Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Lots of changes

Haven't made any posts for a while as my equine life has become somewhat turmoiled. Annie fell in the field in February and she has damaged her fourth lumbar vertibrae. This is where her pelvis sits. Unfortunately, after just over 9 weeks box rest and a cocktail of daily drugs, there is no improvement. We are waiting on decisions from a variety of vets and neurology specialists so that we can make a fair decision about her future health and welfare. Annie has hated being on box rest, and has become grumpy and intolerant. Here she is looking somewhat chirpier, chatting to a friend across the yard:

My search for another horse to continue my rider development has paid off, and I am now the wonderfully proud owner of Sacramenta Z - known at home to us as Grace! I have owned Grace for one month now, and I could not have wished for a more perfect pony! She is 7 years old, by Sandro Z. She has predominantly done showjumping up until now, but we believe she has fantastic potential as an event horse. She loves cross country and has amazing natural paces - I am just trying to master them!

We have had a couple of training sessions with Alison Kenward at home, some stressage with Sabrina Jones in Mursley and we are about to commence our XC training ready for the area horse trials on the 8th June! Also known as judgment day!

Here she is looking all shiny at home:

And a couple from Sabrina's the other day:

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Funny picture!

I was clearly concentrating on my position so much, I forgot what to do with my tongue! Oh dear! (Click on the picture to make it bigger)

Good lower leg position though, I don't think my cross country position has ever looked so balanced. Thanks for all the tips John! I'm getting there!

Saturday, 23 February 2008

XC training, and Annie's poorly :(

Took Annie up to Hanslope with John Mears to pop a few XC fences and get her confidence going again over natural fences. Although she was jumping, we felt that she wasn't quite her normal self and pulled her up to take her home again. Two days later she was diagnosed with a respiratory infection - so we were right!

Here is what Annie thought of the ditch - always good to test the brakes!

She did overcome her fear though, big scaredy cat!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Showjumping lesson with John Mears

Had a fantastic jumping lesson with John on Sunday afternoon, and for once the rain held off! Annie flew, and when we put a course together it really felt as if we were flying. Everything feels like it is coming together for us now, and I can't wait to test out our new skills on the cross country course! In the meantime though, practise makes perfect so we will keep grafting away for a week or so until our first XC outing of the season to Hanslope - Saturday 16th February.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Dressage clinic with John Mears

On Saturday I went to a dressage training clinic with John Mears, and we worked on transitions and Annie's acceptance of the contact. By the end of the session I had mastered both downward and upward transitions maintaining Annie's engagement and outline - fantastic result!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Annie is famous!

Following our appearance in Chiltern and Thames Rider magazine's January issue, and Wednesday 9th's MK News, the announcement of our sponsorship deal has now been run on the Milton Keynes website - brilliant coverage for my sponsors so I am thrilled!

You can read it here -

In other news, I have now received all my registration documents for British Eventing and am now officially an affiliated rider... even though I am yet to compete! Annie is also now officially a British Eventing horse, putting her showjumping days behind her. Roll on April so that we can get to our first event!

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Dressage at Addington - 13th January 2008

Unfortunately no pictures from today, but Annie performed really well despite gale force winds - her pet hate! We only did Prelim 7 due to the weather, and I was thrilled with her performance. Unfortunately, due to judges (grrr) we only finished middle of the field, but I am confident going into next Sunday's competition knowing that she is improving steadily. Hopefully our percentages next weekend will reflect her progress!

Next Saturday we have a training clinic at Bury Farm, followed by two further dressage tests (Prelim 4 & 10) at Addington on Sunday. Fingers crossed for some slightly brighter/dryer/less windy weather...!