Friday, 7 April 2017

Time to get going!

  Affinity Bay is back in the office work wise- We had our first Judy Harvey lesson of the year and it went really well.
We were working on the relaxatuon in the canter and the flying changes. It's not so much about the changes themselves with Finn but more about keeping him chilled before and after.
We did some pirouette work and Judy had to remind me to use my inside leg in the pirouette's rather than over using my outside leg which causes us to get a bit stuck!
We are now looking forward to our next training session and a few competitions in March and early April.

  Recently we have been out competing at Quainton stud.  Galanci RS (Tilly- Owned by Judy FW) and a new ride Eros (owned by Jonathan Chapman and Ian Woodhead) contested both Novice 23 and 39.
Tilly was a star and won both tests on 72% receiving plenty of 8's and some lovely comments from the judges.
Eros was brilliant to travel and was well behaved the whole day. The tests had some green moments and overall the judges really liked him. He was competing H/C but would have come second to Tilly on 70%! Plenty more to come from this horse in the future!

  Merri has been in super model mode testing Equilibrium products new Tri-Zone brushing boots. The boots are really soft whilst being protective- The ultimate combination for a good boot.
Merri approved of the boots and we look forward to continue using them.

Check them out HERE

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Winter Regionals 2017

This year we havent had the best lead up to Winter Regionals, however this didn't stop Tilly and Cooter putting their best hoof forward.

Our first Regional was Wellington EC. As always Wellington ran an efficient and friendly show and in my opinion they have the best cafe around (although that isn't the main thing you look for in a competition venue!).

Cooter was first to go in a large class, he did a good rhythmical test with  green moments in the counter canter.
The previous week he had been to Quainton stud and scored just under 70% at Novice, so our score of 65% was about right for a Regional score with a few green moments.
This was his first Regionals and he was well behaved all day, he wasn't phased by anything which is promising for his future. Cooter was just outside top 10 in 13th place.

Tilly was on later the same afternoon. Her warm up was a little expressive at times. Tilly hadn't competed since last year which wasn't ideal thanks to me not being able to ride due to injury.
Tilly's freestyle test was fab (apart from one moment towards the end of the test). There is so much more to come from this horse and she was such a good girl considering she has not been in as much training as you would have liked in preparation for a Regional. She scored 71% and placed 6th.

Our next Regional was at Addington where Tilly was competing in the Novice Gold.
She was a lot more relaxed and did a good test. We had a  few slight blips which were down to balance but over all I was thrilled with her test. Lots of 8's and lovely comments. She scored just under 70% and placed 6th in a big class.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Keeping it real and catching up with friends in A&E...

   New years resolutions made, January competitions booked, Regionals Championships entered....

January was off to a good start... then the frost came... unfortunately this led to an interrupted training programme. We managed to keep all the horses ticking over with increased afternoon hacks and riding in half the menage.

My riding and training unfortunately came to a grinding halt on Saturday when I came off a horse whilst getting on. 
The NHS was amazing and I was seen to very quickly and prompt X Rays were taken. Whilst waiting for the results I bumped into a friend whose daughter (whom I was riding with half an hour before) had just been rushed to hospital following a fall! Luckily she has no major brakes either!
The doctors said they had four other horse riders in A&E that morning and were wondering what was going on...

Its important to remember how much our horsey friends are effected by the weather... And no matter how many goals and plans you make you always have to be able to adjust and make a plan B, or C.

Thank you to those who are helping me whilst i'm one armed...

I am using the Arc Equine to aid my healing process (read about the Arc here) and  Diane Daynes has helped me along with some Kenesio tape (Visit Diane's facebook page here)

In good news... there are some perks to having a sling.... carrying the 14 week old Puppy Penny in it!

We made it!

Although the lead up to the Regionals 2017 has been a bit bumpy I'm pleased to say that we made it to Wellington EC to contest the Novice and Novice  Freestyle.
Cooter started the day in Novice 37 Gold.

He was first to go and did a good test. He was lovely to warm up and was not at all bothered by the spooky arenas even though he has never been to Wellington. He did a relaxed and rhythmical test but unfortunately had some green moments in the counter canter. He has only done a handful of novice tests but he finds most of it quite easy and shows plenty of promise for the future.

Tilly was entered in the Novice Gold Freestyle later the same afternoon. Tilly hasn't been out since October last year (though we did have pre regional outings planned!) but she travelled and came off the lorry like a pro.

Tilly felt good in the test... we were on the music for our mediums and she felt really rideable. Unfortunately very close to the end of the test we had a little explosion which affected our submission marks a lot (they are x2). It was a real pity as the test was going really well but i'm still really pleased with Tilly's performance, just a pity our 71% wasn't enough to qualify with even with an explosion 😉 .

One more regional to go :)

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Its over...

Well... my hand modelling career is probably over before it even began.
Due to the unfortunate incident that occurred at the end of January I have been struggling with a hand injury.
It's making a speedy recovery with help from physios and the Arc Equine which means competing at the Regional Championships is back on!
Nothing like last minute!!

I have had some very exciting news from British Dressage...
Merri and I have been invited to compete in the Inter I freestyle at the Winter Nationals...
This is something I have watched for many years and so thrilled to be asked to compete in this prestigious event!

Friday, 9 December 2016

The Finals

I was really excited to compete for the first time in the British Dressage Small Tour Championships.
It was a real surprise to qualify as Finn had done two Inter I's to qualify and the semi Finals was his third ever competition at this level!

 The Final Championships was hosted at Houghton Hall Equestrian Centre in Cambridge.
Affinity Bay travelled up on the Saturday with myself driving (eek!). We arrived in time for the midday arena walk before an evening test.

The evening test went well other than a blip in the 3x changes and another in the canter pirouette.
Finn scored 67% which could have easily been 70% if we had one less mistake. The sheets were very high marking for the good movements, however, scoring a '3' is always costly in a double mark movement!

The following day we contested the freestyle. Finn was excellent but the music crackled a few times which resulted in a couple of 'explosions!'.... which again were costly.

Overall I was really pleased with his performance. His general was of going was good and he is starting to get a lot more 8's on his test sheets which bodes well for the future.

Our Final result was 7th place after scoring 70% in the music class.

I would like to say a huge thank you to sponsors Blue Chip Feed, Equilibrium Products, Calm Leisure, Lisa SparrowHawk Performance Coach and Eqco Design- none of this would be possible without you.

And also a massive thank you to Phil for the fab photos.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The NOT so Glamorous side of dressage...

   Rain, rain, and more rain... but it didn't dampen our mood competing at Bury Farm in search of those last points for British Dressage Regional qualification.

   We are happy to say the points were plenty with Jo Brett's wonderful Cooter scoring 68% in novice 22 and 71% in novice 38! Cooter scored very well in his transitions and canter work.

  Angela Coakley's Hero proved his stamina and bravery out in the pouring rain contesting medium 61. Luckily his Irish roots meant he wasn't adverse to a bit (or a lot!) of rain and he did a super test.
A few accuracy marks lost but we will blame that on the rain.... could have done with a riding hat with goggles and wind screen wipers!
Check out our video from the day to get an idea of the weather...The Not so glam side of dressage