Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Being a little...

...busy recently hence no updates. I am working on adding some more teaching in over the winter, details soon.
I was also chosen to go to a viewing day to be scrutinised and assessed whether I deserve an equestrian fund...the day is on the 13th October so more details some time then.

Today the autumn 'returned' (after it went away for a while and the weather was just fabulous) - I wore my Toggi overtrousers for the first time since March. Rain, here I come.
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Saturday, 27 September 2008

About 3 years ago...

...I went for a fun jumping lesson with a friend of mine at Wildwoods Riding Centre. There was a photographer on site who asked whether I would mind if he took some pictures of my session for the centre. I agreed.
A couple of days ago my friend emailed me to say the Wildwoods have a new website and they put a pic on me on it ;) So here we go, if you click on the image it will take you to their site. Have a look around, they are one of the friendliest riding centres I have got a pleasure to visit (that's also where I did the BHS Young Instructor Of The Year South East Qualifier and the Wildwoods owner not only picked me up from the station but offered a delicious free lunch - as silly me I didn't take anything with me!)
It's a funny picture, you can clearly see my tendency to stiffen up through my right shoulder which I have worked very hard on and hope it's not as bad as on that image anymore!

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I think I am going to be spoilt - all this media attention;))

First a Radio interview and now I have also ended up doing an interview for www.polot.co.uk (site has an English version but notall areas are translated) - Polish/English site about living and working in the UK. I used to do a bit of writing and someone I know, and who now works for Polot, asked me whether they can write about my freelance work in their 'interesting jobs' section ;)
I agreed, of course, and here is the finished article (in Polish only I am afraid, so for my Polish readers only - unless you fancy learning a new language;)

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Friday, 26 September 2008

See inside horse's stomach - gastroscopy

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National Dressage Championships 2008

HorseHero filmed some of the riders at National Dressage Champs - well worth watching!
They filmed both warm ups and tests itself. The uploaded videos so far are:
1) Gemma Green and Showtime (plus Gemma's warmup with dressage legend, Jennie Loriston-Clarke, before her test in the Inter 1 Freestyle to Music)
2) Anne-Marie Perry and Aristo (warm up with Emile Faurie)
3) Laura Bechtolsheimer and Andretti (warm up with her father, Dr. Bechtolsheimer).

Click on image below to watch all three videos and check back soon for more.

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Thursday, 25 September 2008

Arte Y Pico Award


Fellow blogger, "Me,Mira and The Racehorse Dude" awarded me with Arte Y Pico Award.
What is the meaning of the expression: Arte y Pico - well, [according to Arte y Pico original blog] "basically, ironically, it translates into a wonderful phrase in Mexico, “lo maximo.” LOL! It will never find its counterpart in English, but if it HAD to, it would be something like, Wow. The Best Art. Over the top."


Here are the blogs I am awarding with Arte y Pico (some may have already received this, I am not sure!!):

1) PeachyHollow - for her wonderful tale of everyday life of a creative soul; for all the pictures - so full of life and so true. Amazing blog.

2) The Eventing Percheron - story of Brego, the Percheron of many talents; plenty of high quality videos and stunning pictures documenting fascinating road to success for both Brego and his owner. Knowledgeable piece of writing where you can laugh and learn in the same time.

3) Box Of Stars - for a fantastic idea for a blog - you must visit to check it out!!

4) Horse Hero Celeb Blogs - extraordinary insight into lives of top riders (including coverage of 2008 Olympics with 'behind the scenes' pictures) in various equestrian disciplines. One not to miss!

5) Zdankowski Blog This one is for my Polish friends only, I am afraid (as is kept in Polish language), a blog of a photographer, an old friend who took pictures on my website and who writes with good old Polish sense of humour :) Not to mention the presence of great photos from various pursuits!

There are some
Rules that come with the Award:

1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award, creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogger community, no matter of language.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award-winning, has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.

4) Award-winning and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y pico” blog , so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5) To show these rules.
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Memories

For some strange reason, when I sat on a train this morning, the image of my Anglo-Arab stallion popped into my head and wouldn't go away. I sold him about this time of year in 2005 after owning him for over 7 years. He was 3.5yrs old when I bought him, a gangly, steel grey, almost black, so full of himself you had the impression he would burst if you said something too loud. He was extremely sharp and quick, interested in everything, always on the vigil and at first I couldn't quite work out how to deal with him. We got there in the end.
I have a few strong memories of him. One that visited me today was of an early morning at a yard I worked at the time. I kept him there on livery and when I arrived to school the horses he was lying down munching lazily on some hay on the ground. It was the day after one of many exams at uni and I went into his box, sat next to him and chatted to him about marketing-mix.
He stayed lying down, let me rest against him and nuzzled my riding boots; he seemed to listen, watching me resolutely with his big, bright black eyes.

Memories like this come back to me now and then and make me want to have my own horse again. No amount of working with horses makes up for that bond you have with your own.
I will write and post some pictures of Sapphire when I get to write more episodes of My Life With Horses series.
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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Staff Training and learning process

One of my tasks at work is to watch upon staff training and prepare students for BHS exams - one of the girls today, who is working on her jumping following failing this element at her Stage II, insisted on landing half way up the horse's neck when the horse put the brakes on. See, you can tell someone over and over that they need to sit deep, keep both seat bones in the saddle, keep shoulders back, keep legs closed around the horse and ride it from back to front but until someone ends up with horse's head in between their legs with reins wrapped around horse's ears they just keep leaning forwards.
She jumped beautifully afterwards. Sat up too ;)
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Monday, 22 September 2008

Internet...

...is way too addictive. I spent ages browsing and reading and watching today. And I am still on it now which will probably mean I will be half-asleep tomorrow. On a good note I managed to move forward the writing of a riding programme I am working on so that's a bonus! The programme is something that will form foundation of my future riding academy so it better be good.
It's only a draft so far but the writing process moves my thinking turbines and I come up with more ideas and solutions that would otherwise remain undiscovered.
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Saturday, 20 September 2008

Friday, 19 September 2008

My AI Certificate arrived today :)

Three things happened which made today a fabulous day: 1) Ricky took me for a lovely breakfast in a charming French cafe :)



2) The weather was truly gorgeous and 3) !!! My AI Certificate arrived this afternoon...

Please note: all the signatures has been removed, image watermarked; please do not copy the below image.



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Thursday, 18 September 2008

I WON my first ever PRIZE! :):)

I got an exciting phone call yesterday from Cate Ashton of Manage My Horse who informed me that I won their 'Tell a Friend' competition and will receive a £400 worth of vouchers of my choice!! Looks like my next exams are being booked very shortly :)

The below is a copy of a part of the newsletter that went out to all MMH members:

Click on image below to enlarge:

Here is a LINK to a web version of the above newsletter (scroll down the page).

To say I am thrilled is an understatement!!!!
Have a look at the Manage My Horse site as various competitions are run all the time and some fantastic prizes are awaiting :)
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Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Reading This Week - "Dressage Today" from USA

Thanks to my dear American friend (virtual hugs to you Candace!!!) who, since April this year, was putting aside issues of "Dressage Today" and have just sent them over to me I've been having a magazine reading delight!! The articles are great and very informative, I almost missed my train station today while reading through one of the stories (Guenter Seidel road to Grand Prix).
While browsing the info on "Dressage Today" I noticed you can subscribe to an online version for just $10 (12 issues I guess?). Now, that's the thought...:)

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Friday, 12 September 2008

Golf ;)


Ricky's mum came to London with a visit so we took her to some of our favourite green places :)
And we played golf...uhm, 9 hole putting rather ;) I came last.
True golf must be quite a nice pastime though. I would definitely like to have go at a game at one of those massive, beautifully kept courses :)
Or ride on one as a second best.
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Thursday, 11 September 2008

And so I gave my first ever Radio Interview!

The http://www.horseradionetwork.com/ phoned a few hours ago. I won't say too much as not to give it away before it airs but it was a very interesting experience :)
Watch this space for a link to the podcast (possibly in 2 weeks time).
I wish I was thinking quicker when replying to questions - well, will have to work on my interview skills (never know when I might need it again;))).
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Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Recording Tomorrow with Horse Radio Network...

Time flew - it's my interview tomorrow with Horse Radio Network (http://www.horseradionetwork.com/). They will call me at 8.30PM tomorrow so keep your fingers crossed for me sounding half wise ;))))
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If you are quick you can win a pot of Biotal Equine Gold for your horse!

Great Team at Manage My Horse keeps coming up with fab competitions. The best thing is that they announce the winner very quickly so you don't have to wait for months for your prize!
All you have to do is to join the site (Free) and keep your eyes open for excellent goodies (including saddles, rugs, grooming equipment and many more).

Today, you can win a pot of Biotal Equine Gold (http://www.equinegold.co.uk/) - you just need to be quick! Register on the Manage My Horse site: http://www.manage-my-horse.com/, go to the site's Forum where in Announcements you will find a post you need to reply to by 9pm tonight.

Good luck!
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Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Windsor Castle FEI European Jumping and Dressage Championships 2009 - Tickets are on Sale Now!

Windsor is one of my most favourite towns so I was really pleased to hear that they won a bid to stage the FEI European Jumping and Dressage Championships 2009!
It is the first time that The European Jumping Championships and the European Dressage Championships have ever been held at the same venue.


Tickets are on sale from the 8th of September.

Seating Plan

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Monday, 8 September 2008

Express Eventing International Cup - website is now Live




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10.000 visits

I have just looked at my site meter - it shows 10.000 visits :) Thank you all for stopping by!! :)
( I installed the site meter in the end of Oct/beginning of Nov 2007).
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UK Coaching Certificate (UKCC) - Level 2 and 3

Following my email to the BHS where I asked whether my Log Book arrived safely and about the UKCC for BHS Instructors I received their reply today. The Log Book landed on their desk with no problems and I now have to wait up to 6 weeks while the BHS writes to sample of people I logged in.

"With regard to the UKCC Level 2, as you passed your PTT prior to January 2007, you just need to attend one of our Train to Gain days which are being organised by the BHS Training Department. You will find information about where these are taking place and the cost and content on our webiste at www.bhs.org.uk."

I looked through the info available on the website but cannot find any fees...Here is what I did find:

UKCC Level Two 'Train to Gain' courses

Considering I am thinking of doing my BHSII next year (Intermediate Teaching (IT) test in February and Stage IV Riding in May) maybe it will be better to just wait until then and take a Level 3 straight away (if possible - need to email BHS again!).

Here is some information from the Pony Club (PCUK) website about for the Level 2 and 3 UKCC in Equestrian Sports
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Friday, 5 September 2008

Burghely Dressage Results - updated as they go in (just refresh the page)

Fantastic result from Ruth Edge and Mr. Dumbledore! She is a one classy rider in this phase!

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Thursday, 4 September 2008

Project horse for the winter

I've been looking here and there for an inexpensive project horse to bring on over the winter and sell on in the summer next year without realising I might have found one just under my very nose.
The horse in question is stabled at one of the stables I work at and I've been working with him for the last few weeks. He has contact and straightness issues alongside being very green schooling wise, having rider trust issues etc. He has fantastic temperament though and is a very sweet horse to deal with. If he improves as he does at the moment I will see if things can be moved forwards...

We had a little breakthrough today when he stopped hiding behind the bit and took much better contact in side-reins. Miles from good still but here's a short video of some better moments:

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Burghley Horse Trials - Started

Updates: http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/burghley08/

Video Blog:



Video Blog:



TROT UP HIGHLIGHTS

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Competition Horse For Sale

Someone I know is selling her promising Dutch Warmblood, 7yrs old, 16.1hh (but rides bigger), good paces, excellent jump. Would make a nice eventer. She is looking for a competition home for this fellow. If anyone would like more details then email/call me for contact number to the seller.
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Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Took my camera with me today: Some of the ponies I work with on Tuesdays

Self-Importance


Detachment


Dreaminess

Independence

Curiosity

Gentleness

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Monday, 1 September 2008

Biting the bullet

Pic.: Having a little rest - 'do you have polos or are you going to take endless pics?'

To my delight Ricky offered to pay for my next choice of exam so I bit the bullet and we booked my Stage IV Care (Intermediate Stable Managers) for the 1st December.
Unfortunately, I have to wait for my AI Certificate to be issued before I can apply for Intermediate Teaching exam so it will probably have to wait until next year (unless I am very lucky and Warwickshire College still have places for November exam left next month). The BHS says you have to allow minimum of 28 days for the Certificate to be posted.
I sent off my Log Book and copies of documents required by Recorded Delivery today.
The difference in between Stage IV and Stages I,II and III is that there isn't really a book to fall back on. You have to draw from your experiences and everyday events, read Vet manuals and stable management materials.
They want to see you being well and truly immersed in managing a yard and you have to look like you know what you are doing.
Considering I spend 40 hours a week teaching and just a few on the yard I am just a tad bit worried...

For more information on the BHS Exam structure click on image below:


Pic.: British Horse Society (BHS) Coaching Examination Structure


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