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Is your horse happy?

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Your Horse Live - Part 3 AND Talland Part 3

Your Horse Live - Part 3
We survived.  Stella started the weekend as a UXB and ended it very glad to be back home with her buddies!  She was an absolute star every time we dragged her our of her stable, and coped admirably with the 'circus' in the final day's warm-up

Tory and I were so proud of her and so grateful to Alison Kenward for the opportunity to play there.  If we have proved to only one audience member that anyone can do dressage to music then it was all worthwhile
I am not sure I would do it again.  It cost us a fortune, Tory and I had to take holidays from work, and it was so so stressful for humans and horses alike.  
However, it was a baptism by fire for Stella who has had a relatively quiet calm life up until now - and she stepped up to and beyond the mark doing everything asked of her (except standing still!).  What a legend
We were very proud to be given the opportunity to represent too.  Amazingly comfy breeches which really stood out.  We re…

Your Horse Live - Part 2!

Saturday, 9th November continued... The walk up to the arena and the go round was much quieter today which Stella appreciated. The arena had been opened on time so the ponies from the rescue village had their go round in-hand, and when they went back to their beds we went in. Stella was very good, relaxed and quiet so Tory gave her half an hour of mostly walk which was a victory (she much prefers to trot everywhere) and left.   The stable walk round skipped us. The lucky attendees saw the amazing Valegro, the People’s Horse Art, and had a good chat with the Ben Atkinson team about their training methods. So we went shopping. There is so much here and lots of very interesting people to talk to so if you’re horsey you can’t get bored between the lectures, the demos, the interviews and the shopping. We quickly tracked down our quadrille teamies, and Equestriman Simon, then went to lunch with Alison and her Mum, and two lovely ladies who Alison coaches up in Yorkshire.   The performance was …

Your Horse Live 2019

Thursday, 7th November 2019. Tory and I have been invited to support coach Alison Kenward at her dressage to music demonstration at this year’s Your Horse Live event. We are packing mountains of food (human and equine), drink, clothes, tack, safety kit and of course our super smart Equestriman breeches, gilets and base layers into the Horsebox and the camper van we have hired for the weekend. We are both nervous. Me extra nervous because we found out too late that the horses needed to have been vaccinated within 6 months and Beau is due next week. So we are only taking Stella who I have ridden 3 times! We have agreed to share the riding so we both get to push ourselves out of our comfort zones, and get to have a lesson a day in the live coaching session.  We are also excited. Since we didn’t do quadrille this year this is our annual holiday! The camper van has a shower and central heating as well as a room each for Tory and I so we don’t argue over the one bed in the Horsebox.  We calcula…

Training at Talland Part 2

Talland Part 2
So, having been down to the glorious Cotswolds for one Talland lesson, Tory and I set off the following weekend to go do it again!  

We had our physio - Ann Loach - to our horses at 7am, and abandoned them at 8am for Mrs Whipcracker to put back out.  We had to leave for our 10am lesson.  This was too tight!  We only just made it - arriving at Talland with just 5 minutes ot spare.  I will be making sure we leave earlier next time because it's so hard to get into the right open, calm frame of mind when your adrenaline is pumping from the drive down!

This time I was riding a different horse, equally tall and equally well schooled. This one was called Whizz which I think is an instruction more than a description 😉 sweet mare. Tory was riding the same horse as last time. This time we brought our spurs!  The school horses are so sweet to ride, they are not whizzy or light but they are responsive and very reliable.  

We aimed this time on working on contact which is my bugbea…

Training at Talland

Quadrille and Talland

I may not have mentioned that this year - for the first time since we heard of quadrille as a discipline, we will not be competing.  I won't go into details but this year the team has experienced (in no particular order): Close family bereavement which saw Tory and I unable to focus on horses at all for about six months.  Lame horse due to illness - retired.  Lame horse due to carriage crash - recovered.  Broken ribs, slipped disc, broken back (3 different people), divorce, house move.  Our targeted 'spare' horse proved not to enjoy quadrille, and our new horse has just not had enough practise with the team to be settled.

However, we will be going this weekend to cheer on the other teams (especially our very good friends from Buchan RC in Aberdeen), and to actually watch the evening performances.  I am so excited, because we normally spend our time out back caring for the horses and getting ourselves ready, so I have never actually seen the qua…

enjoy - take delight or pleasure in an activity or occasion

I think it's vitally important to enjoy your horse. This is my aim all of the time - with challenges alongside to overcome.  So I am delighted to say we rock that!  

In 2018 alone, Beau and me - plus my buddies from Happy Acres and Cherwell Valley Riding Club got up to all sorts!

The title of this blog says it all.  The highlight of the year - Quadrille - took over and saw us displaying at Blenheim International Horse Trials as well as competing in the BRC Selection Trial at Bury Farm.  We've been interviewed for a big horsey magazine, and we were on Horse and Country TV!  We led the town carnival, tested ourselves in lessons and dressage and generally played out and had a lot of fun together.

The end of 2018 and into Autumn 2019 has not been so good for me and Tory personally, but we are doing our best to bring our heads back up and get on with things.  Sardra has now retired and we have a new lady on the team - Stella.  I am sure she will be featuring lots in the coming months …