Catching up with Jennie and Tilly

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Its been a very quiet summer with all of our usual events cancelled, but this has not stopped us training at home, or having fun.
Tilly and Trigger visited the vets to have their teeth done. Normally I would of gone in with them, but I had to stay in the lorry park and just hand over each horse/pony as needed. The vets though, were kind enough to video the whole thing and send it to me so I could see them in action, which is always interesting.
We have had the saddle fitter out as it appears that Tilly got too fat for her new saddle, so we have had to get her a wider new one. The new one is a cavaletti saddle, which comes with a changeable gullet, so as Tilly changes shape through the year, this will make saddle fit so much easier. For this same reason I have also bought a Wintec dressage saddle.
I have started getting Tilly jumping again, so along with a friend, we headed out to a small cross country training field and had a little play. It took a while to persuade her to get over the narrow and shallow ditch, but once she had worked out that it was so small she could literally just step over it, it was not a problem.
To continue the jump training, we have attended a gridwork clinic with James McCullough Eventing and an arena eventing clinic at Aston le Walls with Emma Forsyth Eventing. Both events were good fun and a big help with our training.
We have attended a few fun rides since lockdown ended for the summer and have been lucky with the weather on all the rides, with only the occasional light shower. The best one was the Tadmarton ride, at 14miles and with a pub stop about half way that was set up for people stopping with horses. They provided water buckets for the horses and a mounting block as well as an outside table for us to sit at with our horses. Near the end of the ride we were able to play over some cross country jumps before having a fabulous long gallop up the wide grass edge of a field.
We have been over to the English Civil War Battlefield of Naseby a few times. Each time we have dressed up in our full 17th Century kit. During one of the days we did some cavalry filming for the Nasby Battlefield Trust. Tilly found this rather exciting as it involved the use of smoke flares. We were also lucky enough the other day to be allowed access to part of the battlefield Royalist Cavalry lines area and recreate (albeit with only a few horses), one of the charges from 300 years ago. This made an amazing site for the tour visitors at the top of the hill as we charged towards them with our swords at the charge.
Parliamentarian cavalry:-
The Royalist charge:-
A new horse has arrived. The young lady (a yearling) is called Arora and is an Irish Draught x Warmblood. We are looking forward to having lots of adventures with her in the future, although she is keeping us on our toes with her youngster antics!
We had our first competition since before the lockdown this week. We went out to Dressage UK at Onley and shocked ourselves by managing to win both of our Prelim classes, qualifying us for the winter championships. This photo shows how the day went, from muddy socks, to clean socks, to waiting in the dark in the trailer to be tacked up, then collecting our results.
The Side Saddle Association has launched a new Arena Eventing Challenge and Tilly and I competing at a LandS Eventing event are the cover stars for it. Now we just need to get back side saddle jumping so we can take part this winter.
Last and by no means last, something that did not involve Tilly as felt it was best to start on a trained horse. I had my very first go at Horseback archery with the Knights of Middle England based in Warwick. Of course my friend and I had to do it side saddle. Oh my goodness it was so much fun. You had to trust your horse as you drop the reins to be able to shoot. Cant wait to get my own bow and arrow and practice at home before heading back for more instruction.