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My journey with Abbey & other horsey bits 'n' bobs

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Competitions

Highs and lows of a show

 

Clever pony came home with a 3rd and a 4th from today’s show. Weird, but the frillies don’t have much bearing on how I feel about the day.

The highs and the lows stemmed from all the other bits.  Abbey’s impeccable behaviour in the ring made me enormously proud but the frustration of not being able to tie her up got me very frustrated.

Abbey continues to be calmer about traveling and, for the first time, I left her on the van while I did my entries. A fellow competitor who kept an eye on her said that she was just fine :D.

However (you knew that there was a ‘but’ coming!) when I uploaded Abbey she spied something either in the hedge or the other side of the hedge, I don’t know which. I do know that she spent the next half hour snorting at said hedge. Twice (when I went in the horsebox to get into my show attire) she decided it was all too much and made a run for it. She snapped the twine she was attached to and, I am sure, would have run home had she not been distracted by the lush long grass within 6ft of the horsebox.

This meant I was stuck holding the end of Abbey’s leadrope. I couldn’t reach her tack, nor anything else I needed to get ready. I had to call for reinforcements. The OH dutifully arrived and held piglet while I ran round (now late!) getting us both ready.

Our frustration levels were not helped by the lack of breakfast…

….anyway that is enough of the ‘lows’, which less face it, aren’t really that bad.

When it mattered, Abbey was a superstar. She was attentive and responsive throughout the ridden class. Unlike our last show she stayed ‘with me’ throughout the group walk, trot and canter, even when a competitor over took us in canter.

 

Continue reading “Highs and lows of a show”

Two blues :D

Had a cracking outing on Sunday.  Abbey was a superstar coming 2nd in both a prelim and a novice classes with 67.69% and 66.96% respectively.

We got good marks for everything we’ve been working on in our lessons and there was only one comment on Abbey’s suppleness (a word that normally litters our score sheets).

It felt lovely too. Often I am fighting for Abbey’s attention and feel like I am hauling her around the circles. On Sunday there was a lightness and a flow which I’ve not had in a test before.

Overall I though my position was better. I was sitting up straighter and on both seat bones. I am still working on keeping my pesky toes in.

 

Continue reading “Two blues :D”

Time flies!

Can’t believe it’s been a whole month since my last post!  From lessons and competitions, to hacking and interval training, Abbey has been a busy girl.

She’s starting to loose a little weight. Abbey is now doing at least an hour of work 5 times a week, including interval training. We’re up to 5 miles of trot/canter work and she’s finally burning more calories than she’s consuming.

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Distracted dressage

Our latest attempt at dressage saw Abbey and I go to a venue we normally showjump at. Abbey’s always spooky and tense here, which makes it rather hard to produce a nice test!

By the time we’d finished, I think we’d looked at every marker and spooked at every corner.

Still we came home with a 62.88% and a 3rd. The percentage was higher than Sundays for the same test and we didn’t get any of the same comments that I could easily change. ( not showing the give and retakes well enough, for example).

Should I have been firmer with Abbey when she wasn’t listening? Or would that have resulted in an argument? I might try it next and see what happens! If it’s an unplanned dismount, we’ll know that it’s not the best way forward…

Stressage at the weekend

On Saturday we competed at Swallowfields in the 2nd round of the Trailblazers qualifiers.

All in all, it went rather well. We’d not done as much prep as I would have liked and Abbey isn’t as fit as she should be so to come home with 65.86% and 61.92% was quite an achievement!

The first test was Novice 24 and a warm-up class. As I didn’t want to tire Abbey out, I kept the warm-up very short – 10 mins.  This seemed to suit her and something I am going to try again at our next competition.

 

The venue was running a little late for the next test and there were more horses in the warm-up arena. So we warmed-up, then walked and stretched (having realised that we’d a little wait) and then did a couple of transitions before going in. Abbey started to get a little crabby, tossing her head in the warm up and pulling faces when another horse got too close (in her opinion, nobody actually got too close!).

In this test she felt more tense than in the first. I think I was rushing her while also trying to steady her, which made her cross!

Today’s test: Novice 23

 

To be honest I’m a bit disappointed with today’s result. It’s ok, the highs wouldn’t be as high if we always had a great result and came home with red frillies. It’s was a learning experience.

Continue reading “Today’s test: Novice 23”

#LoveYourPetDay

(Photo courtesy of: Poppy K Photography)

It’s been just over 3 years since I met and sat on this ponio for the first time. In that time she’s taught me so much.

We’ve had lots of adventures and faced some scary moments.  Here, as they say, are our best bits (in photos):

 

And of course I couldn’t let today pass without mentioning this little monster!

IMG_8176

Novice 23, dressage test practice

Inspiration and motivation; surviving the winter months

My last three posts have talked about how demotivating the winter months are, how we’re getting back into training and how seeing my progress has inspired me to maintain training.

They’ve been popular and it got me thinking – why have I suddenly become more motivated to ‘kick on’ and achieve my aims?  The weather hasn’t changed much – it’s still very cold, grey, wet and muddy but I’ve a renewed enthusiasm.  It stuck me that I’ve recently heard a couple of little gems that have stuck in my mind. I thought I’d share them in the hope that they might inspire you too.

#1 – It’s ok to be rubbish at first.

Just as you reward your horse/dog for trying during the first steps of training, I’ve been rewarding myself and taking pride in trying/making the first step towards a goal.  Yes my attempts at medium trot/shoulder-in/leg-yield are a bit pants, but I’m doing it and that’s what counts; each time I try I get a little step closer to my goal.

Continue reading “Inspiration and motivation; surviving the winter months”

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