Wednesday, 4 January 2017

December Round Up

WOW! Don't they say time flies when you're having fun... Well, we've been having lots of fun & have missed a few posts out during December as a result!!

First....

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We had a fab Christmas, fairly quiet, but just what we needed - full of relaxation, rest & time away from the office which we spent, obviously, in the saddle enjoying these views! 


Riding Club success

In May, we decided to join a local riding club, to get involved in a few more activities, on and off horse, as well as meeting new people and catching up with some old faces too! We entered a Combined Training which we cover in June's Round Up, & had a go at our first One Day Event with the club in September. We thoroughly enjoyed both events we went to and it was a shame to miss out on their summer show due to other commitments. 

1st December saw the annual AGM & awards night, and a good opportunity to meet some members away from horses, so I decided to go along. I was very pleased to find out Louie won several trophies & big beautiful rossettes.
  • Young Horse Reserve Champion
  • 3rd in Jeannie Doods Points series
  • 3rd in Novice Horse
  • 1st in Novice Hunter Trial
  • 1st in One Day Event
  • 1st in Combined Training

Winter Solstice

Like most equestrians, I count down the days for the winter solstice, knowing that the days get that little bit lighter after it has passed...meaning spring isn't far off. This winter hasn't felt too bad or too long so far - Christmas flew round, and before we know it, the end of January will be in view.


Festive Ride

Unfortunately, this year, I wasn't available to make the yard's festive ride out for a mince pie and hot toddy. Instead, a few of us decide to go on our own ride, with a few Xmas jumpers and Louie being the only one brave enough to wear tinsel...surprisingly!

Back in action for showjumping

Due to maternity (not mine, clearly!!!), we hadn't had a showjumping lesson since the end of September & although we jumped at home and hired a few places, I was starting to miss my lessons, so was very pleased to see them return!

As it had been a while, we worked on technique and straightness, both on approach & after the jump. It was good to get back to it & have direction from Philippa, as well as taking away my homework!

We even finished the year with hiring a local venue to have a quick 30 mins skip around their jumps, marking two years since the first time I went to see Louie.

Finally, a flatwork lesson!

Due to Louie's abscess, we'd missed November's flatwork lesson, and then a last minute work commitment meant I wasn't able to make December's session either. Thankfully, another venue was hosting a clinic with Cathy mid-December on a Saturday, which I was able to go to! Louie had come back from his little abscess break really well, working well and being very keen to please. However, Louie's reaction to not understanding what is being asked is to tuck his little head into his chest, become very short in his frame, tense his shoulders and shorten his stride. So, this winter we're getting obsessed with length... length of neck, length of frame, length of shoulder & length of stride. It was a very constructive & productive lesson, but unfortunately, was 9am the morning after Andrew's work party, so I've no photos or videos.... 

Since our lesson, we've had a couple of flat sessions at home, really working on keep Louie's frame out and long, while maintaining his engine from behind. It's working well, and he is improving each time so fingers crossed we will come out of the winter much longer!

Storm Barbara

Here in Northumberland, I think we were quite lucky to get off lightly with the force of Storm Barbara, only really seeing rain on one day & strong winds on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. However, it was fantastic to have a lovely indoor arena to be able to ride in when the rain was at its worst - thankfully it only affected us on 23rd as I gave Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing Day to enjoy playing in the fields.

 No broken bones!

I'm pleased to finish December's round up confirming that this year saw no broken bones, unlike last December!

We're now busy setting our goals and objectives for 2017, looking at what we can achieve together to continue on our journey. We look forward to posting about it, and hope you enjoy the updates as they come!

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