Thursday, 6 August 2015

205 - 214: A very busy week - and a new project reveal :)

Oh yes, this is what I do for my lovely young people! Myself as a giraffe (sadly legs extensions don't come with the onesie), Eve as a horse and Caitlin as a Tiger. 

Well, it's another long catch up post because my writing reserves in the evenings were going into other areas of online activity! So, you might need some sustenance and a drop to drink - let's go!

205: Friday 24th July

Rain is the password to today. Everything is soggy but we have a rather good few training sessions.

A little bit of bareback lunging to continue with Eve's stickability skills. Caitlin with Jasper are still doing shorter sessions to build his fitness and condition up slowly but they are doing well, his stamina improving all the time and the quality of his trot is wonderful when he puts his mind to it.

The rain doesn't stop for the rest of the day and my riders and horses (and myself) get a bit of a weather shock after so many days of glorious sunshine. I get back and plunge into hot bath.

206: Saturday 25th July

It hits me as I write this update that even though it has only been a week since Saturday 25th, I barely remember the details of the day. I suppose that's why those who do keep diaries, keep them - to catch those thoughts and moments that for sure will get lost in more current events and more immediate ideas.
It's a good day with one of my lovely lady riders deciding to continue on the programme for the next 3 months after her initial training time. I have been considering extending the minimum sign up term to 6 months instead of 3 but I remain undecided. On one hand, perhaps I would encounter more committed riders who really want to improve their skills and are prepared to go through both highs and lows as the their competence upgrades but I am also mindful of complexities of lives of amateur riders who hold other jobs, families, other sports.

We shall see.

207: Sunday 26th July

Rest day and I really do relish it so much more this week as I have not stopped since last Sunday!

208: Monday 27th July 

Cup of tea at a trot? wink emoticon Empty cups for awareness training. Foundation Programme.

First go at light seat in canter for Nigel. Ticking the progress boxes nicely but most of all, becoming better and better at communicating with the horse :) 

209: Tuesday 28th July

Today, I am saying goodbye to one of my teenage riders as she finishes the regular training and goes first on a few weeks holiday and off to an equine college to start her new adventures.
A week prior I asked her to chose the theme for her last lesson. I thought that maybe she would ask to do more technical jumping lesson or learn something new know, progress some more. The choice of the day? "We will all wear onesies and go for a hack!! Can we??" ;)


The other two riders of the day have a good sessions too and I run the first Development lesson for Mairi who has improved her Foundation skills a lot in the past 3 months.

Spot Mairi on Tilly! First independent Development Programme training session for Mairi involving 40min guided session as usual and 20min practice without me. This format challenges the rider to become more independent, focused and develop her detective skills in finding out what's working well and what still needs some effort. I am watching from afar ;) 
Today is also the end of holidays for Oscar! He is positively massive after spending two weeks in the field playing a horse-who-eats-all-day. I am enjoying our first session after the break, he overreacts a little to the saddle at first playing rodeo bull but settles quickly and gets on with loosening up exercises I ask him to do.

210: Wednesday 29th July

Some photos from today :)

Emma and Repo. Adding poles to simple exercises like serpentines, figure of eights and circles to train focus and accuracy. 

Flatwork session for Bella and Mr Timely whose relationship is so lovely to watch! Timely was on his lazy day today but produced some most supple work to date for Bella. Great work :) 

Last training session for Aimee and Fig before Calmsden Horse Trials this weekend. So pleased with these guys and really keeping all crossed for improved marks in the areas they so improved at home!

Helping with rehabilitative schooling of this lovely mare. Lou and Roulette in walk lesson today. 

211: Thursday 30th July

A very busy day today mostly spent on video editing and writing, catching up with admin and all the office stuff that has to get done around any freelance activity.

212: Friday 31st July 

Today is the sort of day I needed for a long time - a morning teaching and afternoon riding. Oscar is still looking positively butch and loving it ;)

He feels really good to ride though, his back seems to have benefitted hugely from the holiday, he feels so much more supple and balanced. You can't feel his grass belly once he moves, he is forward and happier altogether and we have a very good session.

Another youngster I am schooling goes superb today. She is a lovely Welsh mare who will be for sale very soon and I think someone will get themselves a truly great all-rounder. She is only about 15.1hh but rides bigger, feels very much like she has a leg in each corner and is immensely trainable. The only thing that drives me mad with her is her long mane so I try to plait it if I have the time! I think a Lusitano plait suits her. Don't you think? ;)

She is such a poser!

213: Saturday 1st August

Full day of really good lessons today. I am feeling very lucky to work with these lovely riders and horses, outside in sunshine with summer wind blowing in my face.

214: Sunday 2nd of August

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little - Edmund Burke

Technically, today is my day off work but in real life that's not the case. In fact, today is a kind of a special day which marks the end of preparations and the beginning of a new adventure...
You know, it's very easy to give up on some goals when they require a significant financial input and resources you might not have. When I get asked if I am not tired of trying to pave my own way I sometimes feel as if, in general of course, people do prefer if the triers do give up because that somehow excuses those who don't bother to follow their own deep dreams and plans.

The new venture is my next little step towards those goals I don't want to stop trying to achieve. It's not yet what I would love to create as there are certain restriction on the lease of the facilities that in turn restrict the scope of the venture, but it is a step that I am very much excited about!

"From August 2015, I am teaming up with Brackenhill Stud in Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire to bring an exciting new service to aspiring amateur riders.
This collaboration opens up an opportunity to like minded riders with own horses to livery and train in one place where there are fabulous facilities and a friendly and supportive group of other aspiring riders. You can join Brackenhill livery long term or come on bespoke programme basis for a few months of intensive coaching, motivation and inspiration :)
Please see Aspire website for more information on the coaching side of the project: Aspire Equestrian Coaching Livery with Brackenhill Stud and the Brackenhill Stud’s website for more information about the yard.
And here is a little video showing you the yard and the kind of training options available. We hope this 7min ish footage will help you decide whether our service is that something you are potentially looking for!"

I would love to know what you think...


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