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


show 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.

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.

Result at the first showjumping of the year

Last Tuesday we competed in the 70cm and 80cm evening showjumping at Solihull Riding Club.

I’m delighted to report that Abbey was an angel.  She was cool and calm travelling, quickly relaxed at the horsebox and put up with a rather busy warm up.

The first round was good – we jumped clear.  I dropped my left hand on one turn which let Abbey drift out and cost us some time but other than that it was a good round.  Abbey took me to all the fences, which is a big change from the beginning of last year when every new fence was a potential dragon.

In the 80cm,we had one fence down.  We got a bit close to the fences in the 70cm so I let her run on to the second fence but she clipped it.  After that I returned to getting the more powerful canter that I’d asked for in the first round.


Online shopping is cheap

The cheapest form of shopping for me is online….not because the prices are better but because I end up putting lots of things in baskets all over the internet, only to check my bank balance and realise I can’t afford them.

Since getting Abbey I’ve been slowly converting my showing wardrobe to that appropriate of a native. So far I’ve a tweet jacket with subtle pink checks, a navy tie with pink stars and dark cream jodpurs. I’ve been making do with a shirt that really doesn’t fit but I’d really like one of these:


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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”

Two clear rounds back-to-back!!!

Literally over the moon.  Abbey was taking me into all the fences and we’ve worked hard to get here.  My corners were loads better than at Onley 3 months ago and we were much straighter into all the fences.

Need to work on collecting the canter a little and not rushing as much.  Over all very very chuffed 😀

July 2015

This month got off to a flying start with a good show jumping round at Onley.  We just had the one refusal and once she’d had a moment to look at it, she flew it.

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June 2015

Unfortunately work took over my life in June but I did squeeze in a lesson with James McCullough before the chaos began.

Continue reading “June 2015”

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