Dressage and Clear Round SJ

A few weeks back I decided to head a little further afield for the Colne Valley Riding Club Dressage and Clear Round Show Jumping.

I find BJ settles and has a nicer canter after a lil’ jump, so thought this would be a fab opportunity to have a little practice towards some combined training.

We set off early with the Sophie on board to be cameraman for the day and arrived in good time, it was at Stratford Hills and there was plenty of parking in the HUGE field we were in.

However…no toilets! I deserve a ribbon just for holding it all day to be honest! But luckily, that’s the only down part of the day.

The weather was ever changeable all day, from bright sun to icey hail, but always with a bitter wind, so the thermals were needed!

BJ travelled well, and stood like a champ on the pony express all day, I’m honestly so proud of this boy for being so chilled after being such a stress head on the lorry in the past.

With a huuuuge field to warm up in BJ was nice and relaxed and feeling good going into the first Class, Intro B. This was our first attempt at dressage in such an open field and we did well staying in the boards and keeping focus. We scored a respectable 69.56% and placed 2nd 🙂

We did a quick clear round after this class, the jumps were 35-50cm, so nice and small, but a nice reward for the boy after the dressage. Well, after 1 jump, the hail came down!! But we kept going, it wasn’t the prettiest clear round, but we made it round without knocking anything down!

A little break, then on to Prelim 14 – Restricted – This did not go so well! I was convinced we’d be lucky to score 50%, we almost left the boards at one point and my giggle fit after this meant it wasn’t the tidiest test…but…shock of shock, we scored a rather nice 65.19%! The rest of the class were fantastic and we didn’t place, but all I was worried about was getting practice cantering in a test. We managed to keep all scores above 5 and I’m so proud of my hard working boy.

We then had a quick spin around the clear round again, I just wanted to do a tidier/smoother clear round, and we did 🙂 He was calm and responsive and I was happy with our performance.

So time to relax, await the score sheets and prep to get ready to go home.

Here’s a little video from our day, thank you for reading, and we’ll see you again soon!

Lucy & BJ xoxo

Frillies, Dressage Practice…and a sneaky jump!

Do you ever get those days when everything planned just doesnt appeal to you?

That’s what happened today! I was due to head to my monthly peer group meeting but woke up with a niggling head ache and a drive to get in the salon and get a few bits sorted I’d neglected.

Having cleared a load of work yhis put me in a great mood for the rest of the day and when the headache cleared I was ready for a chilled walk with my lady, then off to the yard to see to the boy.

The sun was shining, birds were tweeting and the wind was freeeezing!

Today’s plan was to practice BD Intro B & C ready for filming tomorrow for e-riders and also ready for dressage on Sunday with gipping valley RC.

He was a little sharp to start, but a bagillion transitions later and lots of circles and serpentines he settled nicely and I tried my hardest to keep his tempo more regular and not to rush and was happy with what we did.

Again our transitions to and from walk need more work, especially when collecting him up after a free walk, but we make slow progress every schooling session so that’s enough for me.

After about 40mins in the school I was ready to call it a day, he’d worked well and I didnt want to overdo it before tomorrow.

We toodled up to the jump field and have a lil amble round, then I figured, hell, why not? We popped a jump, then another.

And before I know it I’ve made a little course in my head and we’ve done it twice.

He was a star, no hint of running out, really lit up when we started and happily took me to each fence without too much rushing.

I’m so lucky to have this boy 😍😍

Daily Ramblings 26/03/19

So, I’m starting something new for me.

I’m going to share some of our daily activities like schooling, lunging etc. I’m trying to keep myself focused from the high of Sunday and build on what the judges say, so by next month there will hopefully be an improvement in our performance.

Today we had a quick schooling session before work, about 25minutes focusing on improving our tempo, aiming for correct lead strike off on both reins in canter, and squaring up our halt.

Well, we managed 4 square halts and EVERY canter was in the correct lead AND with me in the saddle rather than light seat. Our tempo/y rising still needs work, he was fresh and I was struggling to contain his energy, but it settled in the end, all in all I was super chuffed with our quick schooling and it definitely set me up for the day 🙂

Thanks for reading

xoxo

Side Saddle Playtime!

In all the excitement of the dressage I’ve been a lil slack sharing our Side Saddle lesson last week.

It’s been on my wishlist for years to try it and I promised myself when I bought BJ that we’d start within a year, well, 5 months in and we had a lesson booked.

I’m very lucky to be round the corner from Clare Simper and arranged for her to visit us for a lesson. And I’m so glad I did.

Clare is a fantastic teacher, supportive, encouraging and extremely knowledgeable. She gave BJ plenty of time and didn’t push either of us.

He took to it well, a little worried (no change there!) but he took it all in his stride, this little pony really does do everything asked of him and always tries his hardest.

It’s far from the glamorous pursuit that every period drama will have you believe, but I really enjoyed it, I was super tired after paying so much attention, and it was well worth it.

We’ll definitely be doing it again, but first I’ll be booking a lesson with Clare’s schoolmaster so I can help BJ more next time with this new skill!

So, here’s a lil video of the day, I hope you enjoy, and as always, thanks for reading guys xoxo

Jumping Playdate with Miss Nellie

Yesterday BJ had another playdate with his favourite gal Nellie, this time in the jump field!

After a taster of jumping in our lesson Thursday I wanted to play again, but this time without the security of a fence one side!

He was such a good boy, we kept it nice and slow and steady and tried his best, we destroyed one jump but that was my fault as I came into it knowing we should have done it slower and on it’s own once.

After a long tiring night shift Roxy was pleased with Nellie too, she’s had a rough time in the past so needs some careful handling, and did so well. We both left with huge smiles on our faces and proud of our ponies!

Hope you enjoy the video (please excuse the angles, first time I’ve put the camera on my hat and it’s not the best).

Thank you for reading/watching xoxo

Thank you Equissimo

Anyone following me on on social profiles will have noticed I’ve been taking part in the #teamequissimo BA search.

Today is the last day….and I’m a sad panda! I’m really going to miss my daily task or chats and have really enjoyed taking part.

It’s genuinely pushed me to do things I’ve avoided for months/years! Which includes my rather emotional livefeed on my work YouTube channel, which it turns out, I really needed!

I just wanted to write a quick blog to say thank you to Equissimo for the last month, it’s been awesome, fun, challenging and inspiring. Not only in my personal pony life, but also in my business life and my on team of BA’s.

I can’t wait to see who they select to join their inspiring team of supportive and inspiring BAs, there are some fantastic people taking part in this challenge (and ponies) and I can’t wait to continue following them.

Good Luck everyone

Lucy & BJ xoxo

#teamequissimo – What Can I Offer You

Some of my followers may have noticed that I have been taking part in the #teamequissimo brand ambassador search this month. And today’s question is what I can offer them, so here goes…

First off…this boof…Monsieur Bojack, as I affectionately know him, has an impressive Poirot moustache, which I feel if the source of all his power…who doesn’t wanna smooch this boof? It helps him fight crime in his spare time you know?

On a more serious note, I’m a hard working and dedicated team member. I can offer a loyal and professional BA who understands the role very well, running my own business and managing a team of my own BA’s I’m aware of what is expected from the role on both sides.

Through my work I run a FB group with over 13000 members, my YouTube channel has over 35,000 subscribers and I’m used to running various social media profiles with over 10000 followers, with regular content and engaging with my customers. Yes, my work isn’t in the equine world, but my skills are easily transferred to the equine world.

As an ex competition groom I am used to working with many different brands and products and know what is expected from clothing and equipment needed for day to day yard life and competing, and can review products accordingly.

I’ve built a reputation in the Nail world for my honest reviews and will always be honest with my suppliers/supporters about their products, so my reviews have integrity. I’m not just saying it because I’m sent free things/paid to, I only review and recommend products I would personally use.

Not that I give bad reviews, I’ll always go back to any supplier/supporter with my honest opinions before sharing them with my followers.

Although I am an ex comp groom, I am entirely a grass root rider, I didn’t ride for work and always stayed on the ground, this is my first pony that I’ve actually had to produce myself, and have a plan for! We’re right at the start of our journey, so it’s an exciting time to join us for the ride. I’m excited about the idea of building our bond and continuing with our journey and would love to have the support of #teamequissimo along the way.

#teamequissimo funny stories

Today’s challenge from Equissimo is to share our funniest equestrian stories…I didn’t think I had any U or PG rated ones I could share, but while walking the Piglet I remembered a doozy!

We’ll go back maybe 8 years, to Lummen in Belgium. It’s a 2 week show and has rained beyond belief! Everywhere is flooded and miserable, but after a few days the tracks are cleared and I’m starting to dry out, and even the sun is making a few appearances.

I head to the ring with the fabulous Timo, to meet my rider Cody, she’s a young american, early twenties, pretty lil thing with long blonde hair and typical Connecticut accent.

We’re stood at the warm up watching a few other riders before the class starts, there’s a warm up behind us too, with riders gathered behind, some watching our warm up.

We’re watching a young lad jumping and talking to his groom as she sets jumps. and Cody turns to me and says.

Cody – That Irish accent is horrendous.

Me – (looking around for the Irish people I’d missed the last few days, only a few Brits are here and they’re not Irish…) Which Irish accent?

Cody – That boy jumping now, that’s the oddest Irish accent I’ve heard.

Me – What, Donald? He’s a Whitaker, they’re not Irish, he’s from Yorkshire.

Cody – I’ve never heard that accent before, it’s awful.

Me – Some may say American accents aren’t that great either you know, and I wouldn’t shout that too loud, everyone form the UK pretty much loves every Whitaker.

Cody – Who are they?

Me – A showjumping dynasty!

About 10 minutes pass, and it’s time to get on and start warming up, as Cody is about to get on I notice a tall blonde rider walking our way and start giggling to myself as have an idea what’s coming next…

He taps her on the shoulder and looks her straight in the eye, cheeky smile on his face.

“You know what? Your accent’s pretty awful too”

As he walks off as I crease up laughing while Cody just looks confused.

You guessed it, William Whitaker had been behind us in the warm up watching Donald and heard the entire thing!

The following year I remember a younger Whitaker, possibly Thomas (I struggle to remember last week, let alone 6-8 years ago!) was at our barn for a few weeks and I’d spend most of the time translating what he said to Cody, she never could get the hang of the thick Yorkshire accent!

Equissimo Order Review

It’s been about a month since I had a little shop, so decided to treat myself, well, the boy with a few new bits and thought I’d do a little review.

I placed 2 orders and received them both within a week of placing, well within the time stated on the website and easily trackable.

Well packaged and not too much waste, which I like.

First up is the Mark Todd Leather Headcollar to be used a travel halter for shows etc. He already has a leather halter for the yard so I wanted a second for best. As expected its good quality and well made. I’ve always trusted Mark Todd products as they’re always a good quality and workmanlike. Not to say they’re dull or anything, more that they are clearly well made for daily use, no fuss designs, but with all the features you want. This halter has an easily adjustable noseband, buckles both side of the headpeice and clip on the throat lash for ease of use. I went for Cob size in Brown. It’s a good size with room to adjust, the leather is a deep rich brown with white stitching and Mark Todd embossing. Both the headpiece and nose band have light padding and are soft and supple.

I love the simple and classic look of this headcollar, it both fits and suits BJ well.

Next up is the Kentucky Horsewear 4 Piece Sheepskin Headcollar Set. I got into floof with the showjumpers…and now can’t travel without it! It adds a extra comfort for journeys and looks so smart. It also helps absorb some of the boys sweat as he is a hot beast when he travels!

I bought the white set, which is a really nice soft cream natural sheepskin colour, mine are a little more yellow than the pic on the website…but it’s natural sheepskin so a slight colour variation is to be expected and doesn’t bother me.

The set is well made and robust with plenty of room, often sheepskin sets can be a little snug, especially on padded headcollars, but these have plenty of room to be easily attached and I imagine even the headpiece would easily fit around a shaped/anatomic halter.

Third on the list – new reins! I need something a little grippier and also a better size, finding Cob size reins seems to be a mission, but not with the Montar Leather/Rubber Reins!

I went for the Cob, Brown, French Hook variation. Finally a set of reins the right length, with grip that isn’t bulky and ugly and a simple cut. Huzzah!

The billet (French hook) attachments are nice and supple from the start, I have a lots of issues with my hands from work so gripping can be painful, but these are easy to open and close with no discomfort. the plain leather part of the reins is a beautiful colour and feels strong yet supple. The grip section of the reins blends well with the leather and the leather backing to it is padded and super soft. The reins are sleek and elegant and I’m sure there’ll help with my contact and letting the reins slip through my hands!

I’ve been using them for a week now and have found BJ can’t snatch the reins from me as easily as he did before, it’s making it a lot easier to keep a consistent contact while riding!

And finally, a little something for me. the Kingsland Madelyn Ladies Knitted Headband. Typicall I spend so much on him and only nab something from the dale section for me! It’s super cute and I’m glad I did. The colour is a nice smokey grey, the bling detail adds a little sparkle without being too much and the headband has a super soft fleece lining making it super snuggly.

Overall impressions of Equissimo are fab, the items are as advertised, arriving in good time and as described. Communication from the company is excellent and I wouldn’t hesitate to order again. The range of products is good and the companies ethos is to be applauded. They’ve clearly worked hard to find suppliers of premium quality products that re worth every penny. And although to some the prices may be higher than they normally spend, I’d encourage anyone to invest in the quality you get from these carefully selected brands. The items I’ve bought are of high quality, well made and I have no doubt they will last well.

As always, thanks for reading guys xoxo