I started this month of on foot, by completing my 4th Wolf Run of the year and gaining Alpha Wolf. Next year they have changed one of the locations to Offchurch Bury which many people, including myself, will better know from eventing. It will be very strange going around Offchurch Bury on foot next spring instead of on horseback. Having seen a promo video, the big old steps might even make an appearance.
A friend and I were invited by another side saddle friend to join her at a hunt meet at Milton Park. If you ever get the chance to go, it is lovely old parkland ground with nice jumps. I believe there is a draghound meet there in February. We were riding side saddle and I am delighted to say that I even managed to jump my first hunt jumps side saddle as they were so inviting.
This month was the AGM for our side saddle area. I was thrilled and a little shocked to receive two awards on the night. We got a lovely sash and rosette for being reserve senior points champion and Tilly, my horse, was also joint winner of the OBE (Ones Best Equine).
At the beginning of the month we took Balli and Spirit cross-country training and this was Balli’s first time seeing the jumps out in the open fields. Spirit was the old pro and lead Balli over the terrifying ditch’s and water, but Balli soon gained confidence and jumped everything. Katelyn is so looking forward to taking Balli to a few more trainings in the new year then possibly some unaffiliated hunter trials before we progress to anything more.
Also this month Balli and Katelyn went over to Plumpton College to have a little jump in the indoor school. Balli wasn’t fazed at all so competing in indoor jumping this winter looks extremely promising.
The hard work didn’t stop there as Balli and Katelyn also had a flatwork lesson and the duo has been feeling great ever since the tune up.
Bring on the next few months!
With eventing over for the year, my horses have been taking things a little easier. We’ve been doing lots of hacking and walker days recently, just keeping them ticking along. We’ve brought all the show jumps in off the field this month so I’ll soon be cracking on with some pole work, grid work and various “small but technical” jumping exercises on the school instead.
I’ve recently sat a course to become a Pony Club efficiency test assessor too, so I’ve been doing some examining up to Pony Club C test: another little string to add to my bow! There’s always lots going on at the yard at home as well, with many ongoing renovation projects and building works to be done – I don’t think I’ll be getting much of a rest during the off season!
Our new working pupils are progressing well with their diploma. I am enjoying working with them and they are growing in confidence and knowledge each week. They’ve recently completed their feeding unit – of course, I made sure they researched well and have a good depth of knowledge on both Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet! Part of their coursework is to weigh the horses and work out feed rations, we then look at and compare how much feed the horses are currently receiving, as well as monitoring condition and health. We believe that Fibre-Beet suits the horses on our yard best as we have such a wide variety of different types here! We feed Fibre-Beet to our older ponies with poor teeth, to those who have had laminitis as it’s low in sugars, and we feed to those that need extra condition. We also feed Fibre-Beet to the ponies in the riding school as its non-heating and provides slow release energy. We feed Fibre-Beet to my eventers for optimum condition and muscle tone! So basically the majority!
So we have been busy training, rather than competing, but this month Qd Esquire has completed two Music qualifications for the regional, and also Julia Bosomworth’s horse QD Life of Riley has qualified Novice Freestyle to music. This now means we have four horses qualified for the regionals and a total of six classes, so looks like a busy February!
I been training in Rotherham, with a lady who has had her eye on Carl Hestor’s methods of training, which has been a total inspiration and I feel I have changed my techniques. Last week we were changing Morris’s trot and adding more cadence too it, by little exercises and pole work.
We have also this month had a big wedding, my Groom of 25 years, yes worked 25 years for me got married! We congratulate Stuart and Robert on their marriage. Now they have headed off to Australia for three and a half weeks, so am holding the fort at the stables. It is certainly winter here, and I think I would rather like to be in Australia too at the moment. I am paddling in mud every night, oh the joys of winter.
All the best folks, got to dash to collect Frankie
Love Sarah and Qd horses!
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