EQUINE - Young Riders Blog Nov 2017

1 Nov 2017




So, I have had a very busy November doing some winter training with Diamond Sundance. I have had a few two-day training sessions with dressage guru Ian Woodhead, which are brilliant at helping me up my game in this phase. He notices the smallest details that can make the biggest differences in improving the quality of work. Lessons are not for the faint hearted as insults are a regular occurrence but I feel as if I have made a massive break through on Sunny and so I’m now very excited for next season and contending him in GB Young rider trials. I have also been lucky enough to have a couple of lessons with Ian Stark jumping around some big training tracks and working on improving my quality of canter so the bigger jumps feel easy. Although it can be a little intimidating when I jump one upright at 1m and then get told to jump round a 120cm SJ course! I have also managed to get Sunny and our hunter to a BS show. It was great fun and I was thrilled to have 6 clear rounds ranging from 90cm-130cm. It feels great when you can put your training at home into practice and it pays off! I also managed to fit in two days at HorseScotland Performance squad training. It is incredible how lucky the squad are to receive such expert advice from the whole team there and I feel it was here, where I started to properly click with Sunny.

All our horses at home are feeling and looking better than they ever have at this time of year, and I really do think that is thanks to their feeding (all of them are on Harbro Cool Conditioning cubes and United Farmers Alfalfa Chaff), and all are receiving comments on how well they look. It is starting to get very cold and miserable at home and so it is great that I have managed to get out and about so much, when this time last year we were snowed in! RLE Limbo Kaiser is now on his much deserved winter holidays after a very long season, I still cannot believe I successfully stepped up to 3* and advanced level! Frank is now in trot work and feeling very fresh – you wouldn’t believe he is almost 18! To keep all our horses happy, we have been doing lots of hacking, which I feel is our one secret weapon, living in the middle of nowhere; we can gallop for 45minutes with no gate or roads!

I am very excited as tomorrow I have a showjumping lesson with the phenomenal show jumper Geoff Billington – which I think will be extremely helpful and I have heard he is brilliant for teaching you exercises to do at home. I will then take Sunny to one more BS show in Ayrshire before his winter holidays. I also have a very exciting holiday as I head off to Kenya for a riding safari in the Mara. I am SO excited, especially as I will have my birthday and Christmas out there! I cannot wait to write all about it next month! I have also just heard I have got into Newcastle university to read Economics and Politics, which I am thrilled about as it is close enough to still be able to ride the whole time!


Wow I can’t believe that’s November over already!!  It’s been a very busy month and a juggling act to say the least.  The balance of doing my 4th year university work, two jobs and brining dee jay back into work has not been easy especially with the dark nights (and my tendency to shove uni work to the side to focus more on horses).   

At the start of the month I brought a very muddy and hairy dee jay back in from the field where he had been enjoying his 5-week holiday (although he has learnt a new trick of jumping over the electric fence whilst on his holiday which is not very handy!!).  After a thorough make over and a few days of in-hand work I finally got to ride which I had been desperately looking forward too as five weeks of no riding is far too long!!!!!! The dreaded walk work commenced and to my surprise was going well until day three where I ended up hitting the deck – killing myself laughing I went and caught dee jay and got back on hoping no one had seen.

As I continued to struggle with motivation for reading about climate change in tropical rainforests my motivation did not falter at getting dee jay back up and going with a flatwork lesson with Adrianne.  Man had I forgotten just how tough her lessons are but dee jay was feeling amazing and he is certainly enjoying showing off his medium trot!! 

Next on the agenda was jumping!  Off to Stephanie O’Neil’s we went and as I was walking around the arena I was looking at the 70cm jumps thinking how small they looked however when I came cantering into the first one I was as nervous as anything! Dee Jay popped over it no problem even with his useless jockey.  Another couple and we were flying 1m+ with ease.  Finally, we did a course at the end set up at 1.10m and dee jay got rather excited with a few bucks and leaps which is great to know he is enjoying it that much but not so much fun when he is leaping into a 1.10m double!!  Nice to know my boy has came out of holiday feeling so great and almost at exactly where we finished the season.  I think his new harbro diet has something to do with it and to say he is very thankful for the haylage would be an understate as it’s the first thing to get scoffed at night.

To end the month on high note I was very luck to got chosen to have a lesson in Aberdeen with Sir Mark Todd!!!!  This was the most amazing experience and really cool to learn from one of the greats.  I learnt some new jumping techniques that I will be practicing at home as I found them quite difficult but dee jay picked them up so quickly.  Dee jay was rather excited to begin with and well a cross pole had to be the most exciting thing in the world to start with.  After settling into the lesson, he was a complete dude and jumping the courses so smoothly and effortlessly!!  Although his rider was a bit of a lemon at times and managed to get a bit lost – maybe a tad star struck!!  A massive thank you to David Lawson equestrian events and his team for putting on such an amazing clinic.  Also, a massive thank you to my friends for helping me get ready and getting through this month it definitely wouldn’t of all happened without you!! 

Now what shall next month bring?


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