Coming's and Going's

Just got back from a week’s holiday in Greece to Britain in the midst of a heat wave and a pass certificate for the British Horse Society Senior Equitation exam - feeling very pleased with myself and many thanks to Robert Pickles FBHS who has helped me to prepare for this exam.


Back to the horses, and thank you to Louise, Cynthia and Mum who have kept everything ticking along while I have been away. A few comings and goings of horses this week on the yard – Percy who has been in on a schooling livery is now going on to his new owner, Mickie has returned from a weeks holiday at home, so we can now start preparing for our next competition – Dauntsey Horse Trials. I was also expecting a new horse on the yard that a livery client was having vetted which unfortunately failed, and another horse on the yard is currently up for sale and has a potential buyer and finally the lovely 17hh 4yr old Fallon is moving up north in mid July.

It has potential

After spending the night listening to the storm raging outside, I arrived at the yard early to ride before the day starts to heat up again. A lovely leg stretch in the fields under the ‘White Horse’ locally known as the ‘Zig Zag’, untack and a quick wash off. Time for breakfast a quick cuppa plus Choccy biscuits, not ideal I know, unlike Dennis tucking into his nutritious Saracen Enduro!

Best friend and colleague Louise has just asked if I fancy a little trip out to see a horse she is interested in – pic’s look good, right size, just what she is looking for – only problem is that it is 200 miles away and she needs to see it today! We viewed the horse, a friendly sweet chap, very willing and jumped well, but looked weak and in poor condition. Definitely could do with a good quality feed – Saracen.... and schooling to build him up and develop muscle tone – but we think it might have potential! We arrived back in Marlborough both starving and in need of a good curry. Thought we would pop into The Palm which was full of customers all dressed up for a Saturday night out. We kept our heads down as we followed the waiter to our table dressed in sweaty T shirts, jodhpurs, long socks, joddy boots and smelling slightly of horse........... Hope we didn’t put anyone off their dinner!

Boot Camp

Busy three days at White Horse Liveries, Kati Phillips and I have organised a ‘Boot Camp’ for The Tedworth Pony Club for Pony Clubers heading for the C+/B test. Keeping these youngsters busy with sessions focussing on stable management, lunging, jumping and flat lessons and ending with a fab cross country session at Rabson Manor Cross Country. We also had two fantastic interactive lectures, firstly Nikki McGee from Saracen Horse Feeds talked to us about the importance of feeding a nutritious diet to your horse. Farrier Ian Lewin brought in a mechanical horse’s leg for everyone to experience taking off a shoe – it is certainly much harder than it looks!
Great camp, fab ponies, lots of fun - thank you very much to everyone who made it possible.

On The Move

Well wring me out and hang me up to dry – rain, rain and more rain. I have lost count of how many coats I have got through today, but must keep going the horses still need to be schooled/exercised etc. But on a plus point the fields will really benefit from this downpour. Changing a few things around at White Horse Liveries, field shelters are coming down from the top paddocks as the whole area is being re-seeded. One of the shelters is going to be used as a jump store by the outdoor school and a place for spectators to shelter from all this rain – wonder if I could teach from the shelter!

Scary Fish Jumps

Feeling pooped - alarm went off at 4am this morning. Ascot Under Wychwood here we come - Dinah, Spider and MLP all looking very smart and ready to go! MLP (My Little Pony – such a cool name) ridden by Louise Holden found it all very exciting in the dressage warm up, but just about managed to contain himself in the arena. He jumped a good show jumping round (very slippy in the arena) and then excelled himself by jumping clear cross country round with just a little verbal encouragement from Louise as they approached the water - well ridden Louise. Anstise Baring's lovely All Night Dinah produced a good dressage test, and jumped a super double clear - again needed a lot of verbal encouragement heading towards the Fish jump and into the water! Very happy indeed with her progress today. Also competed Roseanna Hope's Spider a beautiful TB out of racing. This was only his second one day event - he produced a good dressage test just not to keen on going too close to the big white scary boards around the arena. Show jumped well and then took on the cross country course the only blip being the ‘Fish jump’ just before the water and even with lots and lots of encouragement had a stop, but came around and popped it at the second time of asking - just wanting to take a look at everything and at this stage in his eventing career that is fine. All in all a good day, thanks to Roseanna, Cynthia and Pandora for helping and Mum for a great picnic making a lovely ending to a good day.

Dauntsey Horse Trials

Following on from his first Intermediate run at Nunney Horse Trials we felt Mickie needed to drop down to Novice for a nice confidence giving round x country. He had jumped well at Nunney but just a little green through some of the combinations. And that is exactly what we achieved, My Man Mickie produce two fantastic clear rounds, first show jumping foot perfect and a beautiful ride cross country - ground quite hard so we took a steady run around. Dressage was another story though and certainly not our best phase today – Mickie was feeling so excited throughout the test and managed to 'piaffe' just in front of the judge when he should have walked and scored a well deserved 2 for that movement!

wilton horse trials - Much to celebrate

Dressage at 8.55am which means leaving yard at 6.15am to get to Wilton in time to walk the cross country before dressage. Being one of the first on in the dressage arenas means everything is still very calm and peaceful, no show jumping or cross country loud speakers going on, which I think Mickie benefits from. He warmed up well and went on to do his best test to date, just swinging his quarters as we came into the halt – but really pleased with him. He scored a very respectable 33.1 which placed up there with a chance! Foot perfect round the show jumping, he just gives every jump so much and we headed onto the cross country still on our dressage score. We decided to change his bit for the cross country just to give me a little more control when I needed it. All the support team decided that the fence to watch was the the big drop down the hill to a skinny chair. Mickie flew round the course and I heard a couple of loud whoops (thank you Katie) as we negotiated the drop, down the hill and took on the skinny. I managed to take out a couple of red flag posts with my foot along the way, but Mickie gave me an awesome ride and only got 3.2 time penalties. Whether he got placed or not we did not care we could’nt have asked any more of him – so a 4th place rossie in only his second Intermediate run was just the icing on top of the cake! Talking of cake – after Mickie was washed off, walked around and cared for, we all tucked into a scrummy picnic. Special thank you to Sarah Francis for giving me the ride on her fabulous little horse, Louise Holden for grooming, and Shirley and Katie who came along to support and were very vocal whooping as we cleared the drop fence cross country.

Tomorrow Mickie can have a well deserved rest and for me more horses to ride, clients to teach and a stable management lesson for a student wanting to take the BHS stage 4 exam.  But I think I might just have a little bit of a lie in!