Snow, long lorry drives, training with Chris Bartle and a photo shoot!

The week to the 3rd February was a quiet week towards the end as not only did the snow arrive but the arena was having a face lift.

We had a lot snow and our dressage competition was cancelled which was a shame but once the rain came it was back to normal. The lunge pen (which is quite big) had been finished so I did ride in it a couple of times so I was mixing it up for the horses. Even in a small space you can work on something such as focusing on rhythm, walk/trot transitions and leg yielding in and out.

At the beginning of that week I had lessons with John Bowen. As we had been expecting bad weather we had booked a friends indoor arena and boxed five horses over. They each had a dressage and a jump lesson and it was nice that John saw improvements in all the horses since my last lessons as they all performed very well.

First Long Journey……….

Sunday I left the yard with 3 horses to make the long trip to Harrogate. This was the new trucks first long journey and I was travelling on my own which I really enjoyed!!!

It was a very easy run with minimal traffic and classically the further north I went the wetter it got! We are definitely in the wrong business - talking to a regular trucker at one of the service stations he was saying they can earn £600 in 2 days! Maybe we should do this in the winter!

5½ hours later I arrived at Chris Bartle’s Yorkshire Riding Centre for 2 days training.

This was the first test to see if everything worked in the lorry - I settled the horses in and then concentrated on faffing around with the lorry. I was able to report back on my return that everything worked a dream which is very exciting and long may it continue. It made for a very relaxed couple of days - home away from home.

The Vault Syndicate………..

There are some spaces left in our 2019 Vault Syndicate - it is a great way to be part of an exciting team with yard visits, inclusions at competitions, mentoring and coaching. I really enjoy having supporters at the competitions and training days to share the adventure with.


Chris Bartle’s Training …….

Monday morning was no lie in with the first lesson at 8.30am. To get the most out of these lessons I had to make sure I was fully charged up and ready to go - porridge with syrup and chopped apple started the day - Harriet Upton (we are athletes) was also training there so was over seeing my food intake!! Her Mum - Justine did a cracking job being Chef for a couple of days - greatly appreciated. Back to the lessons - All the lessons were jump lessons and all three horses were jumping unbelievably. It is amazing how a few small tweaks makes such a big difference. It is also great to go to another trainer and find that his training methods dovetail with John’s. There were other Eventers having training up there so it was nice to have the time to watch and pick up further tips. The next day was along the same vein and it was encouraging that Chris saw the improvements from the day before. It is now time to put what I learnt into practice and look forward to continued improvements.

After the sessions I went on Chris’s horse - Ruby.

This is a mechanical horse and is used to highlight the effect of the balance of the body on a horse. It was an interesting exercise and fascinating to see how our weight changes influence the horses balance.


Something different…….

On Tuesday afternoon I drove to the service station at Junction 22 on the M1 to meet Mum to do a vehicle change over. Mum had bought my car up so that I could drive to Oakham for 2 days Photo Shoot with Noble Outfitters. Mum then drove the horses home to Wiltshire.

There was no lie in on Wednesday as I was up at Bradgate Park at 7.45am to start the first days shoot. Two horses were bought from a nearby yard for Sophie Beaty and I to ride during the shoot. We went out hacking around the park in the clothes they wanted on camera and used many different features that the park had. We were very lucky that the lighting that day was incredible so really worked in the photographers favour. It was great to work with such a professional and like minded team who had great vision. We worked really well together which made the day much easier. On Thursday we moved location to a stunning private yard near Market Harborough where we did more closeup stills of us, the clothes and the horses.

This was for Noble Outfitters Autumn/Winter 2019 clothing which will be launched at Burghley Horse Trials in September.

Noble Outfitters is a great team and I am looking forward to working with them - on going.


Moving in…………

Whilst I was away Immy moved her horse into my yard which I am very pleased about as she has worked with me for the last 2 ½ years on a freelance basis.

This will continue more regularly and she will still keep a few of her other clients. It is great to have her on the yard as her work ethos is excellent, she knows how I work and knows the horses well. She will also be able to keep them ticking over during the season whilst I am away at competitions.

The season is fast approaching and the beauty salon is in full swing as we are starting to go out to local competitions and XC training.