We had a lovely day at Offchurch Bury event today in the sunshine, it was a brilliantly run event by Lands Eventing( check out their website for their next event in July http://www.landseventing.co.uk). Archie was very chilled about the whole thing, he went a little green in the arena and made a few baby mistakes but still got a good mark of 33 which I was really pleased with as we got several 8's for his trot work. He was nearly very good in the show jumping, it was quite sticky and he jumped brilliantly right till second last fence which he just tensed and hollowed on the approach and had it down which was a real shame as the rest of round was so good. I was thrilled with him cross country we just went very slowly as I really want to train him to go in a good rhythm and listen to me as he is so big and powerful that if let him go to fast and he gets unbalanced he wiki learn to get strong and I won't be able to contain the power. So we had a lovely canter and was really good at the questions and really enjoyed himself. I can't wait for next time!
We had a great time at Somerford Park on Thursday, Jo Payne very kindly gave Flo and I a lift so Mum and Cherise could come to. Somerford has an amazing 7 mile farm ride which is all weather and has lots of fences including waters, steps and ditches so Mum took Darcy and Cherise on Archie round that and had a fab time, Jo and I took Tiff and Flo on the cross country which has everything you could possibly want which is great as I wanted to check Flo was back on top form before our intermediate next week, I am pleased to say she was, she felt great really locking on to all the narrows and we both loved every minute. Jo and Tiff looked really good making everything they did look effortless.
We have been really busy at home with the two new young horses that have arrived, Harvey has been a good boy and progressed well and is trotting round on the lunge and all being well I will go off on my own tomorrow. Tonka who we broke as a three year old last year has really filled out since last year and is looking good and has been lunged with his tack on the last coupl
Well having enjoyed an easy week with just four horses to do it is all about to change as we have two horses coming this week, Harvey who is a pure bred Arab and is hopefully going to have a career in racing so is coming to us for some pre training and Tonka who we broke in last year as a three year old is coming back after a break over the winter to carry on his education.
Had a really good day in the sunshine today, I took Flo and Archie to Weston Lawns for show jump lessons with Simon Nicholson. Flo jumped really well and having popped through a grid a few times she jumped really well round a course a couple of times, I even managed to look up and not go to far forward most of the time!! I was so pleased with Archie as we took him three weeks ago and he was very green and a bit all over the place, Simon gave us some exercises to work on at home and they have really helped and today the improvement was amazing I was so proud of him, he found the grid so much easier and gave me a great feel over the fences, then when we jumped round the course the first time he was good but was still a bit green at times but after short break we went again and he felt awesome, he is really worth taking our time with as he has so much ability and seems to have the attitude to match.
I had a dressage lesson with Kim Sleath last week for the first time this year, she was really pleased with how much Flo has improved and told me to be more disciplined with her as she is no longer a baby and her response was great so hopefully I can repeat that work in the arena, it was the first time she has met Archie and thought he had good natural ability and said just to carry on with what he have been doing but to be really strict with myself when asking for submission and not let him dictate to me.
We decided as Tom was so special that we would have a get together and go to the pub for a drink in his memory, most of the stories started I remember when I fell off Thomas!!! The yard is very strange with out him but hopefully he is enjoying his hunting where he is now.
We were all really sad to say goodbye to Thomas on Friday, Little Garendon is not the same with out him. We have had Thomas for fifteen years, we got him on loan from near London on a big livery yard, he was owned by a lovely family but he was getting away with murder and spent most of the time doing exactly what he wanted which was not always what his rider wanted!! When we got him home he spent most of his time on his hind legs spinning and whirling, he soon got out of this habit but right up till the very end he always was better in company. When we took him hunting for the first time we discovered his real love, he was brilliant and loved it. Every one who has ridden with us over the last fifteen years has some brilliant memories of Thomas and lots will have a story about falling off him!! as he could stop so suddenly if the mood took him but never if he was following someone else. Mum, Cherise and I have all had some brilliant times going round team chases, hunter trials and hunting, One particular memory I have was taking round the Pytchley hunter trial following Cherise and I was just a passenger Thomas was fantastic and flew round and I was just giggling as he was just cutting corners and going where he thought was the best line and it was like he knew he was in control and that I should just think myself lucky to be riding him. He had an amazing jumping technique he was so neat and as quick as a cat, he was such a happy horse to ride out and you always felt he was having as good as time as you, but most of all he was a lovely horse to have around the yard, he was very special to everyone but especially to Mum and he knew it and was thoroughly spoilt and got to come in and out as he pleased and a lot of the time we just opened the gate and he put himself in his stable although every now and then he did just wander off to where he thought there looked a nice pick of grass! Thomas was 25yrs old and looked amazing and hunted right to the end he damaged his tendon very badly and will not recover and he would have hated to be retired even if it were an option as he always liked to be busy and the centre of attention. We will miss him a lot but we will always feel lucky to have had him and enjoyed him for as long as we did.
We have been really busy at Little Garendon over the last couple of weeks, we have been to our first event which was mostly good, Flo was very pleased to be out and was a little bit tense in the dressage but controlled it well and was very obedient so I was very disappointed to get a mark of 39.5 which was very weak in the section and considering so of the other tests I saw I was disappointed as I felt she got marked down compared to some others that had better natural movement than her but I felt they didn't go as correctly but anyway moving on she showjumped amazingly giving everything a foot and couldn't have gone better, the cross country started really well and was very keen but we both got a bit brave and a bit cocky and had a misunderstanding at fence 11 and I had a unscheduled dismount! I jumped back on and we jumped round the rest foot perfect which hopefully made us both think for the rest of the season. So overall I was really pleased with her just cross with myself!
We have been to dressage today with Archie and Cherise riding Posh, we had a really good day, it was Archie's first dressage and he was a really good boy a bit green in places but scored a fair mark of 64.5 and jumped clear in the jumping, I was really pleased with his round as although it was very smallthe rhythm and the quality of his canter has improved so much.
This was Cherise's first time competing Posh which led thier first test being a little tense but still got a good mark of 66.3% and then in the novice they did a lovely rhythmical test and again scored a good mark of 65.7%. So we both came back with rosettes which and it was lovely to be out competing in the sunshine.