Monday, 4 July 2016

Premier League Competitions....

June has been a competition filled month....

The real highlights have to be Wellington and Hickstead Premier League competitions.
Slowly sinking....
Wellington was situated first, at the start of June, on the busy competition calendar. The weather was almost sunny and the venue was efficient as always. The same can't be said for the weather at Hickstead.... We were towed into the gates in deep mud and a few days later towed back out in even thicker mud in more treacherous conditions. The team at Hickstead did an incredible job in the face of adversity ....our show kit is still recovering from all the rain and mud!



Tilly was the first to compete at Wellington Premier League and she set the bar very high for the other horses. At the tender age of five Tilly is showing real promise. She has a very trainable attitude and so far nothing has phased her in or outside of the ring. She warmed up beautifully and shortly went in to perform the National Five year old test. Unfortunately she was a little flat and was lacking energy (the journey had taken it out of her) but she absolutely tried her hardest for me regardless which is something you cannot train into a horse so we are very lucky. She did us proud and finished third which means we have qualified for the Hickstead National Young horse Final at the end of July! Exiting times! The next competition in Tilly's diary is Hartpury Premier League at the start of July. She is competing in the Shearwater Young Horse semi Final which will be an extremely hot class.




Affinity Bay had a good couple of days at Wellington. His first test was very expressive but rather tense and the second day he was brilliant. He produced a consistent PSG test with some exciting marks from Jenny Loriston-Clarke. Unfortunately one judge had us 20 marks behind the others so we didn't finish in the ribbons.

Hickstead was a valuable show for Finn, we finished 9th in a hot Prix St George class. He scored 65.96% and behaved impeccably. There was a big atmosphere and Finn concentrated and listened to me throughout the test. I have noticed a huge improvement in his training and focus at competitions since feeding Blue Chip Calm Balancer. He used to get exceedingly nervous before entering the ring (he would have sneezing fits etc) and would then drop behind me my on our first center line.
I am now finding he is staying more confident and enjoying his time in the ring rather than stressing.
I am very grateful for Blue Chip's support and think all of the horses are in peak condition at the moment thanks to the Pro and Calm Balancer (which they are all fed).


Merri was a star at Wellington and Hickstead. We broke the illusive 70% barrier at Wellington in the Inter I to finish 5th in a competitive class. I was absolutely over the moon with her test and the mark it scored. Our highlights were the trot half pass and two time changes... although there were  7.5's and 8's scattered through-out our sheets!

Merri didn't let Hickstead phase her either- We didn't have the best start in the PSG as we think Merri accidentally got her tongue over the bit but she went on to do some super canter work after sorting the bits out naturally in the walk. Our second test was the Inter I were we placed 6th on a score of 68%. The sheets were all positive and I was especially pleased to receive an '8' for the canter half pass zig zag over the center line as this was one of the movements I found trickiest when I first started Inter I.


Both Merri and Finn have a quieter competition period through July so we are cracking on with Piaffe and Passage training.... Merri is very talented at the passage and Finn has shown a natural ability for Piaffe... if I could make a hybrid mixing both horses talents we would be doing Under 25 Grand Prix in no time.....


Looking forward to seeing their progress over the coming months as they get stronger and hopefully we will be one step closer to achieving our Grand Prix goals....






Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Keysoe Premier League....

   Keysoe Premier League was a good show for all the horses. Affinity Bay was placed 11th on the second day. The first day his canter was brilliant but trot lacked expression and the second day the trot had more than enough expression but the canter was rather exuberant that led to some costly errors.

   Merri had a great test on the second day- she was really with me in all the work, unfortunately we had one misunderstanding in the extended trot but it didn't effect the rest of the test.
I was thrilled to score 7's from all of the judges in the canter pirouettes.
Below is a link to the test....

   Galanci RS made her debut at the Premier League in the 5yo Young Horse class.
She was incredible and really rose to the occasion.
She finished an incredible 2nd Place and qualified straight through to the semi finals!!



    I had the opportunity to go training at Hughes Dressage before the Premier League. We had a great day and learnt lots. Below is a training video....


   


   Todd had his first trip to Windmill Farm at the start of April. He was very well behaved and wasn't spooky at all. He produced his most relaxed tests to win both Prelims on 67 and 69%.

   Dante went to Addington (our second ever show together) and was extremely good. He navigated a busy warm up and spooky arenas like a pro. He score 66.9% with some green blips but over all he is showing so much promise for the future.













Monday, 28 March 2016

Competitions and Training...

Merri competed at Bury farm in the Inter I test. It was our second ever Inter I together and I was over the moon with Merri's performance. She produced a harmonious test with highlights in her trot half pass and temp changes. There were still some parts to work on but it was probably our best test to date. Merri won the class on 68%.
Merri's 68% Inter I test- 1st



The same day I had a new ride Camiro II owned by Sharon Higgs entered in the Prelim and Novice classes. Aero won the Prelim on 74% and then came 3rd in his fist ever Novice on 67%. He gave me a great ride and there is so much more to come.


Todd recently had a lesson with Ian Woodhead. We were working on simple changes as developing the half halt further. Todd worked really well.



I have also been training with Judy Harvey with Merri and Tilly. Merri was working on half steps and consolidating some canter pirouette work.

Tilly (Galanci RS) a new 5yo owned by Judy Firmston- Williams had a shorter lesson as we are still building her fitness. She was really well behaved and very relaxed.

Affinity Bay was very lucky to have a lesson with Stephen Clarke. He worked brilliantly and Stephen encouraged our progress towards the Inter I tests. 


Sunday, 20 March 2016

Spring is in the air...

Spring is round the corner now.... I have seen the first lambs of the season which is always a symbol of hope for the warmer months!

We have been busy with competitions this month on some lovely horses.....
Finn was on this afternoon in the PSG.... although I did accidentally get on an hour early... bit keen!
Overall I was pleased with his test- we had an accidental set of 1x changes on entry and a few other blips but overall I was pleased with his relaxation for the rest of the test and he finished 3rd.
Thank you Bury Farm and everyone who supported a busy day!
Finn followed on day two with a calm test. Although he didn't get the memo that there were a line of four time changes across the diagonal... not two time changes as he so beautifully demonstrated!! I was really pleased with his progress in the canter pirouettes and most of the more difficult work. He finished 3rd in the Silver PSG and 5th Overall.
I am very grateful to Blue Chip feed for helping me tailor Finn's diet to his sensative character. We have just started him on the Blue Chip Calm Balancer... watch this space!


At the start of March Todd (owned by Jonathan Chapman), Cooter (owned by Jo Brett) and Affinity Bay had an outing to Bury Farm.
Cooter was brilliant and won Prelim 15 on 71% and a relaxed Todd was second on 68%. Then in Prelim 17 Todd won on 69% and Cooter was placed 2nd on 68%. Both boys showed improved confidence and marks- there were some 8's & 7.5's.


Later the same week Merri and Finn were out competing at Keysoe Under 25 High Profile Show. Merri did a very good PSG test on the first day to finish 4th in the Silver section. There were two big hiccups in the test but the rest of the marks were consistent 7's and 8's. 




Just Before Keysoe Finn was treated to a physio session from Diane Daynes- He felt amazing all weekend and I am still enjoying the rewards weeks later. 


I have been lucky enough to compete Sue Botha's Dante in his first Medium test. We went to Windmill farm to contest the medium 69. Dante really stepped up to the challenge and scored a green 66% to win the class! He was brilliant in all of the half passes and the canter work was a real highlight.


Breakspeare Riding Club were very lucky to have the brilliant Lisa Sparrowhawk  Performance Coach visit Blackwell's Cafe in Chipperfield. Lisa discussed many topics and created a great discussion about positive mindset in relation to riding and competing. She highlighted how we all perceive situations and images differently with some great techniques and also how mindset affects us physiologically (with some more hands on examples).
Thank you Lisa for inspiring us all!


March has been a very busy month (and we are only half way through!).
I have had had the opportunity to ride some great horses ( see Nugget below) and really enjoyed teaching private lessons and clinics/rallies alike.  
I am now looking forward to training with Judy Harvey, Ian Woodhead and Stephen Clarke in the coming week.







Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Competitions....

February has been a very busy month full of competitions and training.
Affinity Bay competed at the ever efficient Addington Manor Regionals in the Advanced Medium Open and the Advanced Medium Freestyle.
The first test Finn produced some mega trot work. He was feeling very hot which made his trot extensions, shoulder in and half pass very expressive. Unfortunately in the canter the excitement boiled over and we had some rodeo moments in the changes! Surprisingly   even with three big explosions we still scored 66%.
The Freestyle test was later the same day in the indoor International Area. I was pleased that Finn was more relaxed in this test, although he still thought it was necessary to add some extra tempi changes....
His final score was 69% to finish just outside the top 10.
Our last Regionals was at Merrist Wood where we competed in the PSG Freestyle.
I was thrilled with the trot work and the canter. We had correct three and four time changes and I should have been a bit braver by riding smaller canter pirouettes.
We had one very big blip in the walk to trot transition which as a result meant 4's for our shoulder in left. Unfortunatly there was no more music left to improvise another shoulder in left so that was annoying!
I was disappointed with the score but we did have one major mistake and one of the judges gave Finn a 4 for his changes (whereas the other 2 gave him 7's) which didn't help!
We are now looking forward to training with Stephen Clarke and going out to do our first Inter 1 together.

Todd (owner by Jonathan Chapman) and Cooter (owned by Jo Brett) went out to contest their first ever BD prelim tests. Cooter was a star and won both his classes on 68 & 67% and Todd came second on 65 & 67%.
Todd was a little unsettled in his first test which was caused by warming up with a stallion (he definitely felt a bit threatened!) but the second  test showed some more relaxation.
Overall it was a good day out and both horses were impeccably behaved.

I have been busy training for Pony Club and Riding Club, as well as doing some Private clinics in a beautiful brand new indoor school.

This month I was got a little mention in Horse and Hound Online in an article about dealing with competition nerves and how you prepare on show day....
I'm really looking forward to the busy month ahead with a few new rides and an exciting new baby horse who arrived a few weeks ago! Spring....here we come!



Tuesday, 9 February 2016

February

February has been a very busy month so far, I have had the pleasure of teaching at both Riding Club and Pony Club Clinics amongst teaching private lessons.
The competitions horses are all fit and healthy. Merri had an easier week after the Addington High Profile Show but we are now training towards the Under 25 High Profile show at Keysoe. Finn has Regional Championships this month. He is competing in the Advanced Medium and Advanced Medium Freestyle at Addington and the PSG Freestyle at Merrist Wood. The classes at Addington are huge in the advanced medium but generally looking like a quieter show compared to previous years!

Todd went to his second ever show at Quainton Stud at the start of February. He was super in the warm up, he travelled with another horse and they walked around together to start so that helped give him confidence in the surroundings.
The tests were in much better balance than those that he did at Addington a month ago. Over all I was thrilled with his progress and the judges made some lovely comments. There were gail force winds so trotting down the centre line was quite a challenge....
Riding in high winds is becoming a bit of a theme this February!!

Friday, 15 January 2016

High Profiles and a first outing....

Bury Farm High Profile show ran in December 2015.... Affiinity Bay was entered for three classes, the Advanced Medium, PSG and PSG Freestyle.
It was lovely to catch up with all the familiar faces that compete at the High Profiles.
Affinity Bay did well, he came third in the Advanced Medium, Third in the PSG on 66% and fourth in the PSG music.
I was especially pleased with his PSG performance as he scored highly for his half pass in trot and canter and his pirouettes have really come on. Unfortunately we made a costly mistake in the tempis.
Finn has now qualified for the Regionals at Advanced medium, Advanced Medium music and PSG music- We look forward to our last regionals under the Open/restricted BD rule system in February!

Todd, a green young horse I have been riding for Jonathan Chapman went out to his first ever party the first week of January!
He was brilliantly behaved! He coped with the warm up very well considering how busy it was and didn't spook at a thing.
We had two tests, the first was in the furthest arena at Addington down by the road where all the lorrys trundle in and the second was in the International Indoor arena. By the second test Todd was exhausted- but kept trying. He scored 68% for his first ever test. We had some lovely comments from the judges and one called him a 'cracking' young horse... haven't had that comment before!
Todd was pleased with himself and slept very well that night!