Testing times

The world feels rather odd again. Lots of uncertainty about. Changes afoot. And confusion around. I’m getting used to it as it feels like a bit of an undertone for the past few years.

The parental tag-team is on again. My Dad is poorly at the moment. So all healing vibes gratefully received.

One thing that never changes is the smile Buddy puts on my face. Especially after popping some jumps in the Autumn sunshine.

Shedding season

And so it begins! Buddy’s summer coat has blown. Spent ages grooming him today and there’s still a ton more to come out. He is officially moulting. Which means it won’t be long till he needs clipping.

I’m going to go through his rugs this weekend and work out what’s what. Last winter he trashed a few so not sure what’s good and what needs fixing. Good job I’m handy with a sewing needle.

There’s something very satisfying about fixing something. And stripping his coat. Reckon I’ve got enough to stuff a small cushion.

I miss shoe

Now I’m no farrier, but I’m pretty sure that’s supposed to be on your hoof Buddy. He pull this off doing his pre-lorry warm up, which included laps of his field and throwing some rather interesting shapes.

It did mean that we headed over to High Ash this morning with 3 shoes.

Thankfully it came off cleanly and my farrier was able to come and put it back on again this afternoon. So that was good.

I see ewe

Another first for us today as we took a trip over to Ickworth Park for a XC lesson. My sat nav decided to take us on the most convoluted route possible and right through the middle of Bury Sy Edmunds. That got a few looks from passers-by I can tell you.

Arrived later than planned so had to do a speedy tack up and get on. Good job I can tack up fast!

Once onboard, we headed out to our lesson. Buddy was a bit eyes on stalks to start off with. But soon got into the swing of things. Thankfully he doesn’t have an issue with sheep. Cause they were everywhere!!

After a steady warm up, and a stirrup length adjustment, we headed out onto the course proper. Something clicked! And I don’t mean my back. The new strirrup length meant I could get my leg on and control the canter so much better.

There was lots to look at. And the sheep were another obstacle at times. But I really felt like we got our XC mojo back!

Came back with the biggest smile on my face!

Friday feeling

Well this is a view I haven’t had for a while. I’ve been so busy recently that it feels like ages since we went out for a hack round Strumpshaw. It was much needed indeed.

We even had a cheeky canter as the ground is perfect at the moment. That’s something we haven’t been able to do for ages either as the ground has been too hard. If the rain continues, it’ll be too slippery.

Honestly, people wonder why us Brits are obsessed with the weather. It’s cause its so changeable. At this time of year, it feels like four seasons in one day. It’s definitely four outfits too as I feel like I’m layering on and off.

Burning calories

Back home after another fab BHS Clinic at Forest Edge. One night in the lorry, two lessons with Jo Winfield and lots of lightbulb moments.

It was blissfully quiet and relaxed. I’m so glad we decided to stay last night. Buddy had a very good night judging by the amount of shavings on his rug. I had a cozy night too. I love sleeping in my little lorry.

We both worked hard in our lessons today. Buddy had to work even harder in our jumping lesson with some bending lines. We were also working on the quality of his canter between jumps. He was ravenous afterwards. He burnt a lot of calories it seems.

Bromance

Buddy and I headed over to Blickling Hall this morning to meet up with Katie and Archie for a lovely long hack. Buddy and Archie started thier bromance at Big Camp. When he reassured Archie that camp was an awesome place to be. They’ve been firm friends ever since. As have Katie and I.

It’s amazing how many wonderful people I’ve met through horses and camps.

They were so cute together I had to snap a photo. Here’s to many more horsey adventures.

Jump around

Took Buddy over to World Horse Welfare today for a jumping lesson with Judith Barker. She’d set up a grid and a mix of show jumps and XC-style ones too.

Buddy was on very good form. And Judith said she could see improvements from our last lesson. So that’s good.

After a well-earned sausage roll and coffee (me not him), I went for a wander round to see some of the residents. These two cuties got lots of scratches. They’re so tiny compared to Buddy.

Winter is definitely on the way. I had to break out the ‘big dressing gown’ and over trousers earlier. And lit the fire tonight. The kittens and I are toasty on the sofa. It’s funny cause in the Summer I hardly see them.

Camp fun

I’m home after the second day of camp. And what a fun day it’s been. Woke up to thick fog. A total whiteout. So wasn’t sure how our XC lesson would go. I needn’t have worried as the sun burnt through and I was soon wishing for the cool.

I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive about taking Buddy out on the course. It’s been a few months since we had a run. And the last ODE we did there, we had to withdraw. But I needn’t have worried. We were storming round the fences before I knew it.

There were lots of positives to take. Just one blip where Buddy obviously thought there were lions behind the fence as he really wasn’t happy. One thing I know about my boy is that he doesn’t over-react without good reason. Got him settled eventually. And we carried on.

Came back with a huge smile on my face! When I got back I heard that there had reports of a puma sighting nearby, so who knows?!

After lunch, we did a grids lesson. We were both tired, but still got a lot from it. It was a very different grid – working on straightness and adaptability. I’ll be setting that up at home.

We’ll both sleep well tonight, that’s for sure. I do love going to training camps. I’ve met so many fab people that way. We have such a laugh too. Here’s to more next year!

Peekaboo

Someone is very relaxed being back at Blackwater for our last camp of the year. He looked like he was playing peekaboo behind his haynet.

He really does love a B&B. And so do I. I’m tucked up in my lorry. As I was away last weekend, I didn’t put the bed away! So one less job to sort out.

We had two lessons today. Poles this morning and course jumping this afternoon. Buddy was great in both. I managed to make both more complicated that it needed to be.

It’s good to be back learning again though.