter ( Im talking about myself mostly!)

Getting Started – New instructor nerves ?

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After almost 3 weeks off it was time to get back to work! I am still in slight disbelief that I am at this amazing yard.  For the first two times in the school I decided to lunge just to ease my mare back in to work. Then on one very windy night I thought I may as well get on with it as she was being very good. So I gave her a quick 5min lunge on each rein and hopped on. Despite being a little distracted still looking at everything but I had moments of focus during which she she was foot perfect. This coming week I am going to star upping the work so we can get back to were we where.

Schooling

First night in the school (Sorry for the poor quality)

To really get going I need to set myself a short term reachable goal to get started. So first thing is first get a lesson with one of the regular instructors …

Does anyone else get nervous when getting a lesson with a new instructor? 

 

Diary of a Moody Mare || Vol 2

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Dear diary,

My hand maiden has taken control.

It started last Monday, it was a cold windy day and she was insisting that I enter a large travel box. I refused. Three hours slipped by and she still was insisting that I enter. She eventually “called it a day” what ever that could mean.

On the Friday, yet again she requested that I enter the travel box. But out of mere curiosity I gave in. I was curious as to where she might be taking me to this time. Although there was something different about this box which made me unsure.

We arrived at another yard some time later. It is a respectable looking place, apparently this is my new home. I suppose it will do. I suspected this for a while my hand maiden had been muttering something recently. I was placed in a stable at which point I requested hay and water if this was to be my bed for the night it will suffice. I had a quick look around then stood looking out for my hand maiden to come back with my request. She delivered them quickly.

I have my own private quarters which are quiet but I can see various horses passing by which keeps my attention.  I am told that they are “for now” she better not do another “test” on me I will be most displeased if she does. She has told me I will join the others soon, I wander who she is referring to.

I also have my own private paddock, from which I can see over the hill to others in their paddocks. None of them have private paddocks like me.

I have shouted to them a few times but I am unsure if they can hear me due to … I don’t know, perhaps they are deaf.

Another unusual thing with this yard is that I appear to have acquired a new hand maiden. She takes me out to my private paddock during the week and my usual hand maiden attends to me during the night.