Brand Ambassadors March Update

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First side saddle show of the season and delighted to say the weather was good enough to be outside. Washing feathers/socks on a mare for showing is not easy, but with the aid of lots of chalk and white show spray, we got them looking presentable enough. This all went out the window once we had ridden around the arena a few times, but at least we were white when we went in.
The first class was the Adult Equitation where we come third getting our qualification for the October Masters Show already. We also went in the Costume concours d’elegance class and came second, although my skirt still needs some work on.
Make sure you check the comments on the photo to see a couple of our costume class as well.
After all the cancellations, we finally got to go to our un-affiliated dressage, where we scored a fantastic 77.6% in our Prelim, winning by a good margin, then 72.7% in Novice, coming third.
It was also that time of the year again, the Dentist! I always take Tilly to the vets so that she can have some sedation and has a good experience. At the same time, she also had her annual jabs done. We had to leave her in a stable for a while to allow the sedation to wear off enough for her to travel the 10 minutes home. A few sharp hooks dealt with, but nothing major.

Rain, rain… and yet more rain!

I’m sitting at home after a busy bank holiday morning at the yard, battling the great British weather yet again. Dry clothes changes required this weekend… I’ve lost count! But, to be fair, on Sunday we did make a break for it, with promise of a fairly dry day we headed out to Fieldhouse for some British Showjumping with Mindy (It’s Morka) and Helen O’Regan’s Pluto (Kilbegan Diamond Guy).

Mindy jumped another fabulous double clear in the British Novice, this was her second ever visit here and I was delighted with her attitude, actually more than the performance. She’s been a real handful to be totally honest… it’s a good job she’s incredibly talented!

We had visited Fieldhouse for the first time with her the week before and she was a monkey to get into the arena, then very spooky so I had to ride her very strongly. She jumped a great round – double clear – which I was thrilled with. It’s taken a very long time to get her to accept the forward aids when she’s unsure and in a new environment. Whilst I’m sure we’ll have setbacks, I really felt over the two weeks we’ve made significant progress. If we can just emulate the work ethic we have together at home, she’s world class!

Pluto jumped a really classy round in the Discovery, having a really unlucky rail going into a double towards the end of the course. He’s another rather tall lad and very athletic with his hind legs over a fence, this can sometimes leave him a little on his shoulder on the take-off stride. I’ve been working hard to get him to ‘sit’ on his hind legs more and not run through the hand, which leads him to be too close to the fence. This is always tricky as the natural reaction is to go to your hand, which makes them grab the bit and put their head in the air causing more imbalance… ideally you need to encourage them with the use of lots of grid work, transitions and keeping your body weight back behind their movement. With lots of repetition, the work is starting to pay off in the ring. 
Ash is now cantering and starting proper schooling sessions. We’ve steadily been working away with him, and are really pleased with how he’s looking. He’s feeling so well in himself! Too well some days! With the ground conditions terrible at the moment, we are holding off making any plans really, there’s no rush with him… we already know he’s a superstar! We will get another vet check towards the end of the month, and then go from there.

We also have some very exciting news… with the help of my mum and dad, we now own Ash and Mindy! We simply can’t thank them enough for their unwavering support.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank British Horse Feeds for the continued support, particularly over the last few months, which have been incredibly tough.

Let’s hope the dark days are over, and the sunshine is just around the corner…

Kick on, and stay safe!


Hi Everyone….
Well what can I say, it’s very wet and very miserable, but it certainly hasn’t stopped us competing. We’ve had our Advanced horse out, Aragon also known as Pikkert to us in the stable. We competed at Manor Grange in the Advanced Medium Freestyle to music to our Dario G track which went really well. He’s quite a tricky horse to ride, but we produced a nice test, to get 67% and took second place which I was really pleased with. I’m very excited for the next outing now… after some training.

We’ve also been over in Holland to watch the young horse classes and view a few stallions which we might use for 2019, but it’s still early days.

Back at home we’ve been really busy, we have three mares to foal. Cappuccino is due April 5, and she was showing some signs so I actually delayed my blog just in case I could share the new arrival, but nothing else has happened so maybe she’s waiting for the 5th as it’s my birthday!

Hopefully when the three foals have arrived we will have a small open day, it’s so exciting, but sadly we won’t be able to keep any of the foals, so they will go on the market as they are all very well bred.

We have a few holiday horses in to school while one of our clients is away in Orlando. Shadow and Ferdi have joined us, and last week we had Izzy staying over, for a week’s riding after throwing her owner off, she’s now gone home with one happy owner, and is now going really well.

Well guys I have to say… I have booked a holiday too! Just a short break with my one-year-old Frankie and sister, Julia, to Vilamoura in the Algarve.

Any way it’s time for me to say good bye and keep dry….. ha ha!

Rachel and Spirit have been training hard for the Brendon four-day show on April 19-22. Spirit is feeling amazing and can’t wait to get out doing what she does best. We are also planning on an outing to Felbridge on the 28th.
Unfortunately the weather put another hold on Katelyn and Balli’s progress. They were planning to get out training again, however towards the end of the month the bad weather subsided and they managed to have a lesson with Ashley Boyce. This lesson has come at a perfect time for the pair to get them out again.

Woooohoooo! This month started with the best news for Stanley and I… To go alongside our qualification for the straight test we got a wildcard for the Elementary Freestyle at the Nationals! After the uncertainty of the last year I am just thrilled we get to go back there and trot under the arch into the big arena! I have zero expectations but we will go and enjoy ourselves and try our best. I think some of the tests may be live streamed so I will try and keep you updated and please keep your fingers crossed for us!

After the second round of snow disappeared, much to Stanley’s disappointment as he loves making snow angels, we were able to get back to business.

We have had lots of lessons this month with Sara-Jane Lanning and also with his breeder, Sarah Ansty, in preparation for April. At the start of the month we carried on pushing forwards with our training trying to get a little more ‘sit and push’ and working on some harder movements.

The sneaky Sara-Jane had us run through Advanced Medium 98 without really realizing what we were doing – yes there were mistakes and yes there are loads of bits we could do better. BUT we did it! The lessons towards the end of the month have been reined back in a little; we certainly didn’t want to embed the changes in his mind! We have been focusing on his basic way of going, trying to polish up all the elementary movements and ensuring he’s as soft and supple as possible.

We have had some great results this month, getting plus 70% scores in all our Elementary 59 tests and a collection of red rosettes. We also got a PB at Medium just missing out on the 70% goal by 0.4%. We have achieved our Summer Regional Medium qualification now so have a couple of goals in mind for May after he has had a little downtime. You can follow us on Facebook – H.B.Equestrian to keep up to date! 
Our final competition pre-nationals wasn’t quite as confidence providing as I had hoped, however it was very beneficial. We got a good mark, we got a good placing, but I am a perfectionist and I know it could have been better! I over rode the trot work and Stanley got quite tight in the neck and lost suppleness – then I got behind my music and panicked which spoilt some of our movements. Oh well, an important lesson to learn and definitely at the right time! One week to go and counting…

Apart from our lessons, Stanley has not done much at all, we have hacked on the roads but it has been impossible to go ‘off-roading’ and he has had limited field time just going out for a few hours each day, not ideal as I like him to be out and moving, but I have never known rain like it and most of our fields resemble swimming pools at the moment! I really hope that by our next blog the ground will have dried up a bit and those poor souls trying to start their event seasons may have finally got under way! For now, stay safe, dig out the armbands and just keep swimming!

What a wet March we have all had! Yes I know we are all in the same boat but trudging through fields of mud whilst putting hay out for the horses is really starting to make me question whether it’s all really worth it! To make matters worse we have only managed to get to one BE event so far and even that wasn’t so successful! Ah well we must keep marching (or is it wading??) on and continue preparations for the next event in the hope that the organisers, volunteers, competitors and everyone else involved can finally catch a break from this relentless wet weather and we can all enjoy a day out eventing!
So that said, apart from the day to day struggling with the conditions there isn’t a huge amount to report from March. Kenko’s one and only start at Oasby in the Novice was somewhat of a disaster. A covering of snow in the morning made us question our sanity and whether we should be going. However, after a quick check with the secretary to make sure Oasby wasn’t also covered in the ever less appealing white stuff, we set off an hour later than planned due to dithering about in the snow and also skidding and getting stuck coming out of the drive. I have never seen a trailer so close to the side of a house!! We probably should have given up there and then but seeing as there was no way of getting out backwards, we ‘unstuck’ the trailer by creeping slowly forward, miraculously getting out without major damage and then we were out and on the road. In hindsight considering the events to follow we definitely should have gone back to bed with a cup of tea and had a snow day. 
We got to Oasby over an hour later than planned. Not ideal for a horse that needs a good half hour warm up before dressage!! Well… I trotted into the warm up arena to be told I was next to go and practically trotted straight into the test. Definitely not ideal! It was much less a case of riding a fluid, well presented, obedient test than clinging on for dear life upon a snorting dragon who just wanted to canter everywhere and stay as far away as possible from the judges car!!! We got through the movements via a method which I think is referred to as damage limitation!
Anyway dressage was done, Vicky (Kenko’s owner) and I decided that we would just focus on the jumping phases and forget about the dressage. Little did we know that it would only get worse!
Kenko warmed up well but struggled slightly with the sticky ground so I set off in the ring riding forward to try and help him out. He actually jumped really well-over most of the fences. However there was a rustic spread at which for some reason he just didn’t really take off properly and ended up scrambling through the top rails. We carried on and he jumped the last five fences beautifully. I was fairly pleased with his efforts on ground that didn’t really suit him (he’s a fairy and doesn’t like the mud too much). We then headed back to the trailer to get changed for xc. I jumped off only to find blood pouring down his off hind… And I mean pouring. The on-site vet was fab and had a good look and she decided that he had most likely studded himself rather badly (down to the bone in places…eek) luckily though he was completely sound and once cleaned up we took him back home to the vets (luckily Vicky works for a vet) and he had 15 stitches… Poor boy!
So after that traumatic day we vowed to trust our instincts and if things go wrong which would stop any normal person from continuing we too should ‘have a day off’. Of course, hindsight is a marvellous thing and on another day it could all have gone swimmingly! Kenko has since made a fantastic recovery and all is looking good ahead of his next event at Belton.
Rosie is also getting ready for her second event at Norton Disney having made her eventing debut at Osberton. She is such a star and is taking to everything like an old pro! She had an outing to a local arena eventing show where she jumped a super smart double clear to finish fourth. We’ve also been to Somerford and Vale View for some training and she seems to be taking it all easily in her stride. I love that mare and can’t wait to get her out eventing again!!
So hopefully my next blog will be one filled with warm weather and sunshine… I will remain optimistic. After all I keep being told that spring is just round the corner!!
With so many events around the country abandoned, we’ve been lucky enough to kick start our season with runs at both Oasby and Great Witchingham.

Robbie hasn’t been eventing in nine months – I was so happy with him that he jumped straight back into the swing of things with an Open Novice at Oasby. I was a little worried about how it would go but Robbie picked up pretty much where we left off last season! Although the weather wasn’t great, as always, he tried his best in the dressage phase. We then went on to have an unfortunate pole in the showjumping (which was totally my fault!) and jumped clear xc! It was a wet, cold and muddy day with lorries being towed on and off the site. Luckily, we got in ok, but had to be towed out!

We stepped up a level early in the season to Intermediate Novice at Great Witchingham. It was a mixed day for us, we are really green at this level but I was very pleased with how Robbie performed in a trickier Intermediate dressage test. We then had a totally pants showjumping warm up and round, (1.20m!!! Eeek!!) but a fab clear xc… I then got back to the lorry to realise I’d ridden with my money in my breeches pocket and lost £40!! Highs and lows of eventing aye!?

We took Alaska, my puppy, with us to both events. She is loving the eventing life and has taken to being “lorry dog” amazingly well.
Numerous people, whilst at events, have admired her and said how cute she is!

This week we are holding an Easter yard day with the pony clubbers to include our crazy annual egg hunt. I’m already kicking on towards preparing for our next event now! Hopefully the weather will stay fine for us!

Coral x