We Are Back!
It’s been a while since I have written my last journal but life has been far from quiet. Christmas and New Year have been and gone and feels like a lifetime ago.
January seems to have really dragged but for every week that goes by it’s closer to the season and spring will soon be with us.
My holiday started with a big family Christmas. My Uncle and his family came over from Australia. It was great to get to know my cousins who I haven’t seen for 10 years.
It is a shame they couldn’t have been here longer but thanks to social media it is great to be able to keep in touch so easily. We were on duty over Christmas with the horses but took the opportunity to give them a few days down time before having a day of lessons before I went skiing.
The family are getting used to the fact that everything revolves around the horses and very kindly organised Christmas day plans around their routine! Luckily my Aunt who lives 20 minutes away was hosting Christmas this year so it was all very convenient for us!
New Year was spent skiing, which seems to have become an annual holiday. It was great to get away and doing another sport that I love with some great friends. The weather was faultless - sun all week. The snow was good enough and although we could have done with more snow mid week we were very happy to have the sun.
The Vault Syndicate
I have a great opportunity for eventing enthusiasts who are interested in being part of an exciting team and following the career of a couple of horses, without actually having to buy them!!
It will be great fun for me to share this season with others so we can all share in the excitement and share the time at competitions and join in the odd glass of champagne and lorry lunches!! I will also be able to welcome you to the yard to watch the horses train.
If you wish to know more and see what else is on offer, please click on this link
We would love you to join us - there is even a discount if you sign up before the end of January 2019!
We are well and truly settled into the New Yard, near Swindon, having moved at the end of November. Perfect timing to allow the horses to settle before this season and great that it was after last season. Moving during the season must be horrendous.
I am absolutely loving being here, it is has a good vibe and everyone works well alongside each other and the facilities are getting better by the day. The new lunge pen and all weather turn out are now in operation and the arena is being resurfaced as I write.
Although we rent the yard it is nice to be able to treat and look after it as though it was ours. The horses are now all well and truly settled but a couple of them took a while. We thought they were ok but actually internally they were a bit anxious. Their routine has been very much kept the same as before so it was just a question of getting used to the new surrounds.
Don’t be frightened to ask for help………………
I worked with Ted (unbacked) and started long reining him, but this didn’t go to plan.
Being backed a little older than most he had a lot of strength and decided he wasn’t too keen on long reining. After several aborted attempts I decided the best option for both of us was to send him to Jason Webb to break him in.
I really wanted to back him myself (to save my pocket!!) but sometimes you have to be realistic as to what is achievable with limited knowledge. Also, this was so that I didn’t ruin him with my lack of experience as I believe he will be a very nice little horse.
I have worked with Jason before when Vino was younger and very insecure. I love how he works with the horses and then passes this information on, so I can take it home and use it there.
Ted has been away for 3 weeks now and apparently is coming on very well - I think he will be home for a couple of weeks shortly before being restarted with Jason and then for me to develop him further.
With the season fast approaching we are busy planning the competition schedule which we will put on our website calendar in the next couple of weeks.
Our Spring aim is to take 3 to Tattersalls in Ireland (Brexit Permitting!!) and do the long format 2,3 and 4*.
I think we will all be a little muddled with our FEI International competitions for a bit, while we get used to all the revised levels!!!
Our Autumn goals will be Blenheim 4* with view of doing Badminton 2020, Blenheim 8/9 year old Championships, also Osberton Young Horse Championships (6 and 7 year olds).
There will be plenty of excitement between these and leading up to them and we look forward to it.
The horses are all well and we will begin the canter work on the gallops next week so that we have progressive fitness rather than cramming before big competitions.
We Are Athletes
A good friend of mine, Harriet Upton has a great concept of helping educate riders on their own fitness and nutrition.
We treat the horses as athletes with the best of everything, detailed planning in fitness, feed, competition plans, shoeing, and general detailed care but equestrianism as a sport is notoriously bad with managing the rider’s fitness and nutrition.
I can’t emphasise how much this needs to change from amateurs through to professionals.
If we all paid more attention to this it would benefit the horses, performance, results and we would all have more energy and stamina. I wish her every success.
The next thing that needs looking into is the food available to buy at competitions!
Talking of Athletes …….
At the minute I feel the strongest I ever have and generally feel really good - at the end of 2018 I was unwell (just the old winter cold but it seemed to drag on) so missed a couple of weeks - as much as I wanted to go to the gym it wasn’t worth it as I simply didn’t have the energy.
It was important to recover and then start again - luckily, like the horses, we don’t lose our fitness just over a couple of weeks.
I had a goal of doing a 100 kg back squat - 3 reps - before Christmas but this has had to be postponed, due to the illness followed by a holiday but I plan to achieve it by the beginning of April.
I am now back writing my journal weekly so look forward to keeping you all up to date and in the meantime wish everyone luck with all their pre season preparations.