Sunday, 4 November 2018

October Round Up


If you're a regular reader, you'll have seen that October was dominated by Blogtober - a challenge undertaken by bloggers of all types all over the world. It challenges you to creating and publishing a blog post a day throughout the whole of October - a total of 31 posts each with a different topic. For me it was quite a big challenge and one that I'm actually really proud that I was able to maintain throughout the duration. Finding dedicated time to a blog post every single day for a whole month is difficult, especially when it is around topics that I wouldn't normally choose to write about. Couple that with ensuring that I add a personal and relatable tone to each post, as well as my usual care and attention that goes into each post, Blogtober took up a lot of my spare time. If you missed any of the my posts, you can catch up on all of my equestrian blogtober posts in one place!

However, it wasn't all that happened during October.


PetPlan Area Festival Finals at Morris Equestrian

That's right, WE MADE IT! After our big set back earlier in the year, even entering a qualification class didn't look possible at one point, so to have made it to the finals was just amazing! The weekend felt like a lifetime to come - it felt like such a long time since we headed back from Northallerton back in the middle of August. It was finally here - we were on the road and heading up to Morris!

It was a super successful weekend overall - Louie settled into his stable like he'd been there all his life, enjoying watching the hussle and bussle of many horses coming past, lots of people all doing different things. He didn't even seem to mind that no one was stopping to say Hello to him, choosing to contently munch on his hay net in the corner.

The morning of the competition went smoothly and for once, we weren't pushed for time to make sure Louie was gleaming white all over. Just a quick re-wash of his tail is all that was needed that morning, as well as a good brush.

Our full competition report of the Area Festival Finals is live on the blog and includes a full video of our test. So if you have given it a flick through yet, make sure you catch up on how we got on! 


Dressage success on a local level too

At the beginning of October, we headed to Todburn Equestrian Centre to have a practice with two prelim tests a week before we ventured up to Morris. If you read this dressage competition report, you'll see that by the end of November, I would like to have enough points to qualify for winter regionals at Prelim level. I was quite relaxed, thinking I have all the time in the world to achieve this in 2018, but the reality of hitting scores of 66%+ enough times to gather the points coupled with a weekend out to go to Morris, and two more for Louie to enjoy a few weeks off, meant that I needed to make sure I had enough commpetitions planned to get the points I wanted.


Thankfully, our trip to Todburn yielded four points in one of our classes, but with the winner not even achieving the 66% mark in the second we missed out on some extra ones there. Take a look at how we got on in our full competition report.

Plenty of hacking & a couple of weeks break for Louie

As anyone who follows us on social media will know, I really enjoy a long hack to enjoy spending time with Louie, keeping his fitness up but without heading to the arena. October brings with it, the change of scenery and many changing colours, so in the first half of October I managed to get some really gorgeous shots while we were out and about! 





Since coming back into work after his injury towards the end of July, Louie hasn't really had a break. Straight away I was concentrated on getting his up to speed for the qualifier at Northallerton, before then keeping him ticking over and working on becoming sharper for Morris, with a few competitions also in between. We also started giving our showjumping much more attention (which actually dropped off in October due to preparing for Morris). So, Louie enjoyed a two and a half week break - no work at all, no hacks, just stuffing his face and getting hairy! 

It also gave me a chance to have a break too, taking full advantage of full livery and only popping to the yard once or twice a week when we walked the dog on the beach or across the fields, just to give Louie a pat and some sweets! 



Towards the end of his time off, Louie had a check up from Lee Clark (equine physio) and Phil Dyson (vet), and I'm pleased to say that Louie flew through all of their checks as a fit and healthy boy ready to get going with his work again. Lee gave his sore gleuts a working with a tens machine, but found nothing concerning or needing attention. Similarly, Phil gave Louie a thorough trot up and some flexion tests on his back legs, but he flew through and needed no treatment. He also had a well overdue dental checkup - I'd let this one slip as Louie needs sedating to get anywhere near his mouth. Even worming can be a big task... There were a few sharp ones here and there, but Phil soon had everything in much better order and Louie was ready to go.

Throughout November, we will be pushing for our prelim points, before spending some concentrated time on our showjumping over the winter months too. Keep following us to see how we get on! 

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