We had what felt like a fairly quiet week last week. On Monday we went off in convoy cross country schooling with Lucy, Blinx, Flo and Darcy and met our Friend Jo with her horse Ditsy there. We went to Ansus Smales Eventing in Somerby, it is a fairly new training course and we have not been before but we will definitely be going again, as well as being a top class eventer Angus is also a course builder so there were lots of questions for all abilities all lovely built fences on good distances.
Blinx was a star as is becoming expected of him! especially as I forgot his bridle so he borrowed Flo's who goes in a different sort of snaffle and a grackle compared to his simple loose ring and caveson, poor boy! He's really getting the hang of jumping out of a stride and always trusts me I if I ask him to do something.
Lucy started of amazingly but then I was probably a bit cocky and so was she and we had a miscommunication at the jump before the water and we parted company, unfortunately Lucy is not at all forgiving to rider errors! which meant she then was a bit of a madam but I just worked on jumping out of a good rhythm and we finished as good as we started.
Cherise and Darcy look at great partnership together now and popped everything asked of them. Look out eventers they're coming to get you!
Hannah and Flo are looking better and better, Hannah is realising although Flo is almost perfect she will try you out if you let her! After starting a bit to sweet with not quite enough energy they soon got into gear and put the rest of us to shame.
Jo and Ditsy had a fab time, Ditsy is still green although you wouldn't have realised if you were standing on the sidelines. I'm sure they are going to enjoy a good season this year.
The rest of the week was spent at home generally exercising and schooling and enjoying the to good to be true spring weather.
At the weekend me and the girls headed down to see Leon (My Husband) in Windsor where he is based with the Coldstream Guards. A friend of his works at Knightsbridge Barracks as a Lifeguard in the Household Cavalry and invited us to a guided tour of all the horses and to see behind the scenes and as someone who never says no to anything horsey off we went. It was fascinating to hear how the horses are all bought over from Ireland every year and most work until they are at least 20, they can house up to 340 horses at peak times which is some going in central London, it reminded me a bit of a multi storey car park but all the horses seemed very happy and look amazing. They make sure they all have good holidays where they can just be horses for a bit. The girls, and me enjoyed feeding lots of them carrots including the enormous drum horses and Prince Williams horse he rides in parades. It was a really interesting day and one I will remember.
What a lovely week we have had, warm sun and hardly a cloud in the sky! I only hope we don't pay with snow when we are meant to be out eventing!!
We had a super day out hunting on Monday with Blinx, Flo and Darcy. All three were brilliant, this is expected by Darcy and Flo! I was so pleased with Blinx as although always been a good boy today he felt like a grown up, he stood patiently at the meet and then was awesome all day jumping everything asked of him some of which were bigger and more testing than we have met before.
The rest of the week we have been busy at home keeping up with the fitness and schooling of everyone as well as keeping up to date with the tack and rug repairs.
Saturday I was meant to be holding one of my jump clinics away from home but due the the Equine Flu and several cancellations I relocated to home and had a thoroughly enjoyable day, the sun shone and all the riders and horses went brilliantly.
The evenings have been taken up by sorting out the new website, I hope you all like the new version, and after many hours our new online shop is up and running, please have a look and let me know what you think.
A lot of people say to me, "I don't know how you fit it all in" well my main secret is I have a lot of help. My girls are very good and enjoy coming to work with me as they spend a lot of time whizzing round on bikes and running round fields and I feel they are so lucky to experience this freedom as I did when I was growing up, they do resemble grubby urchins by the end of the day but are very happy little girls. Both my parents and Leons are brilliant helping with child care as is Cherise, as some one asked me the other day do they see her as a second Mum to which Ila replied more of a big sister as she's not old enough to be our Mum, Cherise was thrilled that they thought that!
We have enjoyed another busy week here at Little Garendon, it started well on Monday morning when I had a dressage lesson with Lara Edwards on Clare Tewson's Ringo, I have not been taught before by Lara who is one of the country's top producers of young dressage horses. She had a great way of training and gave me lots to work on and think about.
Wednesday we headed to Vale View Equestrian with four horses looking fairly respectable (I hate greys!!!). They are holding eventing dressage tests which are a great way to get in the arena before the start of the season and practice your test riding and find the areas you need to work on, Blinx was a bit inattentive so he will be heading out again soon as it is all so new to him especially as there you warm up outside and then go into the indoor which is quite spooky, although very green the judge really liked him and he will certainly be scoring some good marks in the future, Lucy was good warming up but again she went tense as she went in the arena, though she doesn't have the same excuse as Blinx for finding it all a bit scary! These practice tests are great for her as you can really ride to get the best out of the horse and not worry about ruining the day as you would in an event when it's too tempting to sit still so not to upset the situation. Lucy did the intermediate test and still scored a fair mark of 36.2 with lots more to come and I was pleased as although tense she stayed rideable and the test got better the further we got through it. Hannah took Flo, this was their second test together and it was a 100% better, Flo is a proper school mistress and will only do exactly what you ask of her, this time Hannah didn't tighten up as much and got a lot better mark. After all the dressage was done we headed over to the show jumping,Chris and Dannielle Farnsworth were running the clear round, it was great to have two such experienced people advising from the ground and they gave us some great pointers on all of our horses. Hannah took Darcy for a play as Cherise was out of action (don't worry she back!!) she jumped fab especially as only about the third time Hannah has sat on her, She then took Flo, it's lovely to watch them really beginning to become a partnership, they jumped two super rounds I think they're ready for bigger. Blinx was a really good boy, a bit wobbly the first time (lots of doors to look out of!) and then the second round he popped round beautifully. I was really pleased with the way Lucy jumped, she jumped two good clears and our rhythm was good and she didn't get too tense, I think the training shows seem to suit her better.
The rest of the week has mainly been exercising horses in either gale force winds or pouring rain and sometimes both. I have to admit I have been pleased to get in my workshop and do some rug repairs or tack mending! We have got lots more planned for the future, I will keep you updated.