Friday, 28 August 2015

July/August/September 2015

Claire Edwards and Bugsy are flying at the moment. I just love the first picture of them cantering around Hickstead after coming 7th in the Sunshine Tour. Then look at the quality of that reins in one hand halt woop woop! The photo of them indoors is whilst doing their first BD Elementary at Merrist Wood. (they also came 3rd in the unaffiliated Elementary at Merrist wood champs. Clever boy)
They have just made a huge leap forward in both of their core strength and Claire's sitting trot is now so improved that she has so much more influence over Bugsy's engagement in all the transitions. Going xc training with Southerly Roberts has helped Bugsy to be so much braver and forward thinking, this has meant we could allow the trot to slow down as he is more mentally forward thinking and the suspension and cadence is now increasing with huge breathtaking medium trots and canters. The shoulder in, travers and half pass are showing Bugsy how to engage to the next level, as well as straightening him and helping him to become more supple as well as preparing him and Claire for BD Medium level dressage.

Kate Matthews has also had such a super season both BE and BD once again on horses she has trained herself from being nice horses, into some really very special ones now!
I am very pleased to report that Kate smiles during her dressage lessons just as much as she smiles during her jumping! We do have a giggle but boy do we get into the nitty gritty of making this lovely lady as good a Dressage Rider as she is Event Rider

Alfie is picking up his strength again after the non riding break whilst his saddle was being made. He is going his absolute best ever.  New muscles being found all the time, new strength, new moves, new suspension, new reach.Yippee!
I have really got learn how to ride better now as this little horse could be really really really good.
Ive had a couple of fab lessons with Sara- Jane Lanning that really helped with us getting more left bend in the ribcage and with me riding with more left leg and loading of Alfies left hind, this in turn has helped Alfie find and cross his right hind more. Kerching!
Some great training with Andrew Murphy has led to a lowering of Alfs haunches in the trot from improving his piaffe and starting on the passage. New super improved medium trots since we found a road to passage. So happy with him, he's loving his dancing and we both snog each other a lot.
A brilliant 4 days training with Charles De Kunffy, plus a great 2 day course with Ali Cookson!
Me? Knackered! And bank balance not looking very healthy after so much training but its what i live for.

Claire Roissetter and Harvey Hooves will always hold a special place in my heart. I started training Claire when she was still in pigtails (sorry Claire!) and when Harvey was just a normal horse. Wow has Claire transformed him. (Please see previous blogs for BE results and 3rd in Badminton Grassroots Champs). I am so pleased to say that although Harvey is now taking life a little more gently, he and Claire are still up there winning BD Novices all over the place and & 7th at the BD Novice Regionals in August.
Very very cool.

Tiana Fogden is a very talented young lady, daughter to Hayley Fogden so she has inherited her talent from her mum. Tianas little pony is cracking, but he used to draw his neck back towards his wither, hollowing his back and going above the contact so it has made it so hard for Tiana to get a feeling for when a horse connects from behind through the back onto the bit. We get some lovely steps in shoulder in and leg yield but Tiana and pony are not yet strong enough to maintain this for long periods so their experience of feeling the connection was intermittent. After long chats with mum, we decide to put a market harborough on for a few weeks. Oooo it was tough for me to do this. I dont use gadgets. I hate gadgets. Only good correct riding will produce a true connection. I argued with myself. Lots. However, whilst wearing it for a short period of a few weeks, it meant we could improve her position, feeling, strength, confidence and timing. I am very pleased to announce that for a very short period of time, it was ok and no animal was hurt in the making of this movie and Tiana can now connect her pony all by herself, from behind through the back to the bit. It reminds me of when I get a feeling from Alfie when I ride him in the double bridle where he bends better, he collects and lengthens better and then I have to work out how I can become a better rider to produce this in his snaffle. If I train him for longer than a few weeks in a double, he starts to get too light in the contact, slightly sucking back and not as truly through and connected from behind into the bit and seeking the bit as I get in the snaffle bridle. So I do both. I learn from the advantages each one gives me and try to get as good as work in the double as I do in the snaffle and vice versa. Not a quick fix. Its a learning curve for both of us as we taste the different feelings. Just like clever Tiana.

Sonya Saville and Charlie are now on and climbing up the BD ladder. I really love this horse. So sweet and beautiful and talented and I am soooooo glad he his owned by Sonya. She will 'take time but not waste time' in producing this lovely horse and the happiness they are going to bring each other is going to be beautiful to watch.

Adam Harvey rode his personal best BE dressage score 18.5, on the very talented Picasso. Adam does a super job with this horse as he does with all his horses and squeezes out of him what the horse feels confident and happy to give so as to keep him mentally on side.
I play the bad cop and convince Adam to ask for a bit more from the horses, but as they are a sensitive bunch, we keep Adam being the good cop so they keep trusting him and wanting to give.

My youngest client is 11. My most mature client is 71. Respect to them both.