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.

Glowing

They say horses sweat and women glow. Well quite frankly, I’m not sure which of us sweated the most tonight!

We headed out for a jump lesson at a new venue and with a new instructor, Ellie Hurst. Normally I’d be a little apprehensive. But we were both chilled. Since I’ve put Buddy on a balancer, he’s like a different horse.

Buddy was soon flying round the course. Few dodgy moments. And one flying lesson for me (haven’t had one of those for a while). Lots to like though!

Camp close

Well that’s another BHS Camp done! And another brilliant one. Buddy was an absolute superstar! He tried his hardest and did everything asked.

He was also a complete piggy and hoovered up food like it was going out of fashion. As a result, he had by far the most disgusting stable. Shame there wasn’t a prize for that as he’d definitely win!!

Still we did come home with more rosettes to add to our collection. A 7th place for show jumping. And 8th place in dressage.

The latter was quite a shock as I was the first one in and I went wrong. I’d never been the first rider in, ever, and didn’t realise how much I watch the rider in front. Totally brain fart. Still there was a lot to like apparently, so that’s good.

The frustrating thing is that I’d ran the test in my lesson this morning. That was just over an hour before. Doh!

Oh well, placings were the cherry on the cake after a brilliant camp! We will both sleep well tonight!!

Micromanagement

Third day of camp and another two lessons done. Started the day with grids. Now we all know, I bloody love grids! And so does Buddy. He was rather keen to get on with it. So the focus of the lesson was about getting his canter established and listening before we attempted the grid. He flew through it though!!

Then this afternoon, it was another flat work lesson. The focus of this was to try and micromanage Buddy less and help him be softer. Much harder than I seems as I‘m not always a ‘less is more’ kinda rider. Definitely making progress though. So that’s good.

The Spillers weight bridge was back for Buddy’s annual weight in. He scored a perfect body condition and has dropped weight from last year. He’s now 637kg.

Another successful camp day done. We’ll both sleep well tonight.

Bays and greys

Second day of camp done. Two lessons today. First lesson course jumping. Where I learnt that if I ride my horse and prepare him rather than throwing him into fences things go much nicer. Not that it was bad, but much smoother after I actually road Buddy.

Though he did come out a bit All Guns Blazing. He was very keen to get going.

After lunch, we had a flat lesson. Where I had huge lightbulb moment. The instructor told me to ‘cuddle my ribs’ with my upper arms. My goodness, it was completely different! Buddy was so soft in the contact.

So far we’re both loving camp!

Camp life again

After an early start to beat the rush, we arrived at Forest Edge for camp. Got Buddy all settled and then went for a hack in the forest.

A lovely slow start to camp. First lessons tomorrow.

Buddy is loving camp life again. He’s inhaling haylage and making friends. I’ve inhaled BBQ and catching up with friends.

Pretty faces

When you get sent a video from your jumping lesson last week and this is the final frame. 😝 Sometimes I crack myself up.

Deep respect for my instructor right there!! It was an interesting lesson as I couldn’t work out why I felt so unbalanced and couldn’t get my right leg on. After momentarily thinking I’d had a stroke on the drive there (cause that’s what you do, right?!), I realised I’d put my left stirrup up 4 holes but my right only 2. No wonder I wasn’t feeling level.

Again, it’s a good job I can laugh at my own ineptitude.

It’s also a good job I can laugh at my horse’s antics. Today we headed to Blackwater for some schooling and the little monkey decided he wanted to be a race horse! 🐎 Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for forward, but I‘d prefer to make the decision about where we’re heading. 🤦🏻‍♀️ I’m picky like that…

Blackwater

First day of camp and what a belter. Two brilliant lessons. It feels so good to be back at Blackwater Farm training again with T&N Equestrian.

First lesson this morning was poles. Finally something has clicked in my brain and I actually enjoyed a pole lesson rather than wondering if we’d get through them unscathed. It seems Buddy has had a similar revelation as we positively floated through them.

This afternoon it was course jumping. The hard works of the past few months is paying dividends. Buddy was on top form and flew round the course. Got lots of complements from the other campers. Always lovely.

Even got to watch some of the XC coverage from Badders. Gosh it was a very testing track. Lots of thrills and spills. Fingers crossed we have more thrills tomorrow when we go XC (mere twigs in comparison).

Now tucked up in my lorry. And Buddy is loving the haylage that comes with camp life. Today was a very good day indeed.

Sweatiest

Well it’s been a while since Buddy was sweatier after a lesson than me! First trip for Buddy over to Neric Equestrian for a jumping lesson with Lewis.

Bit of a dodgy start after Buddy took exception to the ponies behind the trees. Once we’d worked through that (and burnt off the excess energy someone had), we worked really nicely and jumped everything asked.

Jumping really is my favourite thing to do.

Good job Buddy’s next clip is booked in. It’s still so mild. It’s November, right?!

Get those steps up

Definitely hit my step target today. I’d racked up 18.5k by 3pm after two ‘walk and talks’. 👏🏻 And avoided the rain showers.

As if that wasn’t enough I had a dressage tonight. It’s probably a good job Buddy and I don’t track our steps. We covered quite a bit. And managed to finish before we lost the light.

All in all a good day.