Laura- Onwards and upwards we go
Onwards and upwards we go!
And long may it continue pretty please!
After going back to basics last month and really regrouping on what I need to do to become a better rider when we jump – I am pleased to report the persistence is beginning to show in my results in the ring and at home! I knew those jump lessons with my eyes shut and no reins would stay to pay off 🙂
First up this month was a Monday night trip to Wing Dressage and Jumping Centre for some clear round jumping, it was very relaxed and just what I needed to get a few rounds under my belt, having still got little ring craft experience I wanted to go somewhere without the pressure of the bell ringing so a clear round show was the perfect outing! I had had a hectic weekend and was let’s say not feeling my best (!) after a few vodkas the night before, but maybe I should ride like that more often as we only went and got a clear round! After injury last year and then our recent problems to get it all together and jump a clear round – I was over the moon! Mikey was forward, keeping a rhythm and generally doing exactly what we need to do -more to come I hope!
We also headed to local cross country venue Great Westwood for a XC clinic, I hadn’t been there before and was keen to see what was on offer as I had heard good things about it, after a rocky start Mikey really started to improve and was feeling great – Great Westwood has a great variety of fences and even a plane to jump – which of course we had to give a go – and we flew over it! (Excuse the pun!).
I headed out to attempt my first ever novice dressage test this month, having scored pretty consistently at prelim level it felt time to step up, we have been working on some medium trot and canter steps at home so was hoping for a nice result. We did a prelim to warm up for the novice and Mikey took particular issue to a plant pot or maybe there was a Pokémon hiding in the bush I’m not sure (spooking is most unlike him but we all have off days!) it meant a lack of focus, and I found it pretty hard to keep any flow through the test, sadly, he couldn’t get over his Pokémon issue for the 2nd test which ended up in us not posting our best scores to date but as they say “there is always tomorrow”.
I have always wanted to do some fence judging but never seem to find the time, but this month I finally found a gap in my calendar to give it a go, my niece Amy and I headed over to Aston Le Walls to fence judge the advanced class there, we had a nice simple fence, fence 3 on the course, which was a simple gallop fence, a big solid log stack, the sun shone all day and we had a great time, Aston Le Walls really look after their volunteers and it was great to see some of the team GB riders before they set off to Rio going round, we had no problems at our fence all day which was a relief and I am looking forward to a 2nd fence judging stint in a few weeks’ time! If you have ever thought about fence judging just do it! You learn so much watching other people and it’s a great way to give back to the sport, I found the event organiser from the BE website and contacted them directly to offer my help, I am sure you all have local venue desperate for volunteers – you might even get a schooling voucher for your efforts – I did!
Another local venue Wakes End Farm had one of their summer shows this months, so we went along to check it out, the venue is lovely, an amazing arena with a full working hunter course as well as a XC course. We had a very successful day taking first place in the ridden coloured and hunter horse, topped off with a reserve and champion for the rings we competed in – 2 sashes in one day – amazing!
We headed out for our first XC outing since re grouping and getting our jumping mojo back, my friend Lizzie kindly agreed to give us lead round the pairs class so as to give us a confidence boost and just focus on following her round, (thank you Lizzie!) – we had a great time, a few hitches coming out over the first few fences but once out on the course, we had a brill time and started to get the momentum we needed over the fences. It was a full on yard outing that day, Lizzie also gave another of my friends Candice a lead round the pairs class, they flew round and managed to bag the red rosette in their class! Another friend Emma and her horse Oscar made the XC debut in the individual and amazingly won their class too – not a bad effort for her first time on the XC course for 5 or more years! Well done ladies J
Lastly this month myself and a few friends have been lucky enough to trial some new products from Honeychop. They are expanding their Free From range with two new products and we were able to test them out to see what the horses thought of them. One product is going to be called Lite & Healthy, which is Natural Fibre for Good Doers and the other is currently unnamed but is a low calorie alfalfa product. A couple of my friends have got horses that are fussy eaters that they struggle to get bulk into, so they tried the Unammed product, and the feedback we got was really positive, they got munched up and not a trace was left in the bowl.
A few other friends tried the Lite and Healthy feed, which again went down really well, my friends were really impressed with the quality of the feed and the smell and texture also got a big thumbs up. They won’t be out on the market until autumn but my friends are already asking me when they can get their hands on these tasty new products!
Until next month
Laura and Mikey J