Speedi-Beet Team March Updates

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This month Spirit and I have been to our first competition of the year. We went to do the 1.05m and 1.10m at Coombelands. We had a pole in the 1.10m but she felt great and I was really pleased with her. Our second show, a couple of weeks later, was at Pyecombe where we did the 1.10m. She was clearing the jumps with miles to spare but unfortunately due to a rider error we had a pole down.

We have also been busy training, taking part in the next session of the KW Academy and I got some good tips to continue practising. It was lovely to see everyone improving and starting to get to where they want to be. We also jumped around our biggest course yet without knocking a pole or losing impulsion or rhythm and gained better balance around the course which was lovely.

Recently I have been training and revising as we are off to the RDP training (Rider Development Program) at Hadlow College to have an assessment day. This will include two sessions of flat work in the morning and showjumping in the afternoon. Only one combination will be selected from the assessment day, but if we do get selected we get to go on a two-day training course including more selection to get in the full program.

This month work has started to get really busy now with more shows going on so I am looking forward to the sun coming out and watching some lovely horses and the new ones coming through the ranks.

Rachel

I am not entirely sure that it will ever be possible to top what the month of February had in store for us. After spending a week or so giving various interviews on our performance, we have definitely given it a good go!

The start of the month was written off as ‘brain rest’ for Stanley. He worked so hard in the run up to the Regional’s and we were very aware that with limited time between the Regional’s and the Winter Championships it would be very easy to ‘over-cook’ him. Well what fun we have had – I think that those of us with competition horses become a little obsessed with our goals and occasionally forget to enjoy the simple things – we did so much hacking enjoying the beautiful countryside, met up with friends for rides in the forest and even went for some jumping lessons!

I have provided photo evidence that we actually did take off, and that it was a little bigger than 2ft! Considering I used to event my old horse it is amazing how times change, I am sure I was as white as a sheet… Thank god for a wonderful instructor who kept me calm and helped to teach the dressage diva to jump!
A year ago he had come out of winter so ‘weedy’ that none of this would have been possible, this year couldn’t be more different. Fibre-Beet has helped to maintain his condition, weight, muscle and also kept him very level headed, I am so impressed and can’t recommend it enough.
Nationals preparation has included visits from our physiotherapists, massage therapists etc. You name it and it’s been done! Not only that, but we have also been very spoilt by a range of companies who are also supporting us on our quest and it feels like we have a brand new wardrobe which will also be accompanying us. At least we will look the part if nothing else!

Mid-March arrived and we decided it was time to start addressing our test and perfecting our way of going. I made sure I had lots of lessons booked between my two fantastic trainers so we have had lots of support. I have also ensured that he has had a number of rest and fun days in order to keep him fresh and using all his muscles.

After one of our lessons, we had a very exciting phone call from British Dressage offering us a wildcard for the Novice Restricted class at the Winter Championships. Two tickets to the nationals who would have thought it… I still can’t believe it! One was a dream… two is… WOW!

It suddenly meant that it was essential to find a competition to get some last minute practice of N39 test. We had a good day out and gained our final novice points so can now move on to elementary after the Championships. It was however one of those days where you couldn’t be more wrong about the scores you predicted! He felt very happy going into the first test and, apart from one misunderstanding in canter, he did a lovely test and stayed nice and forward. I felt it was worth a little more than the 68.5% it was given however we finished 4th which I wasn’t displeased with from a small arena test.

Then we competed in the outdoor arena, he was again nicely forward however it seemed that he put cotton wool in his ears. Apparently staying forward and listening to instructions was too much like hard work! Down the centre line, stop… or not stop as the case may be! On it went and the good bits were fab. The judge must have rewarded them but we did make a few mistakes and his bad owner needs slapped wrists for failing on some basic things such as the size of circles and knowing where the centre line is! I was extremely surprised to get a score of 66.89% and finish 3rd against some really lovely horses!

The month ended with a fantastic lesson. He has changed so much in the last six months and when everything comes together the feeling is incredible. We couldn’t have been more pleased, so after some final polishing on the size and shapes of circles it has now been decided that test riding is over so that he doesn’t start guessing what is next!

I am off to start the multiple loads of white washes, make up numerous feeds and try to fit all the ‘essentials’ for four days away into our little lorry as the countdown has well and truly begun! However next week goes is fine by us because it is going to be an amazing experience and just one small step in what will hopefully be a very big journey!

Hannah

Yes! First event all done and dusted! Due to the unfortunate cancellation of Tweseldown, Harry and I had our first run of the season at Aldon in the OIU21. It hadn’t been the plan to go straight in at intermediate, not least because Harry has a new cross country bit which needed a test run! However, the show must go on and off to Aldon we went!

Harry was so excited to be out and about again. He showed this with perfect timing as he bucked through his first medium canter in front of the judges and the young rider selectors!

Showjumping went considerably well and we just had an unlucky pole but Harry was so happy to be out and jumping out of his skin! XC was more interesting… Harry set off like a pro and jumped fantastically all the way around. However, he couldn’t possibly let everything go smoothly and took maximum advantage of a conveniently placed white novice corner fence. Spooking at said fence, whilst on the approach to a rather tricky three-element intermediate corner combination, resulted in a completely duff line and a glance off. The most frustrating thing is that he came back around and he popped all three elements perfectly proving that the fence itself wasn’t the problem… Silly horse!

I am now home for Easter and working towards our next event which is Weston OIU21. I love Weston and I’m really looking forward to it. I had a fab lesson with Caroline soon after getting home and Harry was jumping like a machine!

Some really exciting news is that somehow I have managed to arrange to go over to the Yorkshire Riding Centre for a few days to have some top class training with German team coach Christopher Bartle! I am really excited but so nervous at the same time and I hope Harry behaves himself!

My first 2* of the season is also just around the corner as Belton CIC** follows just one week after Weston and then shortly afterwards I will be heading back to university to the delights of revision and exams!

Katie x

Hello all!


It’s spring at last and we have finally made it through the winter! Yay!


This month has been much better for me and Prince. We’ve done a lot more schooling on our canter leads as he can be very one sided and can only strike off on the left lead. He’s slowly getting better with this and hopefully by Sapey he will have perfected it with help from our amazing instructor Júlia Longarini from D&L Performance Horses! She really helps him to relax into his work and focus on what he should be doing.


As you may have guessed by my last paragraph, we have our first event coming up at Sapey BE80T on April 14. A lot of fitness work has gone into trying to get him ready after having very little exercise and schooling over the winter. Last week we had our first XC schooling session and our second jumping session. Prince, as ever, was a very good boy but unfortunately I have lost a lot of confidence over the winter and the thought of jumping is terrifying, but I must do it otherwise I never will!

We managed to cover a few basics out schooling which included water jumps, wagons, steps and ditches, and now we just need to crack the corners and brushes! That of course been my fear not Prince’s! He was as game as ever to carry on jumping and had a few moments of pure excitability which you really can’t be mad at him for, you generally end up laughing as he squeals and bounces into the air like a child on a bouncy castle!

With Sapey just around the corner we have a lot to do, dressage schooling especially, but I hope you all have had the best start to this season and hope to see you out soon!

Keana

You have to love a mare with white feathers on her legs… Lovely yellow coloured back legs and feathers that I had to spend a week washing to get them clean and white enough for the first show of the season!

The day before the first show we had our first Pre-Intro (80cm) event of the season. I felt the dressage test could have gone better, but felt ok. I was completely shocked to get our best dressage score of 23.5!!

Shame we then had showjumping… Our first time jumping on grass for the year and Tilly was very unsure, even having a stop in the warm up. We went into the ring, and despite knocking most of the jumps, we managed to get just 12 faults.

After the problems with the show jumping, I was not feeling confident for the cross country. I needn’t have worried. Tilly took off out of the start box and never hesitated until we crossed the finish line. I even had to slow her down for some of the jumps, as all she wanted to do was go fast, fast, fast.

We were delighted to get a top 10 finish in our first event of the year, finishing ninth.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154110334751934.1073741982.750911933&type=1&l=bd…

The following day was our first side saddle show of the season. This was not the plan when I first entered the classes, but due to strangles in the area, the original showing date had been postponed. We entered the Open Equitation Class, and were somewhat in shock when we got called in second. We got some lovely comments from the judge about how smart we looked, so all that back breaking and sock washing really was worth it!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154110509526934.1073741983.750911933&type=1&l=20…


Hello everyone, it’s finally spring and it’s actually sunny as am writing my blog, yay! Let’s hope we see more sunshine!


This month I am back in the swing of everything, back riding and lots of training and I’m really enjoying it too. We have just ridden away our Welsh Stallion, Jack, he’s a cheeky boy with lots of power. We will soon start taking him out and about to training clinics.

My 8-year-old gelding, D’artagnan by Spielberg, went out to do a few elementary tests without the music. We came home with two second placings with 69%, so I am very happy with him. I also took him to train with Hayley Colwell and she really got him dancing around the arena.

Pikkert and Morris have had some physio treatment from Anoush at Equine Performance Therapy. The boys really enjoyed having a massage and now feel really supple. I think it’s so important to keep them in good form as they have to work so hard.

It’s now time for selecting a stallion for our lovely mare Ciella. Today I have been on the website of Elite Stallions looking at the dressage and jumping stallions. Bordeaux is looking like a promising dressage stallion for her or we may be looking at Levisonn if we were to go down the jumping line.

Although this month I have been busy riding, I have not really been to many shows. I have been on a hen party which was crazy! I have four friends getting married this year and the show calendar has really been affected.

Let the sun keep shining!

All the best from Sarah & QD Horses.

We’re two events into our season now. First up, we headed to Oasby for the BE100. Robbie went really well with 33.8 dressage and double clear for ninth place! He was rather keen to get going and excited to be back out competing again, in the XC warmup and was bouncing around the start box like Tigger!

Last Friday we took a trip to Great Witchingham for a BE100plus, again with Robbie. I’m very lucky that on a Thursday morning a friend comes over to help exercise some of my eventers with me. She used to be Piggy French’s top groom, and won the grooms award at Burghley one year – I was very spoilt and she plaited Robbie for me, how cool is that!? He looked so smart and I felt proud to be sat on him, so beautifully turned out with the neatest plaits he’s ever had!

I triple checked the score board after dressage, and was pretty excited to see a score of 30 and lying third in a long arena Novice test. A pole down showjumping, I was still excited with a score of 34! Robbie then went clear XC and inside the time and by this point I was mega excited! I returned to the score board, only to find that unfortunately the scorers had made a mistake… 38 dressage and 13th place! Nevertheless, I was still pleased with my boy’s performance!

This Friday we’re off to Burnham Market, which will be Robbie’s last BE100 run before stepping back up to Novice. I’m really looking forward to it!

Catch up with you next month!

Coral x

Sun, sun, sun! Hooray some lovely weather at long last! Harry and I have done a lot of hacking out this month to make the most of the sunshine and we’ve been having so much fun. It’s been especially nice to just have a canter in the sea on a week day. Now that I’m on half term we’ve got plenty of time to get out during the day and with the clocks changing I won’t even have to stress when I go back to college.
Yesterday we rode out with Mo and Ang and had a swim through the rivers on our way to the sand dunes, we even made it back in time to see the ice cream man. We did get a few funny looks riding back up the road munching our Mr Whippy’s but it was worth it!
On the 13th me and Harry had a lesson with Ros where we did some grid work and canter to trot through poles. It felt great to have Harry back on fine form, unfortunately however our lesson last week was cancelled due to a sudden down poor which was quite annoying seen as the suns been out every other day, urghh!
I’ve also been riding mum’s horse, Summer, a few times which is proving helpful to both of us as it’s good practice for me to ride a bigger horse and Summer was in need of some schooling. We also had a couple of jumps which went surprisingly well as Summer usually thinks there’s a dragon under every pole! I even convinced her to jump a skinny without the wings which she certainly wouldn’t have done this time last year so we’ve made an improvement there.
Hope you’re all enjoying the spring weather as much as we are!
Philippa and Harry

Well, it’s all change, again! Things haven’t been going to plan at all this year, truth be told nothing ever goes to plan for me, but I am forever hopeful. After such a good start at the beginning of the winter, it all went rather pear shaped, then it briefly looked promising, but alas, Jason returned home yet again at the end of March. We have no facilities at home other than a grass round-pen so moral has been quite low, especially when I worked out that Jason has been out of work for 14 weeks… but wait, STOP THE PRESS!! Things are looking up – no, really!
A few years ago Jason spent the summer at Hannah Esberger’s yard, he was very settled there and Hannah is such a fantastic trainer, so it was the first place that came to mind when I was looking for somewhere earlier in the year. Frustratingly, Hannah was fully booked up, so we have been on the waiting list. Jason has been home less than a week, so imagine my delight when Hannah messaged to say she will shortly have a space – it totally made my day! No sooner have I unpacked Jason’s suitcase and he is off on his travels again…
Jason will be moving to Hannah’s in a couple of weeks, so in the meantime I am getting him back in work, and I’m making the most of the perfect footing in the round-pen, it is lovely and spongy. In the first session, it must be said, Jason was more interested in stuffing his face with spring grass, but he did some work too, and I am delighted with his attitude to work after such a long break. I’ve started to primp and preen him too; so he looks smart for Aunty Hannah.
Jason is in a good place right now, happy, settled, and enjoying his work, after the set-backs we still have the summer ahead of us and there is plenty of year remaining, I am feeling hopeful that after years of saying “this will be our year” that maybe this really will, be our year!
Until next time…
Sophie

So a lot has changed since my last blog. I wrote about my move to live in Warwickshire. Well I am now back in Norfolk with Pumpkin. There are various reasons why I moved back home but mainly include me being extremely homesick and also Pumpkin’s new home not being all it had promised.

On the viewing it looked and sounded amazing and offered all I could want. Though on arrival and the days that followed it clearly was not going to be suitable for Pumpkin. Whilst I was there I looked at other livery yards but I couldn’t have moved Pumpkin to them as at one the horses hadn’t been turned out since September! Pumpkin is used to having a lot of turnout and this is good for her breathing and her joints.

Luckily I have very kind parents who let me move back in at home and Pumpkin is now back in her field next to the house! I love having her home and she has been living out for a few weeks now which she is loving!

I had planned her first show of the year on the 10th of April but as she has been slightly unsound I will have to find a show later on. She has seen the farrier and the vet now who are both happy with her and once she has seen the chiropractor mid-April hopefully we are good to go! She is entered for the Royal Windsor Horse Show and Suffolk County Show so far this year.

I am looking forward to all the hacking I can do after work now the evenings are lighter! Good luck to everyone this competition season with their horses!

Hello everyone,
Well I can certainly say March has not been our month. First of all, Askham Bryan had been cancelled due to the awful weather, our first run of the season and would have been a nice BE80 to start the year with. Although we didn’t get much schooling round XC (due to the weather) we were able to do some schooling in Gary Parsonage’s lessons with his cross country jumps in the arena.

Secondly, we have been put back in our training due to Charlie beginning to buck in canter and not engaging through his back; because of this we gave him some time off whilst we got our saddle fitter, David Baxter, booked in to look at the saddles. He did a very good job and found that the problem was the flocking; it was too far up and was pressing into him just behind his withers. He then moved the flocking down, even to the bottom part of the front of the saddle, in order to balance it out and both saddles are now fine. Charlie then had a week off due to us trying to give his back a rest.

We decided to get the amazing Vicky Spalding out to see him (who does Valegro and Team GB dressage horses up to Olympic level); she spent an hour and a half giving him some physio, and then we had Amy, one of her physio’s, out to see him at the end of March to try and solve the problem further.

As he has Breckenbrough BE90 coming up on the 10th April, we were told to press on with his fitness and light schooling. Although it is our first BE90 and not ideal conditions, given the lack of availability of schooling and no warm up beforehand, I am sure Charlie will take everything in his stride and fly round. The week leading up to this will just be schooling, fitness and getting out to do some dressage at Port Royal hopefully.

Wish me luck, and hope everyone has had a better time with their horses!
Our season kicked-off with a trip to the Osberton estate for a spot of cross-country schooling! As the ground had been so wet, we had really struggled to get the horses out schooling on grass, so we entered up EMDG for a little play! The horses behaved brilliantly, and managed to contain their excitement at being out to party at last!! We came away in the ribbons, which is always nice!
Next was a trip out to Lincoln with Ash in the Novice – our first proper run of the season! Ash performed a really solid, relaxed test to score 31. I was really pleased with how focussed he was, especially as he’d been so spooky and naughty the previous few weeks! Sadly, the event timings had gone completely to pot, and the showjumping was running over an hour behind – the poor cross-country team were desperately trying to get things moving as they were really worried the daylight would be lost and they’d have to abandon as it wouldn’t be safe to jump. It meant rather a lot of waiting around, then a complete mad dash tack change, before heading out on the cross country!
Ash was jumping his socks off in the collecting ring, and I went in feeling confident we were going to have a great round… and we did… until the final combination… Ash spooked on take-off into the first element, and he came crashing down on the back bar… eeek! We had to make up a large amount of ground in one stride to be able make the middle element… KICK, and SIT UP!… Ping! Ash responded quickly and we were back on track, and thankfully jumped the final two parts brilliantly! Although I was a little disappointed we’d had four faults, it could have ended up with all three parts hitting the turf!! 
That behind us, a super speedy pit stop by T and Izzy, and we were literally trotting off to the start box within five minutes of coming out of the showjumping. The course had walked well, with a few decent questions for an early season run. There were a few questions that tested the ‘go’ and ‘whoa’ early on with a large table followed by a super skinny triple brush on a forward four stride distance – this was definitely going to test the winter’s accuracy training!
There was also a big drop to a corner, on a curving line, again you had to commit to your line coming off the drop and ride for it. I was really looking forward to getting out on course and finally getting our season started! Ash was just fabulous, if a little ‘keen’ early on! I’d planned to just pick up a nice rhythm early on, and let him jump – he finds galloping so easy – as it was the first run of the season, I was keen not push him either! I was delighted that he only picked up a handful of time faults, as he really was just lobbing around, and made it feel very easy. I was delighted, we finished seventh. The next day, Ash trotted up 100%, so all good.
We had the totally devastating news earlier this month that our friend, Will, had been involved in motorbike accident and had sadly died at the scene, he was only 27 and a farrier like me… Will was the kind of person who loved to live life to the full, always had a smile on his face and would help you out whenever he could. News of his death hit hard, and attending the celebration of his life with my former colleagues was very emotional. His family and friends did him proud, and I know he’d have approved of his party style send off. So, until we meet again my friend…
… I will kick-on, and enjoy every single precious moment!