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



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.

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Practice makes perfect – jumping position

My jumping position has bothered me for ages.  Most of the time I manage to stay in balance but every time I see photos or videos I cringe.  Don’t get me wrong, in recent years it’s got better but it’s still a little hit or miss and there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

December 2013


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‘That’ feeling


This is why I ride. This is why I spend most of my free time quite literally shoveling poop, why I carry on trying even when it seems like we’ll never get there and why I get back on each time I fall off!

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A great jumping exercise

Often, when I explain a problem to my riding instructor she has an exercise up her sleeve.

On Wednesday I described how Abbey got a bit full of herself jumping the cross country fences at the weekend and that she wasn’t listening to me, that she was getting a little strong, slipping out of her shoulder towards the other horses and going “whoo-hoo” after the fences that headed towards the other horses.

Clearly this is natural behaviour and not one that I would want to correct by ‘telling her off’. Nevertheless it’s something that I would like to discourage! My riding instructor didn’t disappoint, before I knew it there were four fence small fences erected in the arena.

She explained the exercise and what she wanted to see; me using my outside leg and rein to guide Abbey around the curves, no drifting of the quarters and no drifting through the shoulder.

Boy, was it hard!

We started with the two jumps on the long side, on a 20m circle. I was supposed to jump both fences maintaining a ryhthm. At first,  on the left rein, it was a total disaster, we barely made the fences and certainly not on a good stride. We adjusted the circle to help Abbey and I get a comfortable stride but I was still making egg shapes, particularly on the approached to the fences.  The drifting was something those car racers would have been proud of!

After 5 mins we switched reins.  And wow! What a difference.  On the right rein, easy peezy!  Just shows how much stronger our right rein is….I’ve some work to do!

We switched back to the left rein, and got it a little better, but still not where I was hoping it would be and then we introduced some of the other circles/fences.

This is definitely an exercise I will be practicing and I’ll be keeping a careful eye on all our flatwork to ensure that we work both reins equally.  #practicemakes perfect!!


Videos, shopping and cleaning

I was about to write that I haven’t done much this week.  The weather hasn’t played ball and I caught a cold but in writing this blog entry it seems I’ve done rather a lot!

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For five years “use the space”….

…tonight “let’s practice jump off lines”.

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Demons put to bed

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Fun ride was not so fun…

Went to a fun ride about an hour away and my friend who I went with had a really nasty fall.

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Happy and exhausted

Sooooo…today we were brave.

After the 70-80cm at Solihull on Tuesday, I decided to take her to Onley and re-do the 75cm we did a few months ago. And if she was feeling as confident as she did on Tues, try the 85cm.

Continue reading “Happy and exhausted”

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