Since my last blog the hard work hasn’t stopped!
Frank and I are still attending our lessons with Tiny once a fortnight. We’ve been travelling him over to meet Tiny at Hall Farm – Eventers International which is now ran by Tiny’s former working rider, 4* eventer Meghan Healy. Being Franks old home, he knows the yard well! It’s great to train there as both Tiny and Meghan know Frank inside out and are both always so supportive of my journey with him. I love going to the yard, and just watching what’s going on whilst I’m there. Very often Meghan is schooling her horses in the arena whilst Tiny is teaching me, it’s always interesting to see and learn about what they’re doing and ask questions as to why. They always find the time to answer my questions, however silly they may be!
On a few occasions I also rode whilst 5* eventer Matt Heath was schooling his rides. He had his horses based there whilst waiting for his new yard to be ready to move in. Again, it was super interesting to see snippets of the difference in Matts and Meghan’s methods and approach. I noticed little things like how Matt would have his horses tacked up and on the walker, warming up before a ride and cooling down after. Meghan usually brings hers straight out of the barn. I also found it interesting that both riders would ride maybe two or three horses each, in the time whilst I was there having my lesson. Very often they may only jump down a grid once or twice and if they felt all went well, they’d put the horses away again. It was lovely to also meet Matt’s partner, Pippie who owned Frank as a three-year-old. I’d spoken to her about Frank via Facebook but it was great to meet her in person and hear about some of the cheeky tales of Franks past. (Frank is such a character and has a huge personality!)
With both Frank and Robbie now jumping, I took them both show-jump schooling last week to a local competition centre – Forest Edge Arena. It was the first time I’d put Frank round a proper numbered course away from home – he was great! Robbie was his usual gorgeous self too and is currently back schooling around 1.05m. He is looking good and hoping to have him back out eventing in March.
Robbie also went to a hunter trial at Great Witchingham, around the 90cm at the end of October. Having been off games for what feels like forever, I just wanted him to have a nice time and get a confidence run in before the winter of training for next season. We cruised round and somehow came home with a 2nd place frilly and £20 prize money! He loved it!
I’ve also started working on my own fitness to aid my riding and attend a “sculpt class” every Thursday evening. It’s basically weight lifting to music with so many squats. Hard work, but rewarding and I am enjoying going. I would like to think I’m getting stronger and I hope it all pays off. I finish teaching at 5.30pm, put the horses away, leave Mum teaching other lessons, quickly get changed and rush off to fitness with our apprentice, Heidi, for 6p. An hour there, then back home to get changed back into smelly yard clothes, out onto the yard to feed and then put the horses to bed. I’m determined to make it work!
On the yard at home we’ve been busy with all the usual stuff: winter schooling, planning for next season, lots of hacking and walker days. New liveries, a riding and road safety exam for some of our Pony Clubbers (they all thankfully passed) and the Pony Club Christmas gymkhana coming up next weekend. Sprucing up the show jumps and putting new winter turnout pens is just a couple of the jobs that we’re trying to get ticked off our never ending list!
I hope that everyone reading has a fantastic Christmas and I’m sending you all best wishes for the New Year! Hope to catch up with another blog soon.