Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Jumping, hacking and moving buildings

Hi folks, we've had a very busy week so far, after a few very quiet weeks it's a bit of a shock to the system.

On Sunday we went show-jumping at Speetley Equestrian Centre. We took Isla too and she jumped first, I was a bit cross about being left on the lorry but managed to contain my displeasure to talking to her across the show-ground between mouthfuls of hay. Apparently she was very good and jumped clear and fast but mum said her time would have been faster if she hadn't stopped to argue about which jump was next so I should beat her.

Isla 85/95 video

After a bit of walking around in the cold it was my turn, I was a bit excited and did some shouting and bouncing in the collecting ring. Then there was a tractor in the chute which was suspiciously quiet so I stood on my back legs a couple of times to make sure it knew not to try any funny business! Eventually we went in the ring and waited for the bell then I was off, one went well, I got a bit enthusiastic into two and mum had to have a quick word about control and outline, three and four were great, I even managed the related distance correctly but five was a two stride double with a wide spread in. Mum was determined to get the correct striding so she rode forwards in the middle but I got confused and went through the second part, oops. That unsettled me a bit so I got an extra stride between six and seven then it was into the jump off section which was great fun until the monster next to fence ten, I tried to get us away from it but mum got very cross and said I had to jump it anyway, 11 was big but jumped well and 12 was a big one stride double but I got it perfect. Somehow I was 10 seconds slower then the Princess who only went and won the whole damn class but as I was tacked up I got to go in and get her rosette which was ok until I had to canter past that monster again.

Mango 85/95 video

I told mum and polo lady it was time to go back to the horsebox then but they said I had to jump a big class to practice for Badminton so we went back in again, one to four went really well and mum let me put three strides in the double at five which made it a lot easier. Six and seven were starting to get seriously big and I just ran on a touch to seven and knocked it off. No jump off turns this time but the wider turn into 10 meant I got an even better look at the monster and decided we definitely needed to escape from it, again mum was not impressed by my efforts and I even got a smack which was most uncalled for! Apart from a missed stride at the last though we got round with just the four faults and mum was really pleased how well I'd jumped the big ones and maintained my canter.

Mango 95/105 video

On Monday we had a delivery from the builder, it was great fun, I got to play with the lorry and the builders hat! Then chief pony holder came to visit with him indoors' father. There was a lot of huffing and puffing but eventually the man with the big tractor turned up and moved our field shelter! It's quite fun where it is now, there's a better view and mum's put some wood chip in so I spent all night digging holes in it and making a mess but at least there's finally somewhere to have a pee and a lie down in comfort....about bloody time mother.

Field shelter move video

Tuesday we got up early again, this time to let lots of men in hi viz with cars and vans and weird remote control noisy things into the field. I was very helpful and introduced myself to all of them as well as checking out the driver-less vehicles to make sure they were safe to be let in. Eventually after lots of flasks of tea they started cutting down the trees under the power lines which I guess is sensible so I left them to it. Then mum caught me and put me on the box with no haynet. Turns out we were meeting up with my mate Prince from the Rockley Reunions to go for a ride around the Peaks. We were both very brave for orange ponies, we went past lots of scary things and only took our feet off the floor in response to a man in hi viz building a wall with flappy plastic around it, which obviously is far more suspicious then anything else!

Can't wait to see what else mother has planned to try and shift my winter belly this week, I'll try to keep you all up to date.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Happy New Year

Happy 2017 everyone!

Guess it's time for an update, mum worked a lot of the festive period and Paige hasn't been very well so we've had a pretty easy time of it here the last couple of weeks. Mum has been trying to make up for it this week though!

Isla went hunting with the Burne Bloodhounds on Sunday, new pack for her and very welcoming, she came back filthy though which somewhat defeated the purpose of her bath the day before! She had a chat to our old friend Mark of emmelleff photography who was responsible for some lovely pictures of us back in Lincolnshire, he had his work cut out running through the mud and crouching in hedgerows trying to get flattering photos of princess in the rain though!
Today mum put me on the box and took me hacking somewhere different, she said the school was frozen and it was about time we did something about both our bellies. She'd worked out a route along part of the South Peak Loop and Pennine bridleways joined by a few quiet roads and permissive tracks. Unfortunately her carefully planned gallop spots had frozen solid and I had to pick my way along them so it took us 2.5 hours to do 11 miles in the freezing cold! I was very brave though and went past all sorts of scary things like quarries, a man with a gun and rocks.

It wouldn't be a new year blog without setting out some aims for the coming year.

The main objective for me is Badminton of course.

I need to work on getting my jumping confident at 1m so even if the inevitable rain tries to disrupt us I can get round the championship course on grass without disgracing myself, with that in mind we are going to practice a bit more at home and try to get a couple of shows in before our first event which if all goes to plan will be the East Midlands Dressage Group 95cm at Osberton at the end of February. Hopefully followed up with a BE100 or two before probably the BE90 at Eland for a bit of confidence before the big day.

We need to do something about the state of my feet before then too, mum has no problem taking me to Badminton with no shoes but apparently my frogs are so rotten the vet might not even let me on site. The ever helpful Steve Leigh of Natures Way Natural Hoofcare has been recruited as part of the team to help out on that front, he's also very kindly paying our entry fees for the main event.

Hopefully we'll find time to get a bit of dressage in as well, we're going to aim at Area Festivals Novice Silver and Elementary Bronze, already got our qualification for the former, just one more outing needed for the later.

Not sure we'll have chance but some qualifying runs for BE regionals or the Yorkshire Challenge in the autumn wouldn't go amiss either but apparently after Badminton mum has to concentrate on "the wedding", no idea what this involves except no horses....wtf?