I am writing this blog late and after Christmas so I have eaten too much and feel the need to up my fitness regime come the New Year. I already cycle regularly but I found myself yearning to get back to the cross country running I did at school…… which should supplement all the riding and yard work nicely.
Since I last wrote my sister Roxanne has sold her 9 year old to a Pony Club rider, Gawain has gone back to his owner who is loving riding him (though he is still for sale), Continuity (Brad) my 3* event horse had an end of season holiday and we have been to Ireland shopping again. Last time we came back with Patsy, our 10 ton horsebox. This time a trip to Monart Sale resulted in the purchase of Continuum (stable name Anton after Anton Du Bec from Strictly Com Dancing as he is a bit of a poser), by Chacoa (by Contender, Brad’s sire). He is a 16.1 3yr old who really caught the eye as he was very naughty on the sale viewing day and still had lots of energy when he came to jump on day two, so much so that the handlers had to stop him to slow him down each time before the jumping line. We also bid on several other 3yr olds but they went out of our price range.
Monart, near Dublin, is a well-run, event horse specific sale with 91 pre-selected horses on the catalogue, very good trial facilities for the ridden horses and I can highly recommend it.
Anton has now been long reined, lunged, backed and turned away. Doing so necessitated a swift and expensive top up of rubber on our arena which every year freezes as the temperature drops. We are delighted as so far we have not lost a day due to unfit surface and temperatures have been down to minus 5. Also on the arena front we have finished installing the 6 mirrors across the short side so there is no escape and every mistake in half pass alignment or improvement in frame can be spotted!
Pre – Christmas mayhem included fabulous yard parties and outings to the theatre and Olympia……I am so lucky that my clients invite me to their ‘do’s’! Travelling back on the train from London with a long piaffe whip was interesting! The Pony Clubs I work for (or should that be ‘have terrific fun with’) all push the boat out and have Halloween and then Christmas themed rallies for the riders and I always try to do something different and challenging but without terrifying the parents too much. This year featured 6 bar and puissance along with trotting pole accuracy and top score competitions with spooky homemade fillers and obstacles.
Sadly my sister was working on Christmas Day so I missed out on our traditional silly tinsel hack around and through Chesham town centre, usually far too busy for horses, but luckily a friend was able to come instead. (Video of our exploits is on my Facebook page)
Boxing Day morning was spent at the huge meet on Cholesbury Common when the Farmers bloodhounds substituted for the Kimblewick Hunt hounds which are sadly confined to kennels.
So we only have four horses on the yard this winter, the fewest for years, and I have to say I am enjoying having less mucking out……all the more time for teaching as I certainly have lots of that and always new clients calling…..so I must be doing something right.
I am excited to announce that I have been given the ride on two hugely talented 100/Novice horses, more of them in my next blog. Along with Rowan, owned by Kathy Hoffman, Continuity’s 2/3* campaign and a gentle commencement of Continuum’s career, 2017 looks like it will be a blast!
I am always looking to learn and improve and have lots of training booked for the New Year – I have been invited once more to the prestigious F&I Course at Addington and have booked onto a Pony Club course with outgoing Team GB supremo Yogi Breisner. I think I have found someone to help improve Continuity’s flying changes so now I need to find somewhere to go to ride schoolmasters for tempi changes and pirouettes and then and I really must get back to my coaching books as I would like to take my BHS Senior Coach Exam in 2017.
Happy New Year to you and yours……….. May it be full on, awesome, thrilling and above all don’t take what you have for granted. Seize the Day and Crack On!
This blog comes courtesy of tweed fashion brand Timothy Foxx www.timothyfoxx.co.uk