Friday, 30 May 2008

Working version of my courses...EQ Coach's Challenge Series...

EQ Coach’s: Dressage Challenge, Combined Training Challenge, Eventing Challenge, Boot Camp Challenge and Classic Start Challenge (based on the lunge).





I just realised it is rather difficult to read from those jpg.s so below is the full content. Please feel free to give any feedback!

EQUESTRIAN Coach’s CHALLENGE SERIES presents

What is the Equestrian Coach’s Challenge Series?

This is an 8 week programme built to encourage inquisitive riders to further their skills and challenge the existing ones. There are currently 5 courses you can choose from: EQ Coach’s Dressage Challenge, EQ Coach’s Combined Training Challenge, EQ Coach’s Eventing Challenge and the EQ Coach’s Boot Camp Challenge and EQ Coach’s Classic Start Challenge. All courses consist of: theory sessions on rider’s biomechanics (improving your seat, effectiveness and posture), off-the-horse 30 min Stretch Workout sessions (Pilates based and designed for equestrians), and course specific riding programme.

Eq Coach’s DRESSAGE CHALLENGE

consists of:

  • 8 Theory sessions discussing the following subjects: 1) Study of movement and Riding/Physiology of movement 2) Pelvis- the centre of movement 3) Key to stabilisation- upper body and head 4) Key to independence – shoulder girdle and hands 5) Key to balance and suppleness – the legs 6) Body Coordination- the applications of the aids 7) Problems and their correction – asymmetry, stiffness, slouching, floppy legs etc 8) How the horse mirrors the rider.
  • 8 Pilates based Stretch Workout sessions (you will need a dynaband style band like this one: www.dynaband.co.uk)
  • 8 Workshop sessions on Dressage (the Scale of Training, Understanding the Dimensions of long and short dressage arena, Prelim & Novice tests, Rules, Show attire etc)
  • 8 Ridden training sessions – 1h30m – you will have 30 minutes to groom and tack up your horse for your training. Ridden part will be in a form of 60 minutes lessons. All ridden sessions will be geared towards performing dressage tests of Preliminary and Novice standards.

NOTES:

The Theory & Workshop sessions are open to all and will be run at specific times (please check with your centre). Riding and Stretch sessions can booked separately (up to 4 people in the ridden group at any one time). Lunge sessions must be booked on individual basis and will be run as private lessons only.

To book contact:

To discuss the courses or book a course at your yard contact Wiola at www.equestriancoach.co.uk/contact


Eq Coach’s combined training CHALLENGE

consists of:

  • 8 Theory sessions discussing the following subjects: 1) Study of movement and Riding/Physiology of movement 2) Pelvis- the centre of movement 3) Key to stabilisation- upper body and head 4) Key to independence – shoulder girdle and hands 5) Key to balance and suppleness – the legs 6) Body Coordination- the applications of the aids 7) Problems and their correction – asymmetry, stiffness, slouching, floppy legs etc 8) How the horse mirrors the rider
  • 8 Pilates based Stretch Workout sessions (you will need a dynaband style band like this one: www.dynaband.co.uk)
  • 8 Workshop sessions on Dressage & Show-Jumping (the Scale of Training, Understanding the Dimensions of long & short dressage arena, Prelim & Novice dressage tests, BSJA jumping Rules, understanding distances between the fences – course walking, gymnastic jumping – gridwork, Show attire etc)
  • 8 Ridden training sessions – 1h30m – you will have 30 minutes to groom and tack up your horse for your training. Ridden part will be in a form of 60 minutes lessons. All ridden sessions will be geared towards performing dressage tests of Preliminary and Novice standards and stylish round around a 90cm-1m course.
Eq Coach’s eventing CHALLENGE

consists of:

  • 8 Theory sessions discussing the following subjects: 1) Study of movement and Riding/Physiology of movement 2) Pelvis- the centre of movement 3) Key to stabilisation- upper body and head 4) Key to independence – shoulder girdle and hands 5) Key to balance and suppleness – the legs 6) Body Coordination- the applications of the aids 7) Problems and their correction – asymmetry, stiffness, slouching, floppy legs etc 8) How the horse mirrors the rider
  • 8 Pilates based Stretch Workout sessions (you will need a dynaband style band like this one: www.dynaband.co.uk)
  • 8 Workshop sessions on Eventing (the Scale of Training, XC riding, understanding the Dimensions of long & short dressage arena, Intro dressage tests, jumping Rules, understanding distances between the fences – course walking, gymnastic jumping – gridwork, Show attire etc)
  • 8 Ridden training sessions – 1h30m – you will have 30 minutes to groom and tack up your horse for your training. Ridden part will be in a form of 60 minutes lessons. All ridden sessions will be geared towards performing dressage tests Intro standard, stylish round around a 90cm and positive XC riding.

Eq Coach’s BOOT CAMP CHALLENGE

Is not for fainthearted (!!) and consists of:

  • 8 Theory sessions discussing the following subjects: 1) Study of movement and Riding/Physiology of movement 2) Pelvis- the centre of movement 3) Key to stabilisation- upper body and head 4) Key to independence – shoulder girdle and hands 5) Key to balance and suppleness – the legs 6) Body Coordination- the applications of the aids 7) Problems and their correction – asymmetry, stiffness, slouching, floppy legs etc 8) How the horse mirrors the rider
  • 8 Fast hacks – think lots of trotting and long canters so you must be fit to cope!
  • 8 Lunge lessons concentrated on balance, dexterity and coordination. Some elements of vaulting might be included but no worries – no somersaulting required!
  • 8 Pilates based Stretch Workout sessions (you will need a dynaband style band like this one: www.dynaband.co.uk)
  • 8 Jumping sessions including jumping on the lunge without stirrups and reins.

Eq Coach’s classic start CHALLENGE

consists of:

  • 8 Theory sessions discussing the following subjects: 1) Study of movement and Riding/Physiology of movement 2) Pelvis- the centre of movement 3) Key to stabilisation- upper body and head 4) Key to independence – shoulder girdle and hands 5) Key to balance and suppleness – the legs 6) Body Coordination- the applications of the aids 7) Problems and their correction – asymmetry, stiffness, slouching, floppy legs etc 8) How the horse mirrors the rider
  • 8 Ridden sessions: are based on the lunge and are open to all levels of riders – from first time riders to those encountering problems due to gaps in early riding education. Lunge session is an excellent tool for intensive work on the essentials of riding: development of postural muscles, correct position and use of seat and legs, proper use of weight for bending, and most importantly losing reliance on the reins. The great advantage of lungeing is that because the rider doesn't need to worry about the general direction of the horse it allows the development of an independent seat. The reason that this is so valuable is that the independent seat is the key to the engagement of the horse; it is the means by which we can transform the horse from a mode of transport into a gymnast. When we are liberated from dependence on our hands we become able to use our posture and seat in a way that causes the horse to carry us in straightness and balance. In an ideal world, we would all be able to start our riding on the lunge to learn to balance and control the horse with our seat and legs rather than the reins, but given the opportunity any level of rider can learn this way.

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Quotes on Training by Nuno Oliveira

The QUOTES (Long!) - fantastic read.
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Challenging a grassroot level rider...

Following my discussions with riding schools I work at I have now received 'all clear' to prepare proposals for some riding courses I have been thinking of running for a while.
The first two in the pipeline are based on courses I was involved in organising years ago in Poland but will obviously be richer in content and spiced up by my increased knowledge and experience ;))
The working titles for the courses are:
  • 'EQ Coach Dressage Challenge' (In Short: an 8 weeks course consisting of workshops on understanding riding biomechanics - both rider's and horse's, stretching exercise sessions for riders, understanding dimensions of the dressage arena, and of course, ridden sessions all geared towards dressage & More)
  • 'Equestrian Boot Camp - NOT for fainthearted!' (In Short: An 8 weeks course consisting of theory workshops on rider's biomechanics, lunge lessons with elements of vaulting (low key, no somersaulting required;), flatwork and jumping sessions without stirrups/reins, fast hacks/fitness rides, stretching sessions for riders & More).
I am preparing full programmes today and once they are ready I will post the content on here. Please feel free to contact me with ANY suggestions/constructive criticism/feedback. I can be contacted via comments on this blog or at ridinginstructor at gmail.com.

IF we have riders wanting to sign up for these courses, I am thinking of creating additional blogs which will monitor their progress allowing them to write their own feedback etc - agreement of the riders depending!!

W.x
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Wednesday, 28 May 2008

And some good news!

A friend of mine offered to help me with the costs of my further exams!! Thank you P.!!!
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Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Today I am filling in my application form...

...to take part in the qualifiers for the BHS Young Instructor Of The Year 2008. Here are the questions/subjects I need to write about:

1) What are your qualifications to date?
2) What training days have you attended in the last two years?
3) Teaching and Coaching Experience.
4) Teaching and Coaching Aims.
5) Why are you interested in Teaching & Coaching within the Equine Industry?
6) Career Aims.

I have heard various things about this competition, good and bad. One thing was constant though regardless of general opinion - it's a great training day that you don't have to pay for! In that respect, I would be happy to qualify :)
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Sunday, 25 May 2008

Just a few pictures...

I must say, sometimes, I have so much fun and feel so rewarded (meaning personal satisfaction - do not confuse with adequate financial reward!) by my job that I catch myself thinking 'Ermm, should really do some work now...' ;)
However, I still haven't figured out how to survive the time spent on topping up my qualifications not to mention building some half-decent competition record. You see, in the ideal world I would prefer to do a Dressage Apprenticeship Scheme alongside further BHS exams but that's not exactly possible (meaning: can't afford not to work). In fact, all seem to be money related which is both frustrating and annoying. It almost seems as if I was standing in front of a beautiful castle which can be mine; all I need to do is to open the door. And I have no keys...

I wish I had more interesting problems than financial worries but I am afraid this is the only thing concerning me right now. Everything else seems pretty much to be going the right way.
Anyway, a few pictures from the weekend...Left and below - I haven't been out of the arena for ages so taking a hack out on Saturday morning made a fabulous start to my day:


And trying to take one of those 'muzzle perspective pictures' ;))

Pic.: Sunday. P., an ex-racer, trying to eat my hand while I let him so I can take this unnecessary photo ;) He wasn't angry by the way, just desperate to eat my hand ;)


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Friday, 23 May 2008

Interesting New Website - www.horsehero.com

I've been looking for an image/video of a horse being 'strapped' or 'banged' and look what I found!
http://horsehero.com/ "Horse Hero is a great new website which uses film to help you improve your knowledge on ‘how to’ look after horses. It also provides an insight into the lives of top riders, their horses and yards. There are guest blogs and some riveting video diaries too! Our presenters include Laura Bechtolsheimer, Harry Meade and Louisa Brassey."

Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris demonstrate:

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Wednesday, 21 May 2008

FAO: All those who leave messages on my answer phone.....

Dear All,
Please note that if you leave a message on my answer phone regarding lessons and ask me to call back but you don't leave your phone number I cannot return your call...It unfortunately isn't enough to say 'please call THIS number' as some of the numbers show simply as "Unknown" and the phone system cannot read them for some reason (hence I cannot return the call).
So, if Dave and Anne are reading this, thank you for calling! I am not being rude not calling you back; your numbers shown as 'unknown' and I just don't have your details! Please ring again.
Thank you :)
Wiola
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Monday, 19 May 2008

Back on Columbus's back :)

Pic.: Columbus saying hello...

After winter of various difficult circumstances Columbus and his owners are back on my clients list. For those of you who don't know, Columbus is a 17hh ish Cleveland Bay gelding with good bloodlines and even better appetite! We met in summer last year. He's a good doer who can get himself into a right state after gorging on grass and I must say he wintered very "well" ;) The Big Man has rather substantial fatty deposits but is now back into systematic fitness regime and who knows we might have a play with some local unaffiliated dressage tests once he muscles up and gets fitter.

He had a bit of a strop to start with but once over he remembered everything we worked on last year and I was really pleased with him. He makes me work mega hard as he is so wide that he virtually eats the whole of the length of my legs (not that there is much to it anyway!) but after riding him any other horse seems supple, narrow and easy ;) Riding Columbus feels like being sat on the top of a mountain!
You can find more on the adventures of the Big Man on his blog.

Pic. Ending the day with an evening walk...loved the clouds today!

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Friday, 16 May 2008

Friday - day off!




Due to Hamlet being unsound I found myself having a day off all of a sudden! My house certainly benefited from hoovered carpets and thorough cleaning in the afternoon and myself - well, I am still rather depressed about having had to withdraw from Mattingley. The event doesn't hold a waiting list which means nobody who withdraws will be refunded. That's bad.


The morning welcomed us with grey sky and substantially lower temperature but that meant "our" gardens would be relatively free of only-sunny-weather-outdoors-lovers. Excellent! Ricky and I decided to have breakfast in the park and it was a great idea - very relaxing and peaceful.

.......................................................................................................................................................................

For those of you who wonder whether to buy Mary Wanless' new book "The new Ride with your mind clinic" I wrote about HERE - I finished it yesterday and personally found it very interesting. I am going to re-read it making some notes this time as there are so many ideas in there that it was impossible to remember all after reading once. I am actually thinking of attending one of Mary's Teacher Trainings but considering they cost a small fortune it will take me a while to save up to cover the costs...It looks like they are organised once a year in September.
Mary's system "Ride With Your Mind" basically tells you HOW things are really done and not WHAT needs to be done. She challenges the old-fashioned riding tuition which does not offer much insight into how rider's and horse's bodies cooperate and influence one another. For those of you who never heard of Mary Wanless, have a look at the Coaching Articles under "Read and Learn" on her website: http://www.mary-wanless.com/.
The articles are fairly old and she has since further improved on some ideas. I read her very first book a few years ago (the new version of it is called 'Ride with Your Mind Essentials') and started testing the system on myself to start with. I gained much more awareness of what I was actually doing on the horse to get certain results which in turn helped me while teaching. What I like the most about Mary's system is that it is technical yet very purposeful - exactly the way I prefer to teach. It saves the horse and it helps the rider. Definitely recommend.
One of Mary's most famous pupils is Heather Blitz, American GP Dressage rider.

Heather Blitz riding Otto in Amsterdam, Jan 2008:


Online Videos by Veoh.com
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Thursday, 15 May 2008

Definitely lame

Hamlet is definitely lame/uneven and the farrier didn't find anything of relevance today. Further investigation will be needed while we withdraw from Mattingley.

Long shot but...if anyone has an eventer who needs a run and they feel charitable and want to pay the eventing costs I am always eager to hear from you!
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Wednesday, 14 May 2008

We might have to withdraw from Mattingley :(

It looks like my eventing season is going to crash land before it has even taken off...Hamlet is lame and we don't really know what had happened. There are no obvious signs of any injuries and the only option we can think of at the moment is to have his shoes checked as he was re-shod on Friday (and showed some lameness on Sunday morning only to be sound again on Monday & Tuesday). The farrier is coming tomorrow so keep your fingers crossed.

I am feeling :frown:     :(:frown:     :(:frown:     :(:frown:     :( I hope it's nothing sinister, he is such a lovely little horse :frown:     :(
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Friday, 9 May 2008

When everything clicks in place...


Hamlet gave me a fantastic feel today and although I know it might all go pear shape the next time I cannot help but feel positive again ;) The rollercoaster of schooling! More on today's session on Hamlet's blog.

Little video and a picture from today thanks to Ricky who decided to join me today :)

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Thursday, 8 May 2008

Vote for The Horse!


"The Ebbsfleet Landmark is the project's working title. When it is erected (due date 2010) it will be Britain's tallest statue. But what it is dedicated to is anyone's guess. There is something arbitrary even about its stature: 50 metres was required by the Highways Agency so it wouldn't take drivers by surprise – they'll see it coming for miles." [Independent.co.uk/art].

There are quite a few very different statues to choose from but I personally love the Horse proposal :)
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My Life With Horses...Episode 6

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5

Episode 6 - which tells you a bit about my first serious training and less serious summery pursuits.

In early 1996 two of my friends and I started started training with Grzegorz Kubiak.
I still remember that first ride as it was a dream come true to actually be helped by someone of that calibre. I rode a jack-of-all-trades a horse called Dzwon ('The Bell'). Grey gelding, about 15.2hh who could turn his hoof at anything!
He was quite a character! At our very first meeting Dzwon attacked me in the arena. He was one of the few horses I have met that truly went for you - teeth, hoofs, the lot. I was walking towards him to take him off his previous rider and he just pulled the reins out of that person hands and jumped onto me. He pushed me on the floor and kicked out at me leaving some long-lasting bite marks on my arm. I wasn't impressed. He was a miserable creature in the stable and was rather tricky to deal with but later mellowed with age. I went from being afraid to go into his stable to feed him (as when you were on your way out he was there ready to speed you up!) to befriending him totally :) We all forgave him as his behaviour stem from very bad handling in the past and he simply hated people for a long time.

On the day of my training we were already well acquainted although probably only due to a very tragic accident...Dzwon was used not only for the club competitions and riding school but also for driving. He and his partner - a lovely grey mare - pulled a wedding carriage alike this one. One night, they were on their way back to the stables when a car hit the carriage killing the mare and injuring Dzwon. It was late at night and the horse would not load so I rode him bareback to the stables. At times I jumped off and led him for a bit telling him to be good to me as thanks to me he would be home for supper - it took us a few hours but since that day he seemed to have come to the conclusion that he would spare me his teeth. Unfortunately I couldn't find any pictures of us competing which is sad as he was the first horse to give me the taste of jumping in style & performance sort of classes. We also won some rossetts which still sit in my 'magic box' in my family home :) The photos you see here show Dzwon at one of my riding school's camps. The horses and the staff used to went places for summer, rented some stables and arenas (or rode in a football pitch- great fun!) and hoped to attract as many tourists to riding lessons as possible. We taught in the mornings and had afternoons to play with the horses. Those were the most relaxed, fun days I remember.


Pic. left: Dzwon and I and some of the team at our 'reception table' ;))

Ok, back to the training day! The thing I remember the most was the feeling of having had learnt more in one hour than during all of my previous jumping sessions. I loved every minute of that lesson and we continued with weekly trainings for about half a year.
It was then when we started to realise that our beloved horses we had so much fun with were not really up for a more advanced challenges in the world of show-jumping...They were fine over 1m courses but anything higher than that and they struggled. I jumped Dzwon over higher fences in the lessons but he wasn't good enough to cope with the full set of higher jumps.
That was when Grzegorz Kubiak suggested that we ride the stallions at Boguslawice Stud.
The old Polish studs have amazing aura about them. This particular one is based in an old property of bishop kujawski, which has emerged from royal enforcements in 1215. The stud itself exists since 1921 (some photos from national champs held at the stud in 2007).
It was fantastic to ride those horses. They were so different from our good old riding school plods and the excitement of jumping them is indescribable.
We worked a lot on basics and were made to jump with no stirrups and no reins regardless how feisty a stallion we were on at a time. I learnt loads and I hope some of those skills are sitting somewhere deep in my muscle memory and that I will be able to dig them out when I once again have a horse to show-jump on.
It became more and more difficult to come back to the reality of a riding school and that elusive thought of having an own horse went from a dream to a plan! My parents were pretty much emerged into show-jumping by that time, especially my dad who loved trailing us to the stud for training and to various places for competitions. The mental ground was being prepared and we waited for a suitable equine candidate to emerge.
Meanwhile I did my III Sports Class riding my trainer's stallions (to obtain it you need 3 rounds in style & performance classes at 1m (3'3) where your style mark is below 5 points; the points are given for bad approaches/badly ridden corners, position faults over the jumps, wrong striding in lines and doubles as well as for starting and finishing volte where you are judged on trot to canter and canter to trot transitions; the lower the score the better).
Some of my attempts were rather pathetic and maybe it isn't such a bad thing that I have no proper records from back then ;)

We had lots of fun. We travelled a lot and everything was paid by the stud. In fact, back then, it was a great time for junior riders. The studs had to take their horses out and about which meant there was never any particular shortage of them. The transport was free and we usually either slept in a horsebox or rented cheap holiday accommodation if going to a few days long shows.
Even better, on one of cold wintry day of 1996 I met Fetas - a 16.2hh, dark brown trakehner stallion who was to become my first truly own horse. It was the best day of my riding life. Little did I know how much heartache was to follow...

To be continued...



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Wednesday, 7 May 2008

BHS Stage III Preparation - Element 1 (Clothing)

The Element 1 is just a formality as well as some others but since I am doing it from the beginning I will go over all of them regardless the level of difficulty.

Learning Outcomes Element Assessment Criteria Influence

The candidate should be able to:

**Put on exercise / schooling bandages, and know their benefits and disadvantages.

The candidate has achieved this outcome because she/he can:

1.1.1 Demonstrate correct application and securing of exercise and/or schooling bandages
1.1.2 Explain consequences of poor application of exercise and
schooling bandages.
1.1.3 Give examples of suitable materials to use for protection under
bandages.


Reasons To Bandage

Leg bandages are beneficial for several reasons:

- Provide support for tendons and ligaments during strenuous workouts
- Prevent or reduces swelling (edema) after exercise, injury or during box rest
- Protect legs from concussion and impact
- Shield leg wounds from contamination and aid in healing.

More...

"Bandaging is a skill acquired with practice. It has a variety of purposes — warmth, support, protection and immobilisation. Whatever the specific use of the bandage, it must be correctly applied to give firm, even pressure. If a bandage is too tight, it can restrict the circulation and lead to the formation of pressure sores or serious injury such as tendon damage. If a bandage is too loose, it will not serve its purpose and can become a hazard to the horse." Full Article: All About Bandaging by Luisa Smith MRCVS

Applying Hock Bandages

Applying A Hoof And Lower Leg Bandage

Applying Sweat Bandages To The Horse’s Leg

(I don't think I have heard of these before in these terms but the article makes an interesting read...)

Applying Pressure Bandages

Using tail bandages

Bandaging Awkward Areas (Photos)

Exercise Bandages Made Easy

Questions and Answers on Bandaging

When is it appropriate to bandage a leg or wound? If it is appropriate, what is the best material to use? There is a growing variety of commercial bandaging material available to the horse owner and veterinarian; Read full article: Wrapping It Up/The Horse.com


Cold Therapy & Ice Bandages


Video 1: Applying cold therapy to a hock



Video 2: Applying cold therapy to a knee




ALTERNATIVES...what's on the market...

Video 3: How to fit a brushing Boot



Exercise Boots


Travel Boots, Poll & Tail Guards

Competition Boots

Bandages and Pads

Therapeutic Boots

Brushing & Tendon Boots

Stretch & Flex® Training Wraps


**(2008 Equilibrium Catalogue )**

Pic.1 Pic.2
Innovative ACAVALLO (Source: Equine Sports Physio) all in one bandage (Pic.1) and gel under bandage (Pic.2). They are said to: "Greatly reduces the risk of tendon injury caused by over tight bandaging. Provides additional protection from knocks and bumps. Easycare - washable in warm water. Available as an elasticated stretch exercise bandage or acrylic wool stable bandage.
Bandage with complete confidence with these ACAVALLO GEL UNDERBANDAGE WRAPS. Avoid creating damaging pressure on vulnerable tendons.".

Shaped to cover fetlock area. Gives extra protection from knocks.








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Everything is so green :)


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Saturday, 3 May 2008

Badminton Horse Trials via the eyes of a spectator ;)

FAB ACTION PICS: HERE 1 and HERE 2 and HERE 3 and HERE 4.

















Mary Kings fall by Ottinmeg ; more of her fantastic pictures can be found on HERE 1
and HERE 2 and HERE 3 and HERE 4





















still smiling!


back on board
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