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



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.


(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!


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”

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.


Abbey’s hooves 😍

It’s not just me and her trimmer that adore Abbey’s hooves.

First ODE & we survived!! :D

✓ Loaded    ✓ Traveled calmly   ✓ Dressage   ✓ Showjumping    ✓ Cross-country  ✓ Loaded   ✓ Traveled calmly

It was a little ‘blind leading the blind’…but we’ve survived our first ODE!! And here’s the proof:

Continue reading “First ODE & we survived!! :D”

Not such a quiet month

While the blog may have been quite quiet for a month or so, Abbey & I haven’t been. We’ve been doing more loading and lorry practice, working on our fitness, had physio, restarted schooling and showjumping practice, enjoyed some long hacks and Abbey’s had her 4th clip.

She got a little nervous travelling again so we’ve gone back a fair few steps and been loading and standing on the van regularly at home.  I’m pleased to report that she’ll now stand happily for half an hour munching hay so we’re making strides in getting back out and about again.

During September the nights started to draw in so it’s been our last chance to interval train after work and to go round the fields with friends (well, at least I am friends with them, Abbey isn’t so sure!).

Continue reading “Not such a quiet month”

Blog entries that made me smile

It seems twitter is a great way to find awesome blog entries, who knew?! 😉

Here are a few of my favs:

Why do I have total brain freeze 

Having an argument with you horse

Things you learn when switching from hunters to jumpers

Why horseball is kind like quidditch (I’ve always wanted to try this sport!)


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