So it was day 6 of training at Hippikos - Training Holidays and my final day. And what a superb day it's been!!! My first lesson was dressage with Denis and I was lucky enough to ride his own horse Urco, another stunning Lusitano stallion. I had my first experience of two/three times changes, piaffe and passage which was a fantastic feeling!!! My second lesson was dressage with Denis and riding my favourite of the week Zubruno. Everything fell into place with him today and I thoroughly enjoyed riding him. We were working on shoulder in, half pass and the start of passage which is quite a new trick for Zubruno but with Denis helping from the floor it was definitely starting to come. My final lesson of the day was show jumping on the excitable Radieuse. She was even more sensible today but still thoroughly enjoyed herself!!! I would have just loved to try jumping bigger fences because she feels like she would be fabulous!!! A fantastic final day :-D
Day 5 at Hippikos - Training Holidays. Again a very hot day, so hot in fact that I braved the swimming pool rather then just paddle, I swam!!! They have a current thing that you swim against, it's actually quite strong (unless Tom just turned it up too much to make it difficult for me!!!). I asked to change my flatwork lesson for an extra dressage lesson today because I'm enjoying the dressage, but the horse I was given, Cadete, has been out of work recently and was a little bit fresh in my first lesson of the day. My second lesson was another dressage one on Zebruno with Denis. He was fab today, really responsive to my aids and we even got to try a little bit of passage. My final lesson of the day was jumping on Radieuse , she was a little calmer for jumping today but still found it pretty exciting and would get all jolly after jumping the last fence :-D
Day 4 at Hippikos - Training Holidays today. It was soooo hot!!!! I had the same three lesson on the same horses...Zubruno for dressage with Denis, then Radieuse for jumping with Ricardo and flat work with Antonio. Antonio is a Portuguese Show jumper who has ridden at the World Equestrian Games and other championships. Denis is a dressage rider and Ricardo does both showjumping and dressage. I'm really enjoying the dressage lessons, the Lusitano horses here are quite different from mine back home but very nice. Radieuse is a Portuguese Warmblood and quite a big mare. She's was very enthusiastic in the jumping lesson today, we were jumping through a combination but the distances were quite short for her and it made it quite difficult. She was more chilled for her flatwork lesson which involved popping through a combination of bounces. I enjoyed my sunbathing time today!!! :-D
Day 3 at Hippikos - Training Holidays. It was a much quieter day today because Shires Equestrian flew home having done the photo shoot with them yesterday, which i throughly enjoyed. I still had three lessons but not lots of changes of outfits in between!!! I even managed to get a spot of sunbathing and book reading time. As well as getting to watch some of the other lessons. I did paddle on the steps of the swimming pool but it was rather cool so didn't fancy going all the way in!!! My dressage lesson on the Lusitano Stallion Zebruno was fabulous. I'm really getting used to him now and riding is such a beautiful indoor arena is a real treat and it has incredible views over the valley from in there. My jumping lesson and flat work lesson were both on the fancy Radieuse again. She is used to jumping 1.50m/ Grand Prix level so she finds it rather exciting to be popping over the smaller fences. :-)
So today was my first day of lessons at Hippikos - Training Holidays]. They consisted of flat work (which involves jumping over here), dressage and jumping. I had a lovely Lusitano for dressage and I was very privileged to ride Radieuse for flat work and jumping. She is a fabulous big Portuguese Warmblood mare that a few years back was the Portuguese Champion and a Grand Prix Showjumper...she isn't usually used for lessons so no pressure!!!!
And now I can tell you what it was that having spoke to my wonderful sponsors, Shires Equestrian, a few weeks back that got me so excited!!! They flew over with us yesterday for a photo shoot for their 2015 catalogue. This is my third shoot with them this year so I am really looking forward to the catalogue coming out next year. I was delighted that they were able to come and we've had a fantastic day which involved around 10 changes of outfits!!! So fitting that in between three lessons has made it a very busy but fun and enjoyable day. The staff here at Hippikos have been wonderful in providing us with everything we needed to get the pictures. I'm now about to have another 5 course dinner having had a lovely breakfast and 3 course lunch. And I'm looking forward to day 2 of lessons with all the amazing instructors :-D
So I've arrived at Hippikos - Training Holidays, which is the trip that I won as part of winning the Equestrian Social Media Award back in February. It is in Braga, Portugal. The weather has been beautiful today and the venue is fantastic. And if you are a fan of wine you would be in your element...there is as much as you could ever drink on tap. Antonio who runs the place has told everybody to make themselves at home and feel free to take wine or beer back to the room if we wish. When we arrived we had a fantastic spread of food to enjoy. I'm really looking forward to dinner tonight!!! The horses all seemed really friendly when I popped down to meet them earlier, so I'm excited for my three lessons tomorrow :-D
Cherry and Raleigh had both qualified for the prelim combined training championships at South View. Cherry was pleased to be out again and scored a 67.3% in Prelim 18 and jumped clear Showjumping for 5th place. Raleigh did a beautiful test in Prelim 18 and scored 71%. Showjumping he had a really silly 4 faults for getting spooked by some black and pink fillers stacked on the wall at the side on a fence, so annoying because he had jumped an impeccable round before that and proceeded to jump an impeccable round afterwards. He finished 3rd. Cherry also had a go at the Novice 34 and did a very relaxed test for 67.9%, unfortunately we had an unlucky couple of fences in the Showjumping.
Perfect day for eventing at Weston Park in beautiful sun shine. Lovely to see so many friendly faces and spent lots of time chatting to people I hadn't seen for a while. But a tiring day, mainly because I've been ill for three days, if you'd have seen me after cross country you'd have thought I was really unfit but actually being all bunged up was making it hard to breath lol. Took Cherry and my new mate Raleigh Cat for the BE90. Both pulled fab dressages out of the bag with a 28.5 and 29. Cherry had a couple of unlucky fences down SJ and Raleigh just lowered one but jumped a fab round for his first BE90. Cherry was awesome cross country apart from a silly spook at a saw bench which was the bogey fence, other then that she made the course feel like a piece of cake. Raleigh was caught out at the same fence but I can't be dissappointed with him cause we had a fabulous time out there.
So that brings me to the end of my event season, 2014 you've been a challenge at times but you've given me some lovely smiley moments to :-)
Today Florence and I were invited to ride the guinea pig test for the CCI* J. This, if you don't already know, is the very first person to ride the test in front of the judges before the actual competitors start. Florence had never been ridden in such a big posh arena and never in top hat & tails either. The weather was absolutely awful and it rained from the time we got there until we left. But Florence was such a good girl and didn't get fazed by any off the surroundings. I was really pleased with how she went in the test although I didn't really ask for the medium canter on the 20m circles because with the wet conditions and no shoes on, I didn't want us to fall in a heap like two weeks ago!! :-D
I'm delighted to have received a fabulous new pair of clippers off my sponsor, Masterclip. They are the Showmate trimmers which come in a neat metal carry case. They come complete with clippers, blade, four different size combs, two rechargeable batteries, charger, oil and brush for cleaning the blade. You can adjust the cutting depth by either tuning the grey dial, where you can choose from 0.8mm to 2.0mm or you can fit one of the four combs to the blade where you get to choose from 3mm, 6mm, 9mm or 12mm.
I can't wait to try these out on my horses. I'm sure they will love them particularly on their faces and ears because they are so quiet to use.
And a massive bonus is....they are pink!!! Thank you Masterclip :-D
Amateur event rider