Welcome to my horsey ramblings!

I’ve been thinking for a little while about starting a blog based on my obsession with my 3 boys (4 if you count the husband!). It came about when I figured that I was probably boring my ‘friends’ on facebook, most of which aren’t horsey, with my constant posts about the horses so I set up an Instagram page so I could post all my ‘interesting’ pics and vids without boring anyone. Only I then realised that I had too much to say on each thing I posted and no one wants to read an essay with each photo so I thought, hey why not set up a blog. According to my father, all I talk about and think about is horses so writing about it shouldn’t be much different!

I do actually think about other things other than horses, so my father isn’t completely correct. These include, but are not limited to: food, sleep, online equestrian shopping, biscuits, TV shows (TBBT/GoT/MiC to name a few), Yorkshire Tea, exclamation marks!!

Most of this blog will be my inane chattering about what the husband and I have been up to with the horses- training, competing, cock-ups (these will be in abundance!), reviews on products i brands I love (check the menu list for details) and i’ll share any training ideas that I use and work.

Check out the menu tabs for a nosey about me, the ‘three horses and 1 husband’ and reviews. 

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment, share advice, tips etc. IMG_2548.JPG

XC schooling

As I'd withdrawn from the competition on Saturday (previous post) I felt I needed to do something more than hacking so we took both Chino & Ara to our favourite equestrian centre- Lyneham Heath.

I had planned to carry my phone to get a few vids and snaps but it was a bit warm so I didn't wear a jacket so no pocket for phone. Such a shame as both boys were on fire!

First up- Ara! The one with a kink in his head who freaks out at the slightest of things jumped 99% of what he was asked. Skinny fences, corners, skinny corners!! Steps, sunken road, in and out of water and the best yet…jumped into water over a decent log! I literally couldn't believe how he was bounding over everything. I think having a few months off with his injury actually helped him mentally recharge which is something I need to bear in mind for the future.
The only sticking point was the ditches again. That said husband took a massive step forward in that he skipped over the baby pretend ditch first time ever and after a bit of coaxing he leapt the natural dip/ditch like it was beechers!! He has a real issue with a proper man made ditch and must think trolls are gonna grab his legs as he just won't go near.
Hopefully once we've finished our xc schooling field at home compete with ditch,he'll be a pro. Super proud of him 😍

Next up me and Chino. He started off brilliantly jumping some pretty meaty combinations. The below photo shows some of the jumps we tackled (not me riding obviously!)

About half way through we seemed to lose our mojo and it all started to go a bit pear shaped. I feel the ground was not ideal as he didn't have studs and we kept tripping and losing our grip but that aside we couldn't seem to work together. It find it difficult to replicate the same pace in schooling as I do when competing and Chino really needs pace to believe he can jump them- going steady around and he then second guesses himself and we end up clambering over the jumps or in the case yesterday- stopping! I think he was tired as well but I felt a bit rubbish finishing on a bad note but I have to keep in mind what he had done at the start and were still learning together so not a bad day really.

Any tips on how I can replicate the energy from competing into schooling would be appreciated as I do feel that this is an issue I have frequently and I'm not sure how to conquer it!

Next competition: Sunday BRC showjumping at Solihull.

For now , toodle pip 😘

No Competition!

I made the decision this morning to withdraw from my first 100 at Solihull- sad times. 😞

To be brutally honest I was in a foul mood, angry, emotional and a bit of a mess. I've no idea why but I figured that that emotion would run into Chino and I couldn't put him through that. So I made the mature decision to withdraw and save ourselves for another day when my head was in a better place.

A bit gutted as I was actually looking forward to it having seen the xc course and realising it was a nice run but hey ho theres many more to come.

Coming up we have the area sj next weekend before we go off on our horsey hollibobs and have a couple of weekends off from competition.

Not sure what the weekend will now entail but I will give myself some time to relax and de stress and perhaps eat a few dozen cream eggs!

Toodles 😘

Well that was a challenge!!

Last weekend I headed further afield to Twesledown for the 3rd or 4th leg of the AT classics. I’d entered the 90 and was super happy to see I was on late afternoon so no super early morning for me- for a horsey person you’d think I’d be ok for early mornings but you’d be wrong and anything earlier than 5.30 makes me act like a witch!

I’d already seen a video of the course on the fb page and it looked challenging but on a par with a couple of others I’d competed. And then I walked it!! For me it was he most challenging 90 I’d done with some lines you had to decide on prior to riding it and some beefy fences. Size doesn’t bother me too much with Chino but he has the attention span of Dory and I’m not always clear with my messages so it could have been a recipe for disaster! 

Anywho, the dressage came and went with no issues. In fact it was the best we had done on quite undulating ground and despite the score being quite high, when I compared to the rest over the two days all tests appeared to be marked a lot higher than you would normally see so I felt pleased with my 36.5. 

After a nice rest we headed to the sj where we were near the last few to go. He popped the warmup fences brilliantly and I felt like we had it and we’re going to nail the round! 

Turns out I thought too soon and we got as far as fence one when Chino decided that it was just too much and thought it easier to just demolish his way through it and not even attempt to jump! T**t!! Now as much as we all like to stay calm in these situations I did get really mad with him as there was just no reason for it other than him being a tit! Second time to it and no bother and all the way round he didn’t put a foot wrong until the last fence when we knocked it so 8 faults in the bag. I came out annoyed which husband couldn’t understand and all I got was ‘but he’s a baby!!’ No, he’s six and been competing for 2 years, that behaviour is not a baby mistake so don’t make excuses!!

 I went with the intention of being competitive and feeling we had a chance and it all went Pete Tong. I do sometimes think eventing probably isn’t the thing for me as I can’t stand getting things wrong and  let’s face it- how often do all 3 phases come together at the right time?! For me never it would appear! 

To make matters worse, at this point I didn’t know my dr score and I was convinced I’d heard the commentator say I’d scored 46.5 so I was seriously p’d off and questioning what I was doing so wrong. I was then umming and ahhing over whether to take him xc and save him for this weekend until husband came back and told me to stop trying to listen to the commentators as I was wrong! 

With Chino then saddled back up with headed to xc where we had over 45 min wait due to course hold ups and a late start! It was then my turn…countdown near the end, we entered the box and off we went at a rate of knots! We flew over the first 5 easy peasy and then we got to what should have been a simple log on a mound however, Chino had other ideas! Back to his Dory moment, despite a flick of the whip down the shoulder to say wake up, looking at everything but the fence and by the time he then saw it it was too late and our first ever 20 penalties were added! After a sharp slap on the buttocks he proceeded to leap not just the log but the whole damn mound!!! It literally felt like the ground had disappeared from under us we were air bound for that long! 

After that little mishap we flew round, water combination, log to drop, step to tight turn and skinny, another water and finally a tricky line combination at the bottom of a hill which had caused a few issues for others. We were stopped on course at this point and had to wait a bit and I have to say, starting on a run down hill to a decent sized  log pile isn’t a pleasurable feeing!! 

He really was a superstar although I seriously, seriously need to get a handle on my timings- we were one second within the time limit before we incurred too fast penalties and we had the stop which technically should have pushed us close if not over the time limit so I clearly have no idea how fast I’m travelling! 
Back at the car we get a quick pack away given it was nearly 7pm and we had a near 2 hour journey home. I was feeling a little better about the whole day in that I would have rather incurred the xc faults in that day after having a mare in the sj as opposed to being on a good score going into the xc and then screwing up. 

Half way home I checked the results and I’d come 14th!!!! Turns out the sj and xc had caused problems for as many in my section as it had in the others over both days. It’s not often you finish with nearly 65 penalties and come home with that position! That said I do appear to be stuck on 14th position at the mo and would very much like to move up even if it’s one place!! 

Perhaps this weekend at Solihull will be our chance although I am starting to brick it as I entered the 100!! In my moment of invinsibility I had figured the 100 wasn’t much different to 90 and so why not give it a go! Now I’m not so sure and I think I’m gonna need more than brace pants…adult nappies perhaps!!

I’m sure my next update will be full of the woes of Solihull so look out for the next one!! 

For now, toodle pip 😘

Equestrian gifts and cards

For any of you out there who find it difficult to find a card for your horsey loved ones and friends, I’ve just found a great site… Www.blueberyl.co.uk 

Interesting name but some funny cards. 

Some other sites which sell some cute cards are: GallopguruAlexclarkart and  Horse-cards. Gallop guru do some gorgeous horsey things and gifts. Definitely worth a look. 

If anyone knows of some other sites then it would be great to know for future reference!!

Enjoy perusing the sites! 😘🐴❤️

No rest for the wicked!!

It’s been a while but I’ve been super busy with horses, work, applying for new jobs and watching love island!! 

Brief update on our sj schooling last weekend at Cherwell. Not the best but not the worst…husband rode Ara who went well having not been jumped for a few months due to injury. Chino was not bad, a bit lazy and we just couldn’t get our strides correct with fences coming down left right and centre. Husband kept giving ‘advice’ which wasn’t helping much and I ended up in a strop and calling it a day. 

On the job front, I didn’t get the one I applied for. I got an interview which went super well and given it was my first interview out of teaching I was surprised how easy I found it…compared to teaching that is…perhaps because I was enthusiastic about this one. Turns out the role went to an internal candidate so I don’t feel to bad and they’ve recommended that I apply for another role they have advertised so all positive and I can’t be too disheartened.  

Back to horses and Archie was saddled up for the first time last weekend and was a super duper little legend. Never flinched once even when I hung the stirrups down on the second day. Walked and trotted around with not a care in the world. Can’t express how much I’m looking forward to riding this special boy. ❤️

Sunday I spent the afternoon pretending to be a ghost buster with the spray pack on my back killing the weeds in our soon to be schooling field. Took forever and left me with filthy legs covered in blue dye but the weeds are now dead – they should be with the amount of weed killer I used…for a small 20x40m area I used enough to kill off the Forest of Dean!! Not quite a ghost buster but a weed buster will do! 

So that pretty much sums up last weekend. I’ll be back later with a weekend update of my shenanigans at Twesledone HT. 

Until then, 

Toodle pip 😘

Product review (2)

Ice Boots

As mentioned before, I am partial to Premier Equine products so much so that I sometimes feel I may be a walking advert!

A while ago now, I invested in some cold water/ice boots mainly due to Chino being a numpty and charging around the hard fields and then getting a popped splint. Rather than bending down for 10-15 mins 3 times a day to hose, I just whacked on the boots. Now I didn’t have any ice so they were just thrown in a bucket of cold water over night and kept in there until I no longer needed them. 

Talk about time saving! It’s amazing how much you can get done in 10 minutes. Not only are there extremely handy for injuries but I put them on after schooling and events – usually xc. We all know how important it is to look after our horses legs so having these to put in and cook them off immediately is fantastic. The only problem is they do need to be in water/ice for 12 hours before use but if you use them all the time like I tend to then they are pretty much always in water. 

Pomade Oil by Ringcraft Equestrian

This was a product which came with last months ‘My Horse Box’ and its become a staple in my show bag. 

To be honest I havent a clue when it comes to turning out an immaculate horse for shows. As long as there’s no mud and their tail and mane is brushed then I’m happy! Obviously this all had to change with eventing and so my show game had to be stepped up. This little bottle of thick oil, for anyone who had never experienced the delightful stuff, makes my boy’s mane and tail super shiny without slippage! Once he’s all plaited up a dab a bit of this over the plaits and the loose bits of hair lie flat and his little plaited bobbles are shiny shiny without the grease.  Love it! This shall be forever used. 

Horse feed: 

Baileys Number 4 – Top line conditioning cubes

Dengie – Alfa A oil

I’ve never fully bought into the idea that certain feed brands are better than others until I tried this. I’ve always used Heygates mix and conditioning cubes along with their chaff and occasional the competition mix in the peak season along with Dengie Alfa-A oil. 

Chino and Archie always look well on it and have a beautiful coat so I tried swapping to normal Dengie Alfa-A. Within a week I noticed the difference in the horses coats as they had lost their shine and appeared to be a bit more greasy. I could only put it down to the swap from Alfa oil so I immediately went back out and bought it back in. It may cost a couple of pounds more but when their coat looks and feels so good then it’s worth the money. 

The second feed change has been with Ara. As a thoroughbred he’s a nightmare to keep weight on him. He has a constant supply of grass or hay and hayalge as well as 2 feeds a day and yet he still looks rough. His coat is dull and he has zero top line, so we looked at trying a different feed to see if it would make a difference. I am literally amazed at how great he looks since changing to Baileys Number 4. No word of a lie, his coat is better, he’s filled out and he actually looks happier in himself. It may cost double to price but it’s more than worth it and I will look to move the others into it eventually. 

 A 3 hour wait! 

I toodled off to Cherwell Comp’ centre today  for a spot of show jumping. We worked out the timings by the entry numbers  posted on book of the face so arrived about 11.45 thinking I’d have enough time to enter and watch a few. Turns out I had enough time to watch an entire season of game of thrones!! They were still on the first class when we arrived with about 6 still to go and I wanted to do class 4! 

Feeling optimistic I entered anyway hoping they’d try and catch up a bit but by 12.15 and class 2 had still not started I took the decision to withdraw. It wasn’t fair to let Chino stand in a trailer for 3 hours in the heat, plus we have loads of work to do down at the stables and I thought we could utilise our time better by heading home. 

On the plus side, the venue are hiring the arena with full course of jumps tomorrow so rather than get my money back I decided to hire it tomorrow for an hour and we’ll take both Chino and Ara. At least then we get to pop the jumps and have a nice arena to school in given our fields are rock hard and lumpy so we are restricted to hacking again at the mo which is no good when you’re preparing for ode’s each month! 

Hopefully I’ll have some inane chattering to share tomorrow based on our schooling session so until then, 

Toodle pip 😘