We have all had another busy week here, Rogey has settled straight in like she has always lived here, Lucy is a little more reserved but she didn't arrive till Tuesday night so had quite a long journey over, both have lovely personalities and are really friendly. We have just been ticking them over since they arrived, both are very green but really well behaved and very balanced considering how little they have done, as with all new horses that arrive at Little Garendon we have booked them in to have their teeth and back checked by Dean Andrews and Halina Tombs both who do a fantastic job, once they have had their MOT's they can do a bit more and I know that all is good to progress with their training.
Another new pony to Little Garendon is Max who is a 6yr old 14.2hh piebald gelding, he is Cherise's project he came to us about 5 weeks ago to ride away as he had been broken a couple of years then been ridden about six times since then, he is a real little sweetie, his owner had had him since he was a foal but didn't have the time to do him justice so had decided to sell him to someone who could make the most of him, as he was so green she was little worried about finding the right home so we made her an offer and she knows that we will give him a good education and when we sell him we will find him the right home. He is such a sweetie, he has just started jumping and is bompproof on the roads and is currently away on his hols in Norfolk with Cherise and Mum and Darcy and was paddling in the sea upto his tummy! Apparently Darcy wasn't as keen on the breaking waves!!
We went Autumn Hunting last Tuesday with the Quorn Hunt, I took Tex who once again was a star and even led the field over two decent walls. George thought it was all a bit exciting but was very good most of the time, and of course Darcy was a good girl with Mum. It was nice to see Julie out with Tonka who we broke in last year and did a bit more with earlier this year before selling him to Julie, he was a really good boy and thoroughly enjoyed himself.
After a late night on Tuesday we had a early start on Wednesday for Purston Manor with Billy, I was really pleased with his dressage which scored a 39 which sounds like not a very good mark but it was a very high scoring section, he jumped really well show jumping round a very spooky course and zoomed round the cross country making it feel easy to finish a very respectable 10th.
On Sunday we were at Eland Lodge for the Team One Day Event although I have to admit I didn't realise it was a team competition when I entered. George was doing his first event, I just did the 80cm class as Eland is always well upto height and is more like doing the class above. He was a little tight in the dressage but considering his last two outings have been hunting it is understandable but he was very obedient and managed to do the second best test in his section scoring a 31, he went on to jump a foot perfect double clear just adding a few time faults to finish fifth. It always baffles me as an experienced competitor I felt that I had a good strong pace on a horse that wasn't spooky but is green round an 80cm course which is designed for either the inexperienced horse or the inexperienced rider to be nearly 30seconds over the time, should we not be teaching riders and horses at this level that a good rhythm is what is needed and not be chasing for the clock. Tex also thought be might rather be hunting than doing dressage and was a little disobedient in places and scored a fair mark of 36 he also jumped a foot perfect double clear to finish 5th. Billy did an ok dressage a bit tight at times due to lots going on behind the hedge including horses walking by calling to each other, cars revving engines and doors slamming! He show jumped really well till two from home when some thing spooked him and he picked up 8 faults, cross country he was magic and gave me a fantastic ride.
We had a busy week last week at Little Garendon, on Tuesday I took Billy and George show jumping at Weston Lawns on my own, they are both so easy to take out. George jumped really well in the 90cm he is becoming so much more responsive, he learns so quickly. He jumped a foot perfect double clear to win the class. Billy also jumped really well in the 1m class he just gained a bit to much down the last related distance in the jump off and tipped the back rail but I was really pleased with how he felt.
Thursday we went to the Quorn Hunt fun ride at Blackhill Farm which is just down the road from us, it was very well supported with over 100 people out. I took Caroline Sheffield's Tex, Mum on Darcy and Cherise on George. Darcy took it all in her stride, George and Tex both thought it was quite exciting as we set off but their were so many horses and a lot that were a bit unruly which I think wound them up a bit but by the time we trotted round the first field they both felt like pros. All three jumped brilliantly and we all had a great time, so a big thank you to everyone who makes so much effort to organise these events.
By 6am the next morning Mum and I were on a plane to Ireland for our first trip to Goresbridge Sports Sales near Kilkenny. So many people have said that if you have the opportunity you must go and see it, this is one on their biggest sales of the year it is a seven day sale and there are over 200 horses being sold every day. On the friday it was horses aged 5 years and over, there was every sort of horse imaginable, it was certainly very interesting, we saw a few we liked but a lot were crossed off as with that many to choose from you can be very picky, some are to big/small, some have lots of lumps and bumps or don't move or jump well enough as you get to see them all being ridden and in the stables. Just near the end of the day when we had decided we would probably wait till the Saturday for the 4 year olds a few nice ones came through two in particular, the first went for a bit much but the second didn't reach her reserve and we were a bit slow bidding as this was our first time, but we managed to buy her outside which is fine as long as it still goes through the books, if you do it with out telling them you are banned from the sales for life! So we bought a lovely 5yr old grey Mare by Womanizer (Dutch) out of a mare by Rantis Diamond (ID/TB)called Rogey. She was transported over night and arrived on Saturday morning, she settled straight in, I gave her a quick sit on this morning and she seemed to have a brilliant attitude and gave me a great feel, then she went out and it was like she has always lived with us.
We decided we would just have a look at the sales on the Saturday as everyone said that the four year olds tend to be better quality than the older ones, so we went a long and watched a few jump in the indoor, they were right nearly every single horse on the Saturday was a nice horse, we saw a few really nice ones and we decided to see what they made in the ring, the prices were low then came in a very nice mare we had liked and she was going for a very reasonable amount so Mum and I ummed and ahhed as we didn't really have any money left in the pot but then thought well we will just have one bid and if we get her so be it and with that we bought our second horse in two days!! We went outside to ask the questions you normally ask before you buy a horse!! She had no name so we named her Lucy and found out that she is very green and only been broken a few weeks which is not a problem because hopefully it means you can teach them properly from the beginning and they have no hang ups. She is a 4yr old Iron Grey mare by Castle Crest (RID) out of a TB mare and hopefully will be at home by Monday or Tuesday. After sorting out her transport, we decided we should leave the sales before we had to remortgage the house, as it was it took all day to pluck up the courage to tell Dad what we had done, but Mum and Dad have been married for 38years so I don't think he was that surprised! We had a lovely drive up the coast back to Dublin where we stayed the night before our flight back. Like so many people told us it was a great experience and as long as these ones don't bankrupt us we will go back again sometime in the future.