Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Charlie update :)

Hi all,

thought you might like an update on Mr Charlie as he is now officially off quarantine

So on Thursday he was sedated and had a dental - I was a bit worried that he might object to injections (although the vet who vetted him did say he was fine) due to his recent injection/twitch thing. Anyway he stood like a rock! And had very little wrong with his teeth except for a few sharp bits.

he seems very settled in the stable, and has been tucking happily into his hay so all good

I had however bought him a bridle, but it still hadn't arrived yesterday and I got impatient!! I decided to drag out of the trunk and old bridle and see if it fitted - which it did . I tried him with a loose ring jointed happy mouth snaffle although I think he would prefer a myler so will hire one to try now I know his size. My jump saddle also fits him well enough that for now I'll use it until he has muscled up a bit.

Took him out to the arena, tried and failed to lunge him as he just wanted to keep coming back to me so jumped on!

Anyway - vids of his first time in the arena, and his first canter. lots and lots of schooling to do - including getting him to accept contact but I reckon he will get there.



Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Eden Valley BE - the eventing season is underway!

Hi All,

Our first BE event has been!

Entered BE90 with Jack for Sunday, at Eden Valley Horse Trials

The day before involved scrubbing Jack to try and make his grey bits white (diamond blue shampoo) and gathering up everything orangey to load into the lorry

Got up Sun morning 5.30am to feed and plait, I much prefer plaiting on the morning, night before ones I do never look as nice. Surprisingly Jack and Mack (who was going with helen) were not a green as they usually are so we were loaded up to leave by 7am.

Arrived at 9.30am so made good time, I'm like the queen as I never carry cash and forgot my start fee!  Thanks to Helen and Justin for bailing me out!

Walked the course – the BE90 felt like a lovely course with some fences sharing with the BE80, with
latter half of the course sharing some jumps with the BE100, and was a nice course for the start of the season.

The ground was fab, the only bit of ground that was deep was up by the trochaner, but I can’t complain, the course looked like it had been rolled overnight so the organisers were working hard to manage it.

My Mum arrived with Dapper,  as she lives in Cumbria she doesn’t get to many events to watch so it was lovely to see her! She brought her dog Tanni along (little JRT) and I think we may need to get her an orange rug before the next event

Anyway got Jack ready for Dressage phase, the other night we were schooling and he had a nasty fright with thunder/lightening above so was a bit jumpy – I decided it was best to keep with his jump saddle as I feel more secure in it, just put the stirrups down a few holes. Good choice I felt after jumping aboard, he was a bit nervous, although settled once I rode him if for half an hour. Since the arena was built I have been having weekly flatwork lessons at my house, our trot work is coming along brilliantly and he felt excellent for it – it’s the first time I have enjoyed preparing for a test!

Pics taken from Video so not the best but still nice to have:

When the scores came out I was a bit disappointed but thanks to the technology of video I have since re-watched it and agree with the judges comments. We ended up with a 38.5 – gaining 7’s for our trot, and a few 5/6’s for hollowing in transitions, no free walk, on forehand in canter – all things I now need to practice on! We are also doing the same test at Central Scotland Horse Trials in two weeks so I can work on it between now and then

Jack decided that salute included him too!

Onto the SJ, tacked up, stirrups up, and off we toddled.  Lovely arena and surface and well manned, they were only allowing half a dozen people in at one time. Not sure if my wood fibre surface is very springy or if the surface was a bit flat but in the warm up I didn’t feel like Jack was really jumping. I even thought he was tired however after a nice pop over the parallel we headed in, and I rode like a muppet!! Missed him at the first, buried him at each fence after that so I was lucky to only have one down.

Anyway onto my favourite part – with J he makes riding XC lots of fun! Warm up was a bit sticky so only jumped a couple, then headed over to the start box.

Out of the start we jumped a grey patch of stones on the ground, commentator thought he had bucked, and flew the first fence. Unfortunately I’m a bit rusty with my speed so we picked up 8 time penalties and watching the video(below)  I slowed up from early on.

On the way to the water, think Jack spotted he was being filmed!

My plan had been to have a good forward run up to the trochaner:

where we would go slowly through the deep going then pick up speed again but it all looks slow on the vids. that said, he was fab and jumped everything – I think he could do with being a tad fitter, but soon got his breath back after finishing and was hardly sweaty so after a quick mobi-wash down, walked off for 10 mins, both Jack and Helen's horse Mack were grazing happily after their fun filled day.

Video of the dr, sj and xc: http://youtu.be/5G4WIEhyYjo

Ended up with a 50 score but happy that my hoss has done another clear xc, plenty to work on before Central Scotland, so hopefully (fingers tightly crossed) we can improve by then.

Charlie is having a dental this Thursday and will be off quarantine so hoping to make a start this weekend - lunging first with a kind bit in then maybe riding if the weather is kind to me will keep you all posted.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Lambing, lessons and a new pal

Hi all,

Well its been a busy week this week! For the first time we used sponges on our sheep to try and syncronise lambing.  The due date was Tues, so John and I took the week off - and I am pleased we did!

With a week to go we brought them in, although we had planned to bring them in a couple of weeks early but time got away from us again, anyway they were settled and munching in the large pen with the CCTV camera watching their every move. 

Then lambing was underway on Sunday night and continued on (slowly) until Saturday morning.  Unfortunately this did mean that every night this week we have been taking turns to get up every couple of hours to check them - I'm going back to work next week for a rest!!

Mum and Aunty Reta came up on Tuesday for a visit, it was lovely to see them but they brought some rubbish weather along! it was bitterly cold and snowing all day and night, which is a good reason to lamb indoors.

As the weather was so bad, we put the lambs (who would have been going out) into a stable to have more room to play, this turned into a great play pen! As the floors have rubber matting you could hear the tappity-tap of their feet as they were prancing around the stable!

Lambs are so funny - they love to climb all over mum and jump off - maybe we should put another camera on them for fun!

We had a fairly successful lambing, 6 boys and 8 girls.  Unfortunately we did lose one lamb.  I can safely say that the sponges really helped and we will definitely be using them again!

On Wednesday morning, Mum and Reta were heading home, but came with me via a local yard to look at some horses.  I have been looking for a project horse to produce while waiting for Haggis to grow up.  We looked at several horses and rode a few.  One horse stood out from the crowd and is now happily munching grass in my field!


Introducing Charlie:

He is an Irish Sports Horse, 16.2, 6yo. he has spent his life so far hunting so requires lots of flatwork to get him ready.  Over jumps he is a bit green but there isn't a bad bone in his body.

Having passed the vet he is currently out in the field grazing, he is quite thin so will need time to build up and I'll get his teeth checked soon to make sure all is in working order!

After that is all systems go!

Charlie doesn't have a show name, John suggested we called him Bryland Bespoke.  I think its quite a good name, but I'm open to suggestions!  As we have the Bryland Flock and Haggis is Bryland Cheiftain a catchy name with Bryland in it would be great - get your thinking caps on!



Jack and I had a lesson yesterday, we are heading to Eden valley horse trials in a weeks time so worked through transitions and canter - Jack finds canter hard (unless we are galloping at jumps!) but by the end of the lesson he had taken some good steps forward.  Over the last few weeks I have been getting regular lessons from Liz and I can see a huge improvement in myself and Jack.  I am actually enjoying flatwork now and keen to improve so that can't be bad can it!

Just so Jack doesn't feel left out - the pic above is from him at a recent Almond Riding Club show, taken by http://www.sfetechnicalsolutions.co.uk/

Nice of them to have an orange jump isn't it!

So the week is nearly over!  today I am heading down to Penrith then its weighing sheep and halter training 

Until next time!  Remember to come up with show names for me! :D

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Montrave Hunter Trials - 1st xc of the year :D

Hi all

My friend Helen and I decided to head up to Montrave for their hunter trials yesterday.

Anyway after heading up to the stables I found a very dirty hoss but happy that it wasn't mine!

He he he!

After much scrubbing and putting blank studs in, we loaded up and headed off. Thank's to Helen's hubby for driving

What a lovely day it was! the sun was shining when we arrived and after walking the course, the ground felt good - didn't even bother studding up.

Threw the tack on Jack and headed out to warm up - they had kindly made one of the warm up jumps a replica of the first fence which is nice to get them underway when you start.

Jack was a bit worried about my number bib, I think I'll start taking blank paper and marker pen with me to use my own bib in future, the one they provided was a nice cloth bib but the wind caught it and it flapped (J does not like flapping!)

Once warmed up, we headed over and stood at the start - had a nice chat with the starting crew then we were off!

There were 22 fences in my class, the video below shows the first 4 fences. I would say in my class fence 6ab was the most tricky, as it was a drop to a skinny whiskey barrel.

I was determined to get over it so I don't think it looked pretty however it wasn't caught on camera so its fine!
Once over that there was a nice galloping section down and back up a hill, both my horse and Helen's boy went flat out - think they enjoyed that bit , we then had a downhill slope to a double, off to the right over a log fence and on to helsinki steps and over a house. The house was the only thing Jack partially looked but he still jumped it so I can't complain

The water had a drop in, which is the first time I have asked Jack to do this. decided to bring him back to a trot, he had a look but kept going (notice my pony club kicking for encouragement on the vid!)
by this point it was just a few lovely fences to home, I am pleased to say I noticed the finish line was in an odd place so made sure I crossed it - I think some people didn't and either doubled back wasting time or may have been eliminated.

Vid: http://youtu.be/F9a6TYnEE3U

so to finish the day, J came 5th - we won a matchy rosette and a packet of Polos!

Heading off to Eden Valley in a couple of weeks to do the BE90, I think the course yesterday was probably more like a BE100 so hopefully he should be fine.