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

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Jumping

Jumping on an angle

Abbey and I haven’t done much jumping on an angle. Well, not on purpose anyway!

Today’s lesson had Abbey and I tackling two fences set on a steep angle.

My RI kept the fences low so if we screwed it up Abbey could trot over them without much effort and without scaring herself.

Like dressage, it’s a step by step approach. My RI makes sure that we’re confident at each level before moving onto the next.

Our first attempt was in trot and was good. Abbey was, I must admit, slightly confused about where we were going, but responded to my aids and kept going.

This is a huge change from our first year of jumping which involved lots of stops whenever the question (or the look of a fence changed).

By the end we were popping over the two jumps confidently with only one stride between them.

Weeks summary: cold with snow

I love snow. There I’ve said it. While everyone else is moaning about the white stuff I, not-so-secretly, find it magical.

Yes I am a horse owner, yes it presents its challenges, but the waking up in Narnia fills me with excitement not dread.

Perhaps it’s the novelty; we don’t get proper snow very often (one year in three, maybe) and even then it rarely lasts for more than a day or two.

Or perhaps it’s because I’ve a pony that copes well…an extra rug and haynet as it’s pretty much business as usual (Ab Fab carries her own haynets down to her field too!).

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To I certain extent I do understand the snow-related grumbles. In the UK we’re not well equipped to deal with it.

Continue reading “Weeks summary: cold with snow”

#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!

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Abbey’s bouncing back

It’s been a busy week for me and a good one for Abbey.

On Wednesday I went to Horse of the Year Show (see my report here). I got up early to see the Connemara class and was delighted to read later this week that Skaergaarden Delicious Love won the overall M&M championship (click here to find the showing tips I picked up).

Thursday was dressage schooling. I’m having to get used to Abbey’s new way of going. She’s so chilled that I’m having to generate energy and engage her hind end through exercises rather than containing the anxious energy that she’s been giving me for the last couple of months.

Determined to get more ‘ping’, Abbey and I headed to the school again on Friday evening and I’m please to report that there was a small improvement.

Continue reading “Abbey’s bouncing back”

XC schooling – easy, peasy :)

 

In less than a week Abbey and I will be doing her 2nd (my 3rd) one day event.  XC is probably our weakest phase as we don’t get to do much practice. Two days ago I had a day off, put my brave pants on and headed to a local yard which has a selection of little fences.

Abbey was a little excited when we got there but soon settled and got down to work. She’s come on so far – all the grid work and show jumping practice has paid off. She now maintains a lovely rhythm going into a fence and after, listens to where we’re going next and has the confidence to jump new fences without hesitation.

Continue reading “XC schooling – easy, peasy :)”

Showjumping lesson

Over the passed week Abbey’s not shown any signs of being ‘poorly’ and the lump has continued to decrease in size so yesterday we went for a jumping lesson with a new teacher.

Abbey loaded but was trembling from the moment she got on the box. Not sure why – perhaps I was tense or anxious or perhaps she was just in one of those moods.

It was no surprise that when we got there Abbey was rather wound up. 

She was tense as we warmed up and the teacher advised that I let her have a good look and give her the time to see everything. She also said to concentrate on forward rather than round.

We’re still struggling with bend on the left rein and this teachers advice was to give more with my outside rein while opening the inside hand and using my inside leg.  It worked and the canter on that rein improved as a result.

We didn’t have one refusal but we did have some hestitations. When I get these the RI suggested opening both hands to channel Abbey towards the fence.

We also worked on keeping my shoulders up going into a fence and keeping my reins (I often let them slip) as I ride a course.

The take home message was to work on maintaining the rythym all the way to the fence, not letting Abbey rush or firing her into fences.

Abbey the angel

Abbey and I have had a throroughly lovely day at Solihull Riding Club.

We did the boundary ride and then took to the members field to pop a few of xc fences (not too many as she was tired!)

The boundary ride is beautiful and includes  lots of river crossings (which Abbey now goes through on her own), woodland (with scary logs!) and lots of fields to have a canter in. There is a train line and a motorway parallel to the some of fields but neither Abbey now her friend didn’t batter an eye lit at.

In the xc field she popped all but one of the fences first time – including a ditch. We also did a big step (for us) up out of the water. The one fence she refused, she jumped second time around.

All in all it’s been a fabulous day and Abbey gained some valuable experience xc.

Continue reading “Abbey the angel”

Holidays, Olympia, Physios and EquiPilates

Since my last post it’s, quite frankly, all gone to pot!

I’m not too ashamed to say that the cold dark nights have dampened my enthusiasm to ride of an evening. I’ve been struggling for motivation for a month or two and our training has become a little sporadic.

As a result Abbey’s fitness has gradually decreased and then last week I caught a cold. So  I have declared us on holiday! I think it will do us good.

Continue reading “Holidays, Olympia, Physios and EquiPilates”

10 days of fun and there’s more to come

While its been a while since I last posted, it’s not been a quiet 10 days for Abbey and I.

Since Trailblazers I’ve been avoiding the school. The nights are already drawing in and soon we’ll be confined to it 5 days out of 7.

Immediately after Trailblazers I had a jumping lesson.  We’d not jumped for a while and I was delighted that Abbey came out and popped over a cross pole as if she was well practiced and it was nothing exciting.

As we’re working on Abbey’s spookiness with fences, my instructor quickly upped the anti and started popping anything and everything she could find under the fences and changing the course.  During the half hour we jump road barriers, tarpaulins, flower pots, banners, barrels and traditional jump fillers.  It was a great session and showed how the flat work was translating to our jumping too.

Continue reading “10 days of fun and there’s more to come”

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