Frankie has had a very varied week of training, from grid work to canter work to a dressage lesson with Maria Eilberg, finishing with a little play round the Newcomers at South View, we did manage to squeeze a lunge, hack and school in there to. The thought of a lesson with Maria Eilberg was quite nerve wracking but actually she wasn't scary at all and was very friendly and I understood her dressage language. Frankie was on his best behavior and did some really pleasant work. She has given us plenty of homework, which involves lots of little exercises which will help strengthen his back end ready for more technical movements in the future. Yesterday I headed to South View and popped round the Newcomers, he did just that and popped round sweet as a nut, oh apart from where the judges box jumped of its stand and spooked him causing 4 faults!!!! Little monkey, he's not normally spooky so I will put that down to spring grass getting the best of him. :-)
I have a new supporter, Masterclip Clippers. They are a professional online retailer, offering only the best range of animal clippers for dogs, horses, sheep, alpaca and cattle. They contacted me a few weeks back asking if I would be interested in being supplied with some of their products and putting them to the test to see what I thought of them. Just days later in received a set of their Royale clippers with 3 sets of blades. Masterclip Royale are medium duty, twin speed, mains powered clippers. They are very light weight with pretentioned snap on/off blades made from top quality German Steel.
I put them straight to the test, using them to remove the spiky winter cat hairs that grow on horses after they've been clipped, while the summer coat is starting to grow through, making them look quite untidy. They were so easy to use. Very light to hold and very easy to maneuver. Below are some pictures of the results
I used the 2.4mm blade so that I didn't get too close a shave to interfere with the summer coat that is just starting to grow.
I normally always clip Frankie's head out when I clip him but this year I decided I would leave half a head in just in case we had the really cold, snowy weather that we had last year. I decided I would clip it out now that we are heading into spring, but I did wonder if I had left it too late but actually using the 2.4mm you can't tell where the line used to be.
I think you will agree that the Masterclip Royale Clippers do a nice tidy job and actually I managed to clip his whole head out without having to twitch him, which I normally do, especially for the ears because he gets quite nervous, but these clippers were much quieter for him.
I have never clipped Frankie's legs out before but because Frankie seemed so happy for them to be used on him I decided to give it a go, because he does seem to get extra hairy legs. I'm delighted with the results, the clippers were very easy to use on the legs and didn't upset Frankie at all. He looks so smart now.
And because I enjoyed using the clippers so much I decided to give the dogs a trim to :-)
I have been riding Miss Cherie for 5 weeks now and we seem to be getting on quite nicely. This was her second combined training competition and she has won both of them. She got a 70% dressage and was clear in the jumping :-)
Here is Dudley competing at Tushingham Arena today. This little horse is such a pleasure. This time a year ago he was still a racehorse and in very poor condition. He has come a long way in a short period of time :-)
Thrilled once again with the lodgers. We headed to Tushingham Arena for their combined training. Dudley went first and did a lovely test in the BE92 for 68%, it was really windy but he was so grown up and it didn't upset him at all. He then went into the jumping phase full of confidence and wasn't too phased by all the goings on around the arena, he just forgot to pick his back feet up over one fence so came out with just 4 faults round a 16 fence course to take 3rd spot. Cherry was next to go, she was being a real show off and felt very flashy but did have a couple of spooky moments. She did a lovely test for 70% followed by a fairly sensible clear round to take 1st. Overall a very good day out :-)
On Sunday I did a couple of trips to South View for their British Showjumping show. First off I went with Florence and Percy for the 1.00m Scope Qualifier, it looked huge when i walked the course. Percy jumped first and was clear in the first phase so headed straight into the jump off, it was 1.10m and which is the biggest course he's ever jumped and he was a little star and put so much effort in. He just had a really unlucky 4 faults because he jumped the fence before the double a little big and unbalanced himself to the first part of the double and just rolled the first pole. But overall I was completely thrilled with him. Florence jumped next and as usual was jumping out of her skin, but had 4 faults in the first round because we didn't quite make the distance in the related distance, I'd expected her to do it on 5 strides but she tried for the 4 and it was just a touch too long and we had it down. I headed back in the afternoon for the 1.15m Members Cup with Frankie, he jumped awesome in the warm up but just got a little flat in the ring for 12 faults, I probably didn't help by being a little backward thinking not having jumped a course that big since last July, but I will get some more practise in at home and I'm sure I will be more switched on next time out. :-)
At 6am this morning my alarm went off and I wondered if I really wanted to get up and go showjumping or should I have a nice lie in. But up I got and loaded Florence and Percy up and set off for Kingswood Equestrian for the BS show. Both of them jumped a good first round in the British Novice and went clear. Florence showed her maturity in the the jump off jumping a quick round on tight lines for a clear in 25 seconds. I then took Percy on a similar line to Florence but we had 8 faults but he really did try hard but he hasn't done many jump off's before and just needs to learn about turning on tighter lines. Florence went on to win the class making my early start very worth while :-)
I had a lovely day out with Frankie today, we went to Field House to jump the Newcomers and he was a little star. He jumped a perfect first round and then was drawn first to go in the jump off. We took some tighter turns which I normally wouldn't attempt but he loved it and flew round and felt fab. We were just really unlucky to have the final fence down which was an upright coming out of a double, he really deserved to go clear cause he tried so hard. I think I may have just got a little excited at the last and let him get a little flat by dropping my hands and letting my weight creep forward. We would have been second if we had left it up do it was an expensive fence. It didn't dampen my mood too much because I was so proud of him, love him so much :-)
Frankie had his first dressage outing of 2014 on Thursday night. Our tests were at 8.30pm and 9.30pm, a little bit of a drag after a 5.30am start to get the horses turned out and to work by 7am!!!! I think Frankie thought it was loads more exciting then me and was rather excitable, but he kept himself composed and pulled a 70.18% out of the bag in the Novice 27 and a 68.4% in Elementary 44. Taking 3rd and 2nd. Good boy :-)
On Wednesday I had a very enjoyable day taking the lodger ponies out for a play at South View for the Combined Training. I did the prelim dressage with 2'6 jumping. Dudley went first and apart from a couple of little spooks in the dressage he did a sweet test for 67.2%, he then went and jumped a very brave clear round in the jumping for 4th place. Cherry did a super dressage test, she has come on so much in the two weeks I've had her, she scored 69.1%. She also jumped a clear round, we just need to polish her style up a little now, but a clears a clear and she went on to win!!! Very good day out and to make things better, the sun shined on us all day :-)
Amateur event rider