Sam- Awesome month training with the horses
Hey guys! Thanks for checking up with us to see what we’ve been up to this month! I’ve had an awesome month training with the horses, they’ve been super keen and ready to go out competing! Lots of practice ready for the season to begin!
Firstly I took ruby to the Area Combined Training Qualifiers, where a team of four of us had to do a dressage test and then a showjump course after. I rode for Towy Valley and I had to do a prelim test and a 75cm showjumping course, which is a little smaller than ruby has been jumping recently. She had a score 60%+ and had four faults in the showjumping! Overall our team won the qualifier class and we’re off to Aston Le Walls for the championship!
I also had a Rider Biomechanics lesson which focused on the rider and how we as riders influence the horses way of going. This was very informative and I highly recommend trying it! Its made me much more aware of my position and how to improve it and where I’m going wrong! Since then I have been working on lengthening my legs and loosening my hips and knees so I can absorb the movement meaning I’m not so tight through my back. I’ve seen a massive difference in my position now I’m aware of my bad habits.
This month ive also had two clinics with my trainer Jonathan Petts. One showjumping one where I took Ollie and Ruby and they both jumped awesome, flowing, relaxed and full of confidence! The next one was an arena eventing one where I took Chester and Ruby for a play, Ruby was fab as always and took me round the course no problem, we got up to a nice height at the end and it didn’t phase her in the slightest! Chester however was far too excited about being out and although he jumped okay, he’s lost a lot of confidence in himself I ended up on the floor over the second part of a double! Luckily I’m fine and it could have been a lot worse! We got back on and had a nice couple of rounds but he just needs to relax and trust me and himself more, hopefully he’ll get better the more we do!
We went to the April mixed show on the 31st – 3rd! I took Ollie and Ruby to this and they were absolute stars the whole weekend! Ruby done the 90cm all weekend and after having a pole in each class on Friday and Saturday, proved that she learnt by her mistakes producing her best round to date on the Sunday and getting a clear round and if she was registered she would of gotten 4th! So excited to take her BSJA this season!!
Ollie was also super well behaved over the weekend! He done the British Novice on Friday, and the Discovery on Saturday and Sunday! He had two awesome double clears on the Friday and Saturday, just out the placings by a few seconds! Then he had two poles on Sunday due to being overly keen and just being a little too fast and flat! But the confidence is definitely 100x better than last year and I hope this continues to grow more and more over the season!
We also took Ruby and Ollie to Summerhouse for a practice over the course before Broomes. Both horses we’re absolutely awesome and jumped out of their skins! I hope to do more BSJA’s up there and start going up to do 1.05m on Ollie, hopefully in prep for the Open teams for Towy Valley in June.
Tim’s last exercise was very easy to set up, and it rides a lot easier than you’d think. This month I had to do it with just poles as Ollie hasn’t been sound so he hadn’t been back in work long, but I felt it achieved the same thing as it does with jumps, so a very versatile exercise and anyone can use it to improve their flatwork or jumping.
It was a 5 jumps in a row, all one stride away from each other, and using the fences, jumping a combination of jumps on an angle and going around the next jump to jump the one after (For example:- jump no 1, go around no 2 and jump 3 go around 4 and jump 5.) I found this exercise for me really helped with planning my turns and using my leg and body weight to help Ollie land on the correct lead ready for the turn back to the next jump. This exercise is quite tricky, especially for an unbalanced horse, but is easily achievable and can be made harder and harder as you progress. It took us a couple of attempts to get it right but when Ollie had a better understanding of what I wanted and I started preparing my turns and routes better it started to flow, and Ollie also started landing on the correct lead more often. This exercise is really good for practicing jump off turns and helps you and your horse with jumping on an angle which can be quite daunting.