Bucking Fun!

Well Chino and I never made it to Quainton stud today for the eventer challenge as he’s got a splint on his foreleg which was pretty swollen this morning so we hosed it and put an ice banadage on which he then proceeded to try and take off – must have thought it made his legs look fat!! 

As we couldn’t get a refund the husband decided to take Ara instead! 

The warmup was the best bit-  The end! 

To be honest, he wasn’t as bad as I’ve seen him but he did get eliminated again. The jumping was good but corners of the arena resulted in many bucks, kicks and naps which meant he got faults without even being near a jump! The husband took him in again HC to try and get him round but he took major offence at the steps up so he decided to just skip that part out and carry on with the rest of the round which he did lovely. 

In fairness I’ve never seen a more ridiculous xc course in all my life – the 80 involved a log jump down a pretty steep slope with water at the bottom! Whilst the size of the log wasn’t particularly big I feel the question was pretty tough for an 80 so I was starting to wonder what they had planned for the 90 which he was entered in. Now I’m no expert on course building but I would have thought a 2 step bounce (and were not taking small steps either!) and another stride onto the top of the mound followed by a 90 degree right turn down the slope over the log and into the water was a pretty big question. Ive never seen so many eliminations in two classes at the same obstacle in all my life which goes to show how difficult it was especially for an unaffiliated event! 


On the way home I was able to watch the Rolex Kentucky xc on my phone – the FEI Tv app is pretty good for watching the big events which never get broadcast on normal tv. I was in awe watching the magician that is Michael Jung go round the course like it was a 70cm clear round! He really is an amazing horseman and makes everything look so effortless. 

Once back at the stables and the giant goof was turned out we then brought Archie in as I thought it would be good to load him in the trailer and have a little drive around to get him used to travelling. He has only been  walked in and out the trailer twice before and had the back ramp lifted so I was unsure how he would react but turns out i didn’t need to worry. I have never handled a horse so chilled out who takes everything in his stride. We decided to drive about a mile out the village, unload him and let him have a bit of a graze and then load him back up and he didn’t even blink an eye; it was like he’d been doing all his life, all 2 years of his life!! 

Back at the stables and we leave Chino rolling in the hay, the weirdo, feed the 3 and head home. 

Tomorrow will undoubtably be another day with no rain (arghhh) meaning the grass remains non existent and the ground stays harder than trying to find Wally/Waldo(!) with no contact lenses in!  I believe the husbands plan is to take down a tree- how manly! My plan will be to ‘assist’ by providing hydration in the form of Tea (only Yorkshire tea mind!) and  obviously smoothering my 3 boys with lots of love and attention!!! 

Toodle Pip ๐Ÿ˜˜

Jenga!

Have you ever considered how your life is very similar to Jenga?jenga

It’s an analogy I’ve used when helping some kids at school deal with the ups and downs of life (not sure if its an analogy that’s been thought of before so i will claim it for my own!). I didn’t expect to apply it to my own life though. Think about it for a second – in life you take knocks and have to deal with stress – that’s the bricks being taken from the tower. Then the pressure builds up and you carry it on your shoulders – the bricks being placed on top of the tower. What happens eventually though? The tower comes falling down! It’s not the one brick that caused it but a combination of stresses and pressure. Thats what happened in January but my crumbling jenga tower came as a huge surprise as it did to everyone else. Its taken me until now to build it back up and get back to work but in the three months i’ve had off i’ve learnt some important things about me, my friends and family but most importantly my 3 horses and 1 husband!

As horse people we know our emotions are tied to the horse – we get anxious and we tighten up and the horse feels it and will often then not perform. However, I didn’t realise just how much of our emotions they picked up on until having this time off. Ive spent everyday with the horses in the last 3 months and i can honestly say that if it wasn’t for them i’m not sure i’d be back at work now. Training sessions are more productive because i’m calmer and less stressed -when they are being silly, naughty or struggling with a new concept then i don’t get angry and annoyed with them; i can keep my calm and either work though it or have the ability to recognise that we need to stop and come back to it another time because i’m having an off day and the horse is picking up my stress and tension. Not only has the training improved but i have never been calmer in competitions like i am now. I used to get so nervous to the point of crying and nearly throwing up which was inevitably going to affect my riding – how could i expect my crazy anxious thoroughbred to perform well when he had a nervous wreck on his back! That’s not to say Ara’s any better in competition now as he’s still a huge t**t but when he now trieds it on now, I can bully him round a course – as opposed to hearing the elimination bell at fence one we now hear it near the end of the course!

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The final thing I’ve learnt is that my husband is a bit like a horse in that i can talk at them and they will just listen! In fairness i would like a little more of a two way conversation however, he’s far to pragmatic and when i’m whinging about things his answers and help can be infuriating…therefore i call my sister and she gets it!!

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Yes that is my husband wearing my PJ’s!

He does however, keep my laughing and we all know laughter is the best medicine.

So being back at work this week has meant less time with my boys – sad times! The first day I fed them in the morning at 7 and then didn’t see them again until about 3pm and they went mental when i turned up -Whinnying, charging about the field, following me everywhere! They were so adorable and made me realise how much of a bond i’ve developed with them recently. Ive not been able to ride them everyday which meant they were both very fresh when we attempted some schooling.

With both of them I decided to focus on transitions which Ara was fine with and behaved brilliantly until he didn’t! The rain came and so did his tantrum! 30 minutes of bucking, bronching, napping, spinning and me hanging on for dear life. I whacked my jaw on his neck so it now clicks and makes more noise than a one man band, i’ve twisted my calf and neck and had to go in search of my phone when i realised it must have flown out my pocket during one of his episodes! We did not leave the field until he fIMG_0502[1].JPGollowed my instructions but boy was it a battle of wills. Chino had a day off as i then had to take my dad to A&E!

He came off Ara 3 weeks ago when he couldn’t control Ara in the canter and decided that he’d jump off rather than fall off, the mad old fool! X-rays confirmed he had in fact suffered a minor fracture in his ankle/fibula but as he’d left it for three weeks and continued to walk on it then there was nothing they could do now! Safe to say he won’t be attempting any cantering on Ara anytime soon!

Yesterday I did the same schooling session with Chino and he was a bit of a dick! Very fresh and springy – we couldn’t canter as it resulted in bucks and farts, and his downward transitions resulted in arguments and wanting to do mini rears! I just managed to contain his excitement finishing with some straight halting rather than stop and spins like we had earlier!

As i’m off work today i will head down to the boys soon and do more schooling in the field and some raised trotting poles to get their back ends working in the correct way as opposed to working in the air! Archie will get some mummy love as he’s filthy so needs a good groom which he loves. I’m all entered for the eventer challenge tomorrow afternoon at Quainton Stud so fingers crossed the rain stays off for that as we’ve not got studs sorted yet so i imagine it’ll be pretty slippy.

I will update the results of the weekend over the next two days so stay tuned!

Toodle Pip ๐Ÿ˜˜

Surprising result!

Today was my second competition with Chino which was 90 Arena Evening at Aston Le Walls. When entering on Friday I thought it was the usual sj straight into xc. No! No it god damn wasn’t and I’d only gone and entered into doing the 3 phases! The only saving grace was that it was the same test I’d schooled Chino through a week before for the husbands BE event. As mentioned yesterday, our practice hadn’t gone great so I wasn’t holding out much hope for today.

We warmed up pretty well, nice and relaxed, me being stupid (photos on instagram!!) and we were ready to go. In we trot and it’s all going well until I have a memory blank at the second corner, que mild panic! Luckily we got through with some wonky lines, wrong canter leads and a jig joggy free walk but some nice comments from the judges and a not too disappointing 37 score. Not the 33 that the husband achieved but still within the target i set for myself.

A quick tack and clothing sort out and I’m back in saddle for the sj&xc part. The husband tells me to push him on before the fences as he backs off them quite a bit- turns out I didn’t need to worry about it as he flew round. We did have two poles down but entirely my fault as I’m still getting to grips with his stride length and pace as well as the ability to sit quietly on him unlike when I’m riding Ara. I did make a tit of myself when I rode past the husband and said ‘this is going well- it’s like a golf score!!’ What I had meant was a cricket score!! What an absolute pillock I must have sounded!

Anywho, Last fence jumped and off we zoom into the xc. I’m not sure who loved it more, Chino or me, but we popped round all the fences, cantered the water and I even remembered the course with all its twists and turns.

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We finished the day with another round around the sj’s mainly for me to get to grips with Chino. Still 2 down but looking back on the video it was much better and I didn’t quite look like a sack of s**t!
Once finished the result was then announced for the arena eventing and we’d only bloody gone and picked up 2nd place!! To say I was happy would be an understatement!


For the next 2 weeks I’ll be working on getting Chino supple and relaxed with more bend so any ideas would be greatly appreciated. We’ll do the eventer challenge next weekend at Quainton Stud and then Moreton Morrell ode at the beginning of May so a busy couple of weeks- not sure when I fit in the husband!!

Toodle pip x

Fur Lined Boots!

Firstly, never wear fur lined riding boots IMG_0411without checking the weather forecast! OMG I had to peel them off and wander about with the tops flapping to try and cool the legs!

Today has pretty much consisted of me riding Ara & Chino, laying around the field sunbathing (in full riding gear & boots!!) and occasionally helping out the husband turn one of our shabby fields into a grass arena with some xc schooling bits and bobs.

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This morning I went in the field to do some schooling and did the same exercises for the 2nd day this week in the hope that the boys would remember what to do. Ara was not bad although had a bit of a melt down when jumping the barrels and it jumped up and bit his legs!! I had to then lay them on their side for him to go anywhere near again the big wimp!

Chino second up- I’ve literally just watched the video clips that the husband did for me. Bull in a China shop springs to mind! The dressage practice didn’t go quite according to plan and was more Dressage against the clock! At the end it’s pretty clear where I go f**k it, this is a mess and handbrake turn it across the diagonal and up the centre line!! I hope to god tomorrow isn’t like that when we do it in competition!

Next we moved on to some pole work where I’d set up a variety of trotting pole combinations which works really well for keeping them on their toes as I do serpentines, circles etc in between as chino tends to fall asleep if he repeats an exercise too much. IMG_0373.PNGAll you hear throughout the video from husband is ‘slow it down!’ like I wasn’t trying to! ย Chino just wanted to charge about the place which apparently is my fault as I’ve turned him into a ‘yehaa’ horse when out hacking through the fields! Incidentally i only yehaa him when the husband is hacking with me…the old competitive streak kicks in with me and I have to beat him to everywhere.

The final schooling part was two uprights set small at about 80cm with 5 strides between and I had to change the number of strides in between! I managed 5,6 and 7 with Ara but with Chino we could barely manage 6 mainly due to my inability to sit and wait so we had a few fliers and one where I was over the jump before chino but he finished well and eventually listened so all good in the end.

Not to be left out, Archie had a good groom and de-fluffing leaving me with hairy bosoms as I found out this evening when de-brarring! Horse hair really does get everywhere!

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So it’s now the evening and I’ll leave my ramblings here and go and watch the showjumping Grand Prix on horse & country tv and eat my mint magnum!

Toodle pip x ๐Ÿ˜˜

 

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.ย IMG_2548.JPG