My journey with Abbey & other horsey bits 'n' bobs

Fun at home

Ab Fab is living up to her nick name as we do some jumping practice at home. Considering she’s not jumped on grass since last October, and hasn’t jumped at all for at least 2 months, I was so pleased that we managed to achieve this in about half hour (she’s not very fit!). It made moving all the jumps worthwhile ūüėÜ

A good’un and a bad’un

Overall we’ve had a good day out and I couldn’t expect any more from Abbey.

She loaded and traveled well and was very calm and responsive in the warm up until someone turned out a huge horse and his miniature friend.

The pair galloped up their field which is adjacent to the warm up and Abbey (who was on a long rein) went from E -B in a nano second, turning 180 degrees in the process. After that Abbey was a lost cause; in between snorting and gawping at the minature we had piaffe and passage on the diagonal.  All my usual tricks (changes of rein, transitions, bending and flexing) to get her attention and clam her down had little effect.

Perhaps if I’d more time we could have got it together but only 10 minutes later we were heading into the arena to do our test (looking at everything on the way).

Somehow we managed to keep it together well enough to score 68.94% and came 6th.

The test itself was alright. At home practicing last week I was thinking about keeping her forwarding through the transitions, maintaining impulsion and correct bend (on the left rein). ¬†Today ¬†I was mainly trying to keep Abbey between hand and leg,and ‘catching’ spooks before the affected the test too much. ¬†She shyed at the viewing gallery, at the judge and at my OH who was filming.

We’d 45mins in between the two tests and Abbey really calmed down. ¬†The second felt much better, although she did start to feel a little tired.


Back in the saddle & back on the blog



This image accurately describes the last couple of months…only add a horse to the mix! Not that Abbey has noticed much – she’s had a bit of a holiday.

Continue reading “Back in the saddle & back on the blog”

Meet Betty; the latest edition to the herd…

…or should it be pack…?

Her name is Betty and she is a 5yo Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. ¬†She’s a retired show & breeding dog who came from a lovely lady I met through the breed club. She’s had two litters and will be the star of her very own blog very soon.

She’s proved a bit of a distraction and is part of the reason why there’s been no update for a couple of months.

It’s been that and the fact that I’ve been rather busy and unmotivated. ¬†First of all work took me to France for a week, then I caught a nasty cold and then, well I was just feeling sorry for myself.

But I’m pleased to say that with the longer days I’ve found my motivation and Abbey & I are back in full swing with regular jumping lessons, interval training and a focus on ‘uphill’ in our flatwork.

Abbey hadn’t jumped since autumn last year, mainly because she¬†changed shape over the winter and her GP didn’t fit. ¬†We (my RI & I) expected a little exuberance the first time we got the jumps out but that didn’t happen until lesson #3.

Continue reading “Meet Betty; the latest edition to the herd…”

One of *those* schooling sessions

I know I shouldn’t say it but I’m really chuffed with myself tonight. ¬†I managed to turn a schooling session that was fast heading toward disaster round to a productive, worthwhile session.

I did make a couple of rookie mistakes early on: #1 trimming Abbey’s ear fluff and #2 testing how Abbey goes without a flash – both on one of the windiest nights of the year so far. The result? A spooky pony armed with supersonic hearing and her favourite evasion (running with her mouth open wide like a hippo and a neck as high and long as a giraffe).

Continue reading “One of *those* schooling sessions”

Center lines, prelim 13 & equi-pilates

I’ve not long returned home from a fascinating equi-pilates session. It was the second session in a series of three and the insights were brilliant.

Last week’s session was an assessment. ¬†Leonie (the instructor) asked me to do some very simple movements and assessed my range of movement and how developed various muscles are. I was given some exercises to do four times a day….

Continue reading “Center lines, prelim 13 & equi-pilates”

Prelim 12 practice


The next Horse and Hound e-training session was about the free walk on a long rein. ¬†First attempt on Tuesday evening was better than Wednesday’s but the video camera failed again!

Unfortunately, having been put through her paces the day before we were lacking our normal ‘forward’ but I’m still relatively pleased with the result.

Continue reading “Prelim 12 practice”

First first of 2017

2017 is off to a great start with 67.85% and qualification for the second round of Trailblazers.

Sadly there’s no video…not sorted that out yet but we got some really constructive comments from the judge and some really encouraging remarks.

I’m delighted that we got 2 x 8s for our upwards canter transitions (and one of the downwards), we’ve been really working on those. ¬†The 6.5 and comment for the other canter-trot transition was fair – just shows how important it is to collect before the transition and that we’ve more work to do to get that consistency.

I’m disappointed with the marks for our 20m trot circles. ¬†It’s made me realise that while I ‘get’ 20m in a short school, I need more practice in a long school. ¬†Need to revise the H&H e-learning 1st lesson and practice in a full length school!

Continue reading “First first of 2017”

So the mini-adventure didn’t happen, I’ve learnt the wrong dressage test for Saturday, Abbey’s had 3 days off in a row this week and¬†while my new funky gadget held the phone to record my schooling session, my phone keeps crashed resulting in a 4 minute video of me getting on and walking.

That makes me sound miserable, I’m not, these things happen.

Continue reading

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑