Brand Ambassador’s January Update

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So, Stanley’s big, fat leg decided to follow us into the New Year. Frustrating, but sometimes these things are sent to try us, and we have to work with it. We used the time to get him as ‘Regional’ ready as possible as our first trip to Merrist Wood for the Elementary Music Regional and only four weeks away.
Lots of scrummy Fibre-Beet was in order to replace the fibre he was losing by not being in the field. New shoes from David Jones Dip Wcf, a good physio session from Sorcha Moneley (Equilibrium Veterinary Physiotherapy), Biomechanics training for me from Emma Westmacott and saddle checked by Sara Prosaddles Morrison. What a team!
After 10 days of walking we were ready to go again – a little bit rusty after our unexpected few weeks off but the good bits were amazing. I found a picture from when I first got Stanley and from this lesson. My word it shows what correct feed, correct training and an amazing support team can do… it really does feel like we are nearly knocking on the door of our tailcoat dream now!
We decided to take a trip to Wellington to run through our music, we had only had about three schooling sessions but felt it was beneficial to get him into Wellington’s arena as that is where we are planning to do our straight regional tests. Well, I nearly fell off my perch when I saw the result – it may have been an unaffiliated day, but we were lucky enough to have a well-respected BD judge casting her eye over our music test. 84%!!! Scores that you see the professionals getting and only ever think will happen in your dreams!
The following weekend we attended two days of Regional practice which was a weekend of two halves! The first day we did our medium test, a level we are still new to. However, if I had remembered my sat nav we may have got a better score!! Because I was lost I got faster and faster and it all went a little to pot and we ended mid-field on an average score – I was pretty pleased all things considering!!
On Sunday normal service was resumed; I found the half halts and the sat nav was plugged in! It paid off in the Elementary class, we finished second on 72.3% in a huge class. It was perfect pre-regional preparation and I was super pleased we had no spooking at the flowers, judging boxes, light patches or anything else that in the past would have been considered pony eating!
The month was finished with another Sara-Jane Lanning lesson which was super. We went through the medium test and I re-found my confidence. He is new to working with this much strength which is why he finds it hard to keep the same power and push consistently and I get a little flustered, but I am learning to support his wobbles and when I half halt and remember to take my time some of the work feels so grown up!
Never give up on your dreams… every lesson is a step closer to making them reality. Regionals here we come!
Hannah & Stanley

Hi Everyone

Hope you have all had a good start to 2018! It’s been pretty wet at QD Horses, but it hasn’t stopped us competing. We had QD Esquire (Morris) out for his first show at Northallerton. We used our Lemon Tree music to win the Elementary Gold section with over 73%. We got a late entry for the Medium music, and I have to be honest I made it up as I went along and won with 69%!! He was so good and felt fantastic, he looked so fit and in such great shape.

Also, I had my sisters coloured horse out at Bishop Burton College to practice for his regional championship in February. He won a big class with almost 74%, he really went lovely and I could not ask for more from him.

I am currently training them all up for the regionals, we have four horses qualified and six classes so it will be a busy event. Later in February we will be going watch our new horse in Holland, and hopefully get some practice in for my shows over in Holland this year.

My advanced horse, Pikkert, has been training hard. We took him to Ledston Equine clinic to use their huge arena so we could practice my floor plans and tests, and we also worked on some piaffe and passage!! He’s still a little green so not quite ready for the Grand Prix yet!!

This month is pretty much training and teaching, and we’ve had some good results coming in from the clients I teach, which is always rewarding.

Next month, I hope to share my regional stories along with my Dutch trip.

Love Sarah & QD Horses

January has just flown by and with the start of the eventing season getting closer and closer, it feels great to be getting back to business with our preparations!

I’ve been enjoying planning our first runs of the year and just cannot wait to get back on that xc field!

Last weekend Robbie had his first outing of 2018, practicing our showjumping at a lovely new venue to the area, Laughton Manor. He came home with a fourth in the 95cm and second in the 105cm. We had a fab time there!

This week we are off for a XC lesson at Burnham Market with our fantastic trainer, Tiny Clapham. I’m really excited about that as I’ve only ever had one XC lesson (a fair few years ago!) on my now retired eventer, Hutch. I have a feeling I will come away with lots to improve on and I know that Robbie will absolutely love being able to fly over some solid fences on grass so early in the year!
We’ve spent much of our time recently hacking out and building up fitness. I think it’s really important for the horses to do some road work at the beginning of the year, even though they don’t get turned away for a complete holiday throughout the winter. For Robbie especially, it’s so valuable to him to keep him ticking over and in some sort of work, although not as strenuous as his normal exercise regime!

Having come to me with old sacroiliac problems, we work really hard with Tiny, who is always understanding and sympathetic with him, as well as our amazing chiropractor, Sophie Edwards, to make the best of his paces and keep him comfortable and able to perform! Without Sophie, Robbie wouldn’t be out competing! She keeps him straight and feeling great!

Robbie’s walk is by far his weakest pace. It lacks in clarity and Robbie finds it quite difficult to step under himself, making his steps short and tight and therefore poorly marked! Hacking out is great to encourage him to walk out and it makes my job easier listening to the regularity of the ‘clip clop’ on the road! It has definitely seemed to help improve his flatwork when we get back in the arena at home, so I’m hoping this will be seen in our dressage marks too! I also believe hacking is the perfect opportunity to work on my own strength, so you will often see me standing up in my stirrups whilst hacking down the roads, improving my lower leg and balance.

Catch up with yet even more pre-season prep in Feb!

Coral x

Even though over the past few months Katelyn and Balli have not been out competing, they have really been working on Balli getting stronger, calmer and learning the main basics again. These are slowly being achieved but are going to take some time.

Balli is still having Fibre-Beet in her feed and her condition is getting so much better, her coat is glossy, and she has great coverage even through these tough months of winter.

Katelyn is hoping to get Balli out competing again soon, but it will all depend on how she is going in the next few months. Katelyn is hoping to get Balli to a few clear round shows in the next few months and hoping to move forwards from there.

Rachel and Spirit are looking forward to getting out and competing in February. They have loads of lessons booked in with Ashley Boyce and have been doing lots of work on there fitness, hacking every weekend and putting in the work in the school during the week.

Spirit still has her important source of Fibre-Beet and is looking great; her coat is looking fantastic and better than ever. They are both looking forward to the up and coming year.

January has been a very busy month for everyone over here. The horrible wet weather has turned the fields into a giant bog meaning that for the last couple of weeks the horses have had multiple duvet days! They seem perfectly happy to stay in the warm and dry munching haylage whilst we run around after them! There are only so many times you can put up with having to basically jet wash them and their rugs down to get rid of the liquid mud after they had been playing hippos all day!
That combined with studies for my masters degree growing ever more serious and the event season looming closer, we have been absolutely flat out.

I have three horses to get fit and ready for their first event in the last week of February. As always we are heading to the lovely EMDG event at Osberton as a season opener. It is always such a lovely first event to blow away the cobwebs and (touch wood) the ground at Osberton is always incredible whatever the weather.

Harry is going really well and feels on top form following a disappointing 2017 season where things just didn’t go our way. Although the luxurious kept lifestyle he is currently living isn’t doing his waistline any favour and this is the horse who we struggled to keep weight on before discovering the miracle of Fibre-Beet!! 

Kenko is on good form and has spent the winter doing lots of training with his owner. He feels great ahead of his second season eventing and I’m having fun remembering just how fab he feels to ride. We’re really hoping to step it up this year after finishing the season strongly at Novice level and the aim is to do the 1* at Chatsworth in the spring.

My lovely baby Rosie has been out and about this winter doing some Arena Eventing and is progressing very well in her lessons! She seems to have the right answer to every question asked of her and I’m very excited to get her out to her first event. We are off to have a play at some baby dressage at the weekend to get her inside some white boards!

All in all, I am very much looking forward to the start of the 2018 season with three lovely horses to compete. Now just to keep on top of my studies as my masters project start date gets closer!

This month was the re-scheduled festive fancy dress previously cancelled due to snow and ice. It did seem a bit odd getting dressed in our Christmas fancy dress in the middle of January. We entered the 80cm and came 8th, just going too fast again. We also won a prize for the best fancy dress.…
We have been working with my saddler again, on the correct fitting of our side saddle, it’s a constant work in progress as Tilly changes shape throughout the year. We are now ready to go side saddle again this year. Here is a video of us practicing our side saddle jumping…
We finished this month on a massive high. Once a year we have a go at a 90cm arena event with Lands Eventing. This height and width jumps are well outside both our comfort zones and after walking the course on Friday afternoon, it was fair to say, that I was feeling very sick with nerves. Even as we rode the course, I was still feeling very scared about the final fence which was a huge table, but with a bit of vocal encouragement, we flew over the fence and ended up winning the class!!!!!!
The following days, Tilly was showing no signs of tiredness, in fact she seemed determined to show me just how well she was feeling:-