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

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Happy New Year!

It’s been over a month since my last post which shows just how busy the holiday season has been. I hope yours has been as filled with fun, family and friends as mine.

That last post talked about how I was going to bring Abbey back into work after a short break, getting her back up to fitness so that we could continue our journey with dressage and jumping.

It hasn’t quite happened that way, we’ve not been as focused and dedicated as perhaps we should. Instead we’ve been big kids, having fun and not worrying too much as ‘progress’.

Instead we’ve enjoyed winter wobbles around the fields. In England it’s not been a winter wonderland, more of a muddy sploshy swamp.

As we approached the Christmas break our hacks took to the roads and became increasingly festive.

Every cloud has a silver lining; the rain did provide some cross country water opportunities.

Abbey enjoyed some time with her fieldmate’s owner who hacked her, schooled her and even popped her over a fence or two.


We squeezed in a little schooling but it was all very low key, The main focus was to focus on stretching over her topline and using that back end.

Today we welcomed the New Year with interval training. We shouldn’t really be cantering at this point but, hey, it’s still the holidays and there’s nothing quite like a good canter in an open space to blow the cobwebs (self induced with alcohol!) away!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the holidays as much as I have. Here’s to a fabulous 2019!

Feeling like a failure – Saturday’s dressage test

I’ve delayed writing this post because I wasn’t sure what to say. On Saturday we went to the local venue to do dressage and WE DID RUBBISH.

It wasn’t dramatic, there were no tantrums, but as soon as we entered the arena Abbey hollowed. From then on she point blank refused to let go and work in an outline.

Continue reading “Feeling like a failure – Saturday’s dressage test”

Yoga; a perfect practice for horse riding

At first glance yoga isn’t an obvious complimentary fitness activity to horse riding. But as I’ve discovered over the last two months, it’s a perfect way to build strength, physically and mentally, and develop awareness (and therefore control) of your body.

Every pose and sequence in yoga requires core strength. From the moment you hit the mat you’re asked to engage the same muscles that are critical to securing a good dressage position.

Many poses increase flexibility, particularly in the hips. They also stretch your hamstrings. If like me you’ve struggled to open your hips, bring your legs back or lengthen them, check out the appropriately named, “hip opener” poses.

Continue reading “Yoga; a perfect practice for horse riding”

5 reasons why boats are like horses

Apart from the massage course, horses have taken a backseat while I’ve been spending my ‘holiday’ helping the OH look after his boat.

While I was sat varnishing, it occurred to me how similar the two hobbies are. Here’s why:

1) New stuff – whether its a new matchy matchy outfit or a navigation system there are always items on the wish list.

2) A problem – like a horse, a boat is never perfect. From the electronics to the rigging, there’s always something that’s not quite right.

3) Opinions – trying to mend something? Thinking about going sailing? Looking at a new bit of kit? Everyone has an opinion and are willing to share it.

4) Tea and biscuits (or beer) – the most popular person at the marina/yard, is the person with drinks and snacks.

5) The chat – it’s not just the amount of chatting that takes place (and the severity with which it is defended!) but the subject of it: how are you? How’s your horse/boat? Have you taken your horse/boat out? Where did you go? The patterns of conversation are exactly the same.

*edit: the OH just added the 6th and probably most obvious: expensive!!

5 photos 1 day

Haynet has set a challenge: 5 photos to describe one day. I make no apologies for the frequent appearance of ‘ the quadrupeds’ – they are often feature in the ‘best bits’ of my day.

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Every morning I wake up to this little face. The OH sends her in to wake me up because he knows I won’t get grumpy with her! After I drink my tea, I bore her silly while I get dressed and do my hair and make-up. “C’mon! Stop faffing! Time for walkies!”

 

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We’re very lucky to have a park on our doorstep for walkies.

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Ready and waiting….c’mon mum finish that cuppa!

 

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Trying be good and do our carrot stretches after each ride!

 

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And the day finishes the way it started; snuggles with Betty.

New year and a new me!

We’re less than two weeks into 2018 and so far it’s going well.

Abbey is back in work and she’s remembered the vast majority of the novice work that we were doing last year. It’ll be a while before she’s fit enough and strong enough to move the work on but it’s a great start.

The fitness work is hacking only at the moment – a) it’s supposed to be the best way to start them off, and b) the fields are a swamp.

Continue reading “New year and a new me!”

Connies I love

Here’s a small collection of Connemara Ponies that I adore.  I’ll add to this page as I fall in love with yet more ponies.  Feel free to suggest others that might be added to my ‘Hall of Fame’ in the comments!

CLOONEILE CASHEL

Abbey’s dad is such a handsome pony!

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CARN VERDON BOY

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Discover his journey here.

GLENCARRIG MARBLE

Glencarrig Marble

He has even got his own Facebook page!

SKAERGAARDENS DELICIOUS LOVE 

Winner of the National Pony Society M&M Baileys Horse Feeds champion of the Year at Horse of the Year Show 2017.

DELICIOUS LOVE

Here’s a video of her as a 4yo:

 

 

Blogger Recognition Award (Thankyou to The Scottish Rider for the nomination!)

A massive thank you to The Scottish Rider for my nomination. I love your honesty (your reports of the lows as well as the highs), that you challenge convention (like your rugging post) and how you mix it up with different points of view (Diary of a moody mare).

Why I started this blog

Selfishly, I started this blog for myself!

Continue reading “Blogger Recognition Award (Thankyou to The Scottish Rider for the nomination!)”

More than just a fun ride

Sundays weather was glorious – highly usual for the UK especially on a bank holiday and we made the most of it with the local fun ride.

The 10 mile ride took us through some beautiful countryside with freshly cut stubble fields, bridges, streams, pastures, picturesque country lanes, woodland and some gallops.

The ride was well organised with stewards every mile or so. They were on hand to point the way and deal with any emergencies.
My friends pony has recently had some time off and his fitness levels meant we needed to take it slower than we normally would. 

That meant it was a great training exercise for Abbey – sometimes we go out and mainly walk. It’s not always exciting. 

Where we did trot and canter, it was very controlled. Abbey had to go behind to discourage any racing (which she did with manners). 

We also saw other horses cantering just in front of us and had trains passing within 100m.

These events are much more than a ‘fun ride’ they are a fabulous training exercise in a safe and controlled environment. 

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