Cover boy

Well that’s the first camp of 2023 done! And what a cracking camp it was. I’m shattered, but a really good shattered. Buddy still had energy to run round his field.

Maybe he had a sleep on the way back. It’s not like he didn’t do lots today. This morning it was course jumping. We got to practice dog legs too.

Sadly one of the ladies in our group had a fall, so we left the arena early. I’d untacked Buddy when I got a call telling me to go back in the arena to ride the entire course. I’d missed out as I was last to go, after the lady who fell.

Very quick tack up and back we headed. Buddy was a little confused. It’s a good job we’re used to competing. Quick warm up and off we went round the course.

After lunch, we had our final flat work lesson. This time it was no stirrups – in walk, trot and canter! Then canter serpentines with simple changes. Finally we had a go at flying changes. It’s amazing how far we’ve come with our flat work. Shows that hard work pays off.

All in all a very successful camp. I came way with more knowledge, exercises to try and a photo!

Now we know I love a photo. But I bloody LOVE this photo. Wonderful thing is that I didn’t know she was taking it. The photos from our shoot are just stunning.

But that’s for another day. As is the camp washing! Is it bed time?!


Resting hooves

Second day of camp done. And another awesome day. First up jumping. A very interesting exercise. Pip Nav was definitely needed for that. My little boy absolutely flew it. Such a great feeling.

We took advantage of the sunshine to have a post-lunch rest. There was a horse banging the door last night, so not sure many of us got a good night. Buddy was the exception! He excelled himself – his rug was covered in shavings.

This afternoon it was another flat lesson. We built on yesterday’s lesson and attempted counter canter. I saw attempted as it wasn’t our best. One to work on.

We finished our riding day with a photoshoot in the forest. Really looking forward to seeing the photos. I got a sneak peek of one and it looked like a magazine cover!

I can feel another montage coming on…

Poo patrol

First day of camp done. Buddy slept well judging by the amount of shavings he had on him. In time honoured tradition, he came out all guns blazing for our first lesson – poles. Bless him, Buddy much prefers poles when they are jumps. So it was a really good exercise for him as definitely made him focus.

After lunch, we had our second lesson – flat. That was a much more sedate affair where we worked on keeping his shoulders straight and collection in the canter.

We walked the horses up the track to cool them off. Buddy did a poo. Of course, it was as far away as possible from the stable. Muggins here has to walk up the hill with the skip to get it.

Cause I haven’t done enough exercise today! See if you can spot the poo…


I met up this morning with a lady I’d connected with from the Lucinda Green XC Academy. There are members on there from all over the world. And she lived just down the road from me. Small world huh?! We chatted all things horses for over 1.5 hours.

This afternoon, I had a lesson with Simon Grieve over at Willow Farm. She asked if she could come and watch. And very kindly took some videos of us in action. Buddy was on top form. I love my lessons with Simon. He makes me feel like I can achieve anything with Buddy.

Dancing in the rain

We headed down to Halesworth this afternoon for a lesson with Jo Winfield. She’s one of my favourite instructors. I love my lessons with her at BHS camp. She’s so insightful, knowledgeable and an amazing coach.

So I jumped at the chance to have a private lesson with her. I may have been slightly regretting my sense of adventure when the sat nav took me down some rather narrow roads. But The Buddymobile got us there safely.

I was slightly regretting my decision as well after leaving the yard in beautiful sunshine, to arrive at the venue in rain. Reminded me of that quote about learning to dance in the rain. Well Buddy definitely had his dancing shoes on today!!

Jo was incredibly complementary about our progress. She said she could see that we’ve been working hard on our flat work since she last saw us. And thought Buddy looked very fit and well.

Helps that I’ve finally found a snaffle bit that Buddy seems to like. Long may that continue.

Didn’t care that I got soaked. I came away beaming.

Good Friday

Well today has been a rather Good Friday indeed. Started with a great lesson this morning. Buddy worked very hard. As did I. It was lovely to be able to turn him out naked afterwards.

Of course, I soon regretted it when he had a roll. Thankfully he wasn’t too muddy when I put his rug back on.

This afternoon, I finally mowed the lawns. I say lawns, they’re definitely more moss than grass. Still it’s been on the list for a while now. But the weather has put pay to it.

It was a full body workout I can tell you! I did have two robins helping. So cute.

It was touch and go if the lawns would get done today. I made the fatal mistake of sitting down. Hugo came for a cuddle too. Well I guess it is a bank holiday after all.

John Wayne

Buddy had his first bath of the year. He needed it after our rather intense lesson. One of us was a tad fresh and one of us had to do a lot of sitting trot. I’ll let you guess who was who.

Let’s just say Buddy was still in XC mode. Now as much as it’s good to have forward, we also need rideability. There’s always a balance to be struck.

Still we got some wonderful trot work by the end of the lesson. I may be walking like John Wayne tomorrow. Definitely found new muscles. There are some times when I wish I could have a bath too. At least the hot shower helped.


So it seems that in order to get the best from Buddy, I have to ride in howling winds.

We had an early lesson with Simon Grieve this morning. When I left the yard, it wasn’t too bad but by the time I arrived at the venue, it was howling. Nearly got taken out opening the gate. Parked up the lorry and it was rocking. Then got blown off the mounting block. I know there’s not much of me, but seriously?!

Still I’d made it there so we gave it a go. Started with poles and worked on adjusting the canter. Simon put out two poles and gave me the number of strides to get between then. It’s hard for Buddy as he can get a bit strung out, so a great exercise for us. One I need to repeat at home.

A few of the jumps had blown over, so Simon secured one with some sandbags. Pretty sure that’s a first for me. But it worked. And we got to have a play over the jump.

Buddy was awesome! He was so chilled considering it was really strong gusts! He was focused. The drive back wasn’t too bad either. So seems it was definitely worse at the coast.

Chicken dinner

Another full on day for me. Early start too with a jumping lesson at 8:15am. Not sure either us were at our best but we came, we jumped and we learned.

Then a speedy turnout to get down to Simon and Harry’s for a long overdue catch up. Anyone would think we were having chicken for dinner… Thankfully there was lots left for us.


Buddy and I headed over to Easton for a lesson with Simon Grieve. After a busy week, I was feeling a little jaded. Thankfully Buddy was in good form.

A couple of blips, but lots to like. Simon was complimentary and gave me a few notes to work on. Mostly keeping my hands stiller. I can get a bit flappy. I know this. Today I felt like Animal from the Muppets. Thinking of him made me laugh I can tell you.

Thankfully I didn’t look that bad. Or so I was told. And I was very lucky to have some videos. I can feel a montage coming on…