I can almost hear you rejoicing… Hannah actually has very little to say at last!
October really has been a holiday for both Stanley and I. He has spent lots of time enjoying his grass, getting hairy, fat and having a much needed break! I on the other hand have been enjoying some beautiful hot sunny weather in Spain with my family having a much needed break and enjoying far too much food, getting fat but thankfully less hairy than Stanley!
I did however get to ride a friend’s horse this month while she was out of action. It has been really eye opening riding something other than Stanley, it reinforced the importance of riding other horses when you are a one horse rider. It keeps you thinking on your feet, developing as a rider by thinking outside your usual box and is an invaluable learning tool. Our aim was to try to get his final qualifying points for the medium regionals and thankfully we managed! For 23 I think he is quite something and the testament to his lovely owner’s hard work and excellent care; he doesn’t necessarily find all the work easy but has the heart of a lion and tries so hard to please! Hopefully Linda will be back riding again shortly but I would love to have another go!
At the end of the month the weather has finally turned cold! Stanley has had some much needed pampering, physio, farrier, hairdresser etc. and is now ready to start thinking about doing some dancing again. We have a couple of Medium points left to get for the winter regionals and need to get one more sheet for our music by the end of November. I have a couple of competitions planned and a couple up my sleeve to enter just in case we forget what we are doing entirely the first time out!
Very brief from us this month but we hope you all find some winter jumpers to wrap up warm and enjoy your winter season.
Hannah & Stanley
Katelyn and Balli have done a couple of different things this month, one of which was practising some gridwork at home. This definitely helped Balli to keep a bit shorter within the distances.
They also had an arena eventing training session with Caroline Jeanne. Katelyn was so pleased with Balli as this was her first time seeing cross country jumps. Balli jumped everything including the dyke; the only thing she did not approve of was the water. She is hopefully going to become an eventer in the end. Katelyn is looking forward to getting Balli out for some cross country practice before they all close for the winter.
We have changed Balli over to Speedi-Beet from the Fibre-Beet and this has helped to keep her to maintain her weight as she was starting to get a bit tubby.
Spirit has had a bit of quite time from the show scene this month but that hasn’t stopped our training. Spirit has just had a clip and I’ve never seen her coat so shiny thanks to the help of Fibre-Beet which is also suitable for horses prone to equine gastric ulcer syndrome which Spirit has. Fibre-Beet also improves the digestibility of the alfalfa and forage. We’ve started training again after work so used the indoor arena, but we are not looking forward to these dark morning and evenings over the winter.
Considering it’s the end of the season, this month has been a fairly action packed one!
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs I’ve been working away with Quindora, who usually works in the riding school, in the hope I can get her out eventing. After going well out XC schooling, we headed to our first XC competition together at Burnham Market Hunter Trial.
She was a little over-whelmed and sticky riding over different types of terrain and through the wooded areas… a lot to take in for her! Nevertheless, she was very sweet, and I managed to nurse her home for a clear and respectable 6th place in a class of 31 starters in the 80cm!
Following this, I decided to brave it and register her with BE before attending her first event at Horseheath BE80! I’m so proud of her, she led the dressage on a score of 28.5 but unfortunately, we had a few little blips with the jumping phases so not the best result on paper. We managed to complete and with more competition practice, I’m convinced she’ll be away! I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve with her next season after a winter of training.
In between outings with Dora, I managed to sneak in an event for Alice Springs before the end of the season at Norton Disney, where she finished 8th in the 90 Open. She’s been off games for a while with a swollen face which I think was a result of her munching on some brambles! It was also lovely to bump into fellow brand ambassador, Jennie Daniels who was busy photographing at the event, as we rode up to the XC warm up. I was also competing in the same section as James Sommerville. The British Horse Feeds team was definitely out in force at Norton Disney!!!
I feel like I haven’t really had a chance to sit down and reflect on this season much yet, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind and seems like it’s over before it really got started this year! We have lots of homework to work away at now with all my rides, ready to come out stronger and better by the time March 2019 comes around!
This month we’ve mainly been side saddle and the hunt season has started. I have been out with four different hunts and rode side saddle for three outings. The biggest is the Quorn where there are always around 20 side saddle riders, so look out for us in the Horse and Hound photos from the meet.
We had a beautiful sunny autumn day for our annual English Civil War show and tell at a local school. Tilly is a firm favourite with the children and the teachers remember her each year and comment on how much better she is each year, as well as more shiny.
The month then finished with a Halloween themed Arena eventing where we competed side saddle in the 80cm class. We were too slow for a placing (mainly as I was struggling to keep my witches hat on top of my riding hat as it kept going backwards), but we there thrilled to win the best fancy dress!
It’s great to still see the grass at this time of year and no mud! My horses are enjoying lots of play in the fields still.
This month has been quiet on the competition front; QD Esquire made a winning appearance after six months off, which was great to have him out at the Dressage. We have been training hard working on my core strength and developing his trot to have more suspension.
Also this month we headed to Builth Wells in Wales to the Brightwell’s Welsh Cob Sales with Mountainhare Jacks Lad, our Welsh D licenced stallion. It was a horrible drive the last hour felt like five and when we arrived it was crazy busy with lots of giddy Welsh cobs everywhere, to be quite honest the atmosphere was rather exciting. Jack was staying overnight and went through the sales the following day. He went in with Stuart McNeal, his old owner. I had to flick the whip while the auctioneer did all the commentary on Jack, it was so emotional and sad. Jack made £7,000 in the ring and is now sold to Erica in Cardiff, we wish them good luck.
It’s been a pretty quiet month and I am hoping to have more stories for you next month. We will be weaning the foals so I’m sure that will be entertaining!
October has been an extremely busy month for me, although not a huge amount has been happening on the horsey front!
Harry is enjoying his down time being a ‘fun’ horse and is clipped and ready for his next few weekends of hunting! He has loved taking Donie (my mum’s four-year-old) around the farm ride at Somerford and introducing him to his first baby XC fences (and of course sneaking off to jump the bigger ones too)! We are going out with the Belvoir for the first time this Saturday.
Rosie on the other hand is absolutely livid that Harry and Donie can go out and play whilst she has to stay in on box rest. Her chestnut mare tendencies have shown themselves for the first time ever and hand walking is proving to be trickier than first imagined. Having already lost her in the school once, after she decided to throw herself on the floor and sent my mum flying resulting in a very painful looking haematoma, we have found the only way to ensure all four feet remain on the ground is to have two people leading her and a big bucket of feed to keep her distracted… it’s going to be a long road to recovery!!
The biggest news for me is that somehow… and I’m not quite sure how… I have managed to land myself the best first ‘proper’ job I could have imagined! I found out that I haven’t passed my masters with a commendation and less than a week later I was being offered the position for a job I never ever thought I’d get! It’s all very daunting but also exciting and I will very shortly be making the move to somewhere in East Anglia… exactly where I have no idea yet! It’s all happened very quickly and I start in just over a week! Time to face some proper responsibility and enter the real world! Of course in time the horses will come with me when I have sorted a place for myself, but for now my very lovely brother has agreed to look after my two horses whilst I get started!
I still don’t think I quite believe it is happening but I’m sure it’ll all seem pretty real soon!
Our season has ended as it started… rained off and put on hold with our own horses!
We have been building up to finishing the season with two Novice runs with Mindy (It’s Morka), the first being Broadway, then another at Norton Disney. Mindy has been fairly tricky to train in the early stages and she lacked confidence to go forward. We have worked really hard over the summer building our trust partnership, and nurturing her massive talent so much so we are really confident and excited to be heading off to Broadway… but then it rained, and rained and rained.
We got up at 3am, (still raining), did the horses and got ready (more rain), checked the messages to see if it was still on, nothing so off we set (still chucking it down).
During our journey we discussed ‘now this is less than ideal conditions for a step up’ but ‘she is really ready.’ ‘We are early to go, so we will get the best of the ground.’ ‘Broadway can take the rain.’ As we pulled into the event, which looked fabulous, PING goes the phone.
Sadly due to the heavy rain, Broadway has had to be abandoned. T and I looked at each and shrugged, story of our season this year! So that was that and we decided on the journey back to withdraw her from Norton Disney too and just shut the door in our 2018 season. We unloaded her, freshly clipped and sparkly clean and out into the field she went for her well-earned holiday! She was definitely beach ready.
Kick-on and stay safe