Wednesday, 1 June 2016

May Round Up

As usual, it's been a busy month!! In May we've spent time hiring arenas to do more jumping away from home outside of our lessons, we've brought more lunging work back into our routine, had some super showjumping and dressage lessons, entered an E-Dressage, and been to a local unaffiliated dressage competition!!

So, let's kick off!

During the winter months, I incorporate 2-3 lunge sessions per week to break up Louie's work and avoid just riding around the arena when the dark (& cold!) nights close in. However, once spring kicks in, I always seem to stop, with being able to hack out on an evening, doing lessons during the week and enjoying the sunshine much more! But really, I shouldn't. The benefits that I can see in Louie's strength, balance, topline and overall way of going from lunging is fantastic, so I decided to bring it back in at least once a week to continue to help Louie develop as he should.
I've got a really great lunging aid, one I'd never heard of until last year, which doesn't fix them into a false outline (like side reins), puts no poll pressure on (like a lungee bungee), and doesn't need to hold the back end in (like a pessoa)... Mine simply attaches to the bit, runs through the legs and out over the back of the withers. It's designed to help encourage long & low work, using muscles from the bottom of the hamstring, over the quarters, over the back and through the top line, down into the contact. Louie goes super in it!


We've also had a couple of great lessons in May, both on the flat and over jumps.

Jumping. Louie's jumping is really starting to come on with much more rhythm to a fence and around a course, he's happy to pop over most things, locks onto his fences, and loves it when you go around a tighter and twisted course!! He's like riding a pony again!



We've also started  jumping at home much more, as well as hiring arena to go an play with different fillers, poles, jumps, wings, etc... All of which Louie seems to LOVE! So much so, we've become to get a bit more adventurous with the lines and angles we've taken jumps at - I was quite impressed when Louie took this jump sat on 'X' on the diagonal across the arena!

Louie's work on the flat is coming on leaps and bounds, considering just before Christmas he couldn't figure out his legs for a transition or canter in an outline without getting his legs in a knot! Now, he is much more balanced, much stronger and still showing all the willingness in the world to work hard and please me!!

Our May lesson with Cathy Burrell was a great session, and Louie had come on a lot since April's session. You'll see in the clip below how much his canter work has improved!


Mid May, we made our way up to Floors Castle horse trials - this used to be my favourite event on the BE calendar! I do miss eventing some days, so it was nice that I was able to go up and help a friend compete, walk a course, and enjoy the atmosphere of being at event again! You can read all about Floors Castle & our day in the post we already posted.

The last weekend in May saw us enter our first competition in a few months - read all about our Dressage day out & how we got on!

Finally, we've also entered a Prelim class in May's E-Dressage, which is getting judged today, so hopefully I'll be able to share the results in the next few days!

June's looking like a busy month too. We're planning to also enter June's E-Dressage, as well as enter some local competitions and continue to hire facilities to give Louie more experience away from home. We've also got flatwork and showjumping lessons planned in. June's also one of our favourite months.... because it's BRAMHAM HORSE TRIALS!! We'll be going to watch the dressage on Friday, and enjoy the cross country on the Saturday, so look out for our posts!

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