Monday, 29 December 2014

Favourite Photos of 2014

Hello!

I was browsing through some photos the other day of Pea and decided I would put together a few of my favourites from this year. Unfortunately I never seem to have many of me riding him so I will have to make sure this changes for 2015! 



The first photo is one of my absolute favourites! It makes me realise that I should really jump him more often! The second makes me realise that although early mornings are just not my thing, the beautiful sunrises and his little happy face makes it all worth while! I don't know why the fourth one is one of my favourites seeing as he's caked in mud after just being turned out but I think it's just because that's how he is, he nearly always rolls when I turn him out and turning him out wet = muddy pony! The last one shows him looking at the minis that are in a field when we go out hacking and he hates them! Six years on and he still won't go near them! 



The first one in this just shows what Pea is like at times! I was mucking his stable out and tied him under the loft to come back and find that he had untied himself and was waiting patiently at the entryway area! He could have easily ran off! The second is my little niece leading him after I had just competed him; she absolutely adores him and always wants to come and see him! 3 = Pea being good at selfies! He's forever sticking his nose in the camera making it difficult to get decent ones at times! The middle row are some my dad took the other day with the middle one making me smile at his little face! 7 is the way he looks slightly upset at having to wear his hood out to the field! 8 is my absolute favourite and 9 is the fact that he's so lazy when he's laying in the field that he'll happily let me sit on him and take lots of photos as he really doesn't want to get up and do work! 

Hope you like this photos! It was so hard choosing just a few (okay, maybe more than a few) but he can be so photogenic at times!

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

Friday, 26 December 2014

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!

Hello!


This year seems to have flown past and yet University seems like forever ago! Looking back at the goals I made for this year I've realised they haven't quite gone to plan! But hey ho. 

The goals I made for 2014 were:

  • to get his canter sorted: we are getting better! Since his 3 month holiday his canter seems to be better than ever though we do need some fine tuning! He needs to work a little bit more from behind but I think he tires out which causes him to get flat. Hopefully once he's a bit fitter he will lift up better and not just pull and nearly fall over :/
  • try to jump more regularly: this has not happened! I think the last time we jumped was around April. Obviously the three month holiday didn't help matters & now he's coming back into work still. We have been doing more pole work and hopefully we'll build up to doing some odd jumping more often. 
  • volunteer more: I have done the odd dressage writing this year and also did car parking at Osberton (though strictly speaking, that wasn't volunteering!). Next year I aim to do some charity running/biking events and potentially help at more events as that's the area I still want to work in. 
  • get fitter: this is one of those that resurfaces year after year as I'm not too good at sticking to it! However, fingers crossed 2015 is the year that it will happen! 
This brings me onto the goals I aim for 2015:
  • to get to unaffiliated novice: his canter is getting so much better and hopefully after some lessons we'll have activities to focus on to help him lift his back and get more power from behind. I am also planning on joining a local riding club so that I can get out to more clinics and competitions. 
  • to participate in charity runs & get fitter: I seriously need to work on this one as I feel that Pea could work better if I strengthened my core and was fitter. I have a load of people behind me on twitter knowing my aim so I have no excuses! 
To be honest, they are the main goals I have for 2015, but at least with only two it means that I have a better chance of sticking to them! 

What are your plans for 2015? 

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

Monday, 22 December 2014

[Product Review] Horslyx Licks

Hello!



I've been a bit quieter on the blog as I've not had many ideas in mind. Luckily, a good hack out on Pea always seems to give me a few ideas! One product that I buy which I often overlook is the Horslyx licks. Pea loves these and definitely prefers them to the likit ones; I think this is because the likit ones work if you have the holder which I don't - plus the swinging one would drive him mad and he'll end up ignoring it! 

Last Saturday (13th Dec) I got Pea clipped and the lick came in great use as a distraction and the small ones are really easy to hold without it becoming too hard for the horse to use. Normally Pea is sedated for clipping but I couldn't get anyone out when the vet was out so I took the risk to not sedate him but grabbed some sedalin instead just in case. Turns out that I didn't need the sedalin as he was actually a perfect saint but the lick came in handy for when he started to get a bit bored and a bit antsy. 

Horslyx are good as they are not completely full of sugar but do also contain a nutritionally balanced formula so I don't feel quite so bad when I forget to take it out his stable at night! (Luckily, Pea won't spend all night having it, I think he just has the odd lick and that's it!). There are four different types - original, mint, respiratory and garlic - so there's a good choice. Pea often has the mint as that's the one that I can normally find but he's also had the original and respiratory once - I am actually planning on grabbing the respiratory one as a bit of a Christmas present! 

There are three sizes - the mini which is perfect for clipping, stretches or taking out to shows as a treat, the 5kg which is a good size tub and lasts a while so is great for leaving in the stable, especially if they're in for a while and the 15kg which is a field type sized so good if they're out in individual or paired turnout and there's not a great deal of grass - I don't think they would go down too great in my field with 10-20 horses out! 

The one downsize is the orange muzzle Pea gets from them which he likes to then pass onto you when he decides to rub his nose over your coat or if you give a treat afterwards! Or, as I once accidentally did in that I forgot to take it out the night before a competition when he'd had a bath so he decided to wipe it all over his legs! Not helpful! 

Overall, I love the horslyx product range and they are the lick company that I will always go back to as I know that Pea gets on with them really well! 

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

Ps: apologies for the not so great photos, Pea wasn't being very cooperative! It didn't help that his friends all came galloping to the gate when he was outside the field on his way in so he had a few rears and tantrums!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

[Laura Loves] Spooks Equestrian

Hello!

'Spooks Equestrian' is a brand that I discovered at Burghley when some of their items were under the riding hats that I was browsing. Their items are a bit out of budget (especially at the moment!) but a girl can always dream, right?


Snoopy Teddy Vest - £100
This vest is the product I saw in the Townfields stand and I absolutely love it! I think the large collar, which is fleece lined, is a great feature! It would be perfect for those days when it's a bit chilly but you don't quite need a coat! This one is on the website I was directed to on the Spooks website but on the Townfields website they have one in Olive which is £79.95. Typically I would go more for the navy as that is what most of my riding gear is, but now I'm actually thinking that olive would make a nice change! 


Snoopy Jacket - £146.95
Similar to the vest is this jacket which would be the perfect jacket for winter! It looks quite thick but without being too big and bulky, and again the high collar is great for protecting against the elements! I think the white piping along the edge of the overlap and round the top of the collar gives the jacket that something 'extra'. I really like the simplicity of this jacket and it would be perfect to wear anywhere - yard or shops! 


Crown Saddle Cloth - £53
The final product I'm going to feature is this saddle cloth - let's be honest, like I wouldn't include a saddle pad if there was one?! I love the crown image on the corner of this -that's basically what sells it to me! Again it's navy which is just a classical, timeless colour to me! 

They have a load of other products in their range such as hats, headbands, scarves, shirts, show shirts, breeches, the list goes on! I would definitely recommend that you go check them out! 

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

Monday, 8 December 2014

Hacking Opposites

Hello!




I feel that I rarely post about Pea on here any more so I thought I'd do a small post to share with you something which happens a lot when it comes to hacking with Pea. Tonight is the start of him being in at night as he'll be clipped Wednesday so I wanted to start bringing him in a bit beforehand so he gets used to it again. I decided tonight to take him for a quick hack before it got dark...however, with Pea being the way he is, the plan didn't quite work out! Instead, Pea decided that it would be oh so great to spook at, what I'm sure was, absolutely nothing. I would happily ask for trot and we'd do about five steps before Pea launches forward for no apparent reason! This became a frequent thing so instead of trotting the majority of the way round as planned we ended up walking trying to get him to focus on me instead of his brain going into overdrive about potential threats! (The photo above is so blurry as Pea decided that would be a great time to stop dead about a bush and it took three attempts with them all being the same!) 

This is quite a recurrent theme when it comes to hacking with Pea. You know those times when you fancy going for a nice relaxing hack? I can't plan them with Pea because if I'm up for a relaxing hack he will spook at every small thing he can possibly find! Oh the joys! Luckily, not every hack is like this but he does seem to like adding in at least one silly spook when we go hacking! 

Sorry it's not the greatest post but I feel that I should include more about Pea as he was the reason I started this blog :) 

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

Friday, 5 December 2014

My Christmas Wishlist

Hello!

As it is that time of year, how I could I resist doing a Christmas wishlist? Being the typical horse owner that I am, quite a few of the things on my wishlist end up being for the horse or horse related (which my sisters hate so I'm hoping for a coffee maker off them ;) )! This year is no different, and I am actually refraining from making it basically a saddle pad fuelled post! My addiction is in full force at the moment as there are so many gorgeous ones around but I'll be good and just show you the one!


How gorgeous is this saddle pad? I am in love with, I kid you not! I think it's one of those colours that will suit most horses and it's just so pretty! It's the LeMieux Lustre Dressage Square in Teal and can be found on the Horse Health website. It retails at £39.95 which isn't exactly extreme for a saddle pad but is probably slightly more than I normally pay, but it's just so pretty! They have some gorgeous other coloured pads such as this Burnt Copper one (which has been featured before on here) and also this Benetton Blue one.



Second, continuing on with the 'for horses' and also on the Horse Health website are these LeMieux Pro-Sport Support Boots in Brown. They also come in other colours such as Burgundy, Grey, Beige and the traditional Black or White. I actually find it quite hard to find boots that come in brown and that don't cost a lot (these are £29.95). If anyone has ever used these, or similar ones please let me know! 


I've had my eye on these John Whitaker Clarino Breeches for a while now, since my local Mole Valley shop started stocking them. I particularly like them in the grey as I have two navy jods/breeches so it would make a nice change. These aren't overly expensive either, I think they retail around £50? 




The fourth item is this gorgeous HV Polo Nora softshell jacket (£99) which I have spotted on the Equus website. My current riding jacket is my uni one which is also a softshell jacket and I absolutely love it, I just question whether I should still be wearing my uni one since I've left! The added bonus with this one is that it comes with a hood, always a bonus with the English weather! I also like the colour of this one - it's quite bold for winter which is something I actually like! 


The final object is this gorgeous horse hoof ring from Harriet Glen who I featured on my first Christmas Website Gift Guide. This ring is a new one that she has out which I love, just as much as the snaffle one which I featured before. This ring is selling at £30 and I think it's just so unique and absolutely gorgeous! 


Thanks for reading,
Laura xx










Wednesday, 3 December 2014

[Monthly Review] November 2014

Hello!




Finally, I have more to report on this month! As you may all be aware, Pea had 3 months off whilst I was on placement and so November has been spent bringing him back into work. He has been surprisingly so well behaved, it is honestly like riding a different horse at times! I expected him to play up a bit about things, nap out hacking, and definitely some bucking but so far so good! 

We spent the first week just walking and then progressed to introducing some trotting. Over the next week and a half I gradually increased the trotting. I didn't plan on introducing canter until about the 4th week mark, however after 2.5/3 weeks Pea clearly had other ideas and decided to introduce canter himself! I decided to go along with it and just let him have a short canter before gradually increasing it. I've been really surprised by how well he has been out cantering, I genuinely expected him to do a few excited bucks but so far the only buck he's done was walking down a hill! He's really good in the fact that he will come back to trot when I ask him, even if he feels a bit strong, so even if he takes off with me I can trust that he'll stop! 

I have two short schooling sessions with him. The first was mainly just to do some pole exercises and we stuck to walk and trot. He's a bit stiff in his stifle so the vet recommended that I try to do some pole work at least once or twice a week and this is something I definitely need to incorporate more, especially as he sometimes seems to get lazy and forget he has four legs that need to actually come off the ground in order to move! The second was definitely more of a schooling session and there is so much we have to work on! He was very reluctant about cantering in the school so I'm going to just incorporate short canter work whilst schooling but mainly focus on building the canter up out hacking so he gets stronger and fitter and then hopefully when we build it up in the school he will get there - here's hoping though as canter has always been a big issue with us! 

Unfortunately, Pea has hardly done any work the past week/two weeks as I was ill last week with a really bad cold that just exhausted me and now this week I have an annoying sore throat/throat infection which I was really ill with but does seem to be getting slightly better. Annoyingly the doctor said that I still have 3-4 more days of it though, and I can't take antibiotics either :( 

Pea is getting clipped next week and will also start coming in at night so I can finally crack on with upping his work more as at the moment he just gets so sweaty! I might book in for a lesson during December, but it will depend how he is going. I am also thinking of joining a local Riding Club so that I can get him out more often next year :) 

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

Monday, 1 December 2014

Christmas Website Gift Guide #2

Hello!

I recently did a post featuring five websites as a bit of a Christmas gift guide idea (though it can be used all year round) and it has proved slightly popular so I have decided to do a 'part 2' featuring some more websites with some amazing products! (If you missed the first one you can read it here!)

The first website that I would like to introduce you to is the wonderful 'Gemosi'. The company create gorgeous horse hair jewellery meaning that you can have a piece of your horse with you wherever you go or it can be a lovely tribute to a horse that may have passed away. Each piece is handmade and there are items for men as well! Unfortunately, the last date for Christmas delivery was the 28th, however they still have gift certificates and these pieces would make great gifts all year round! I have two favourites: the first is the Harmony Infinity Bracelet (135) and the second is the Blush Bracelet (€179). I love the Infinity bracelet as I just think it's a true representative that horses will always be a part of my life one way or another and the sterling silver snaffle bit on the Blush bracelet makes it just that bit different. 




'EquiNutritive' is a fantastic new company who have just recently launched and specialise in a back to basics approach of equine feed and supplements. EquiNutritive are currently the only company in the UK to stock Chia de Gracia chia seeds (you can read more on their website, Chia de Gracia's site or head over to Roosa's blog for a review). Other products include a 'No More Nerves Blend' (which has some amazing ingredients to provide a calming effect on the endocrine and nervous systems!) and a 'Golden Oldies Blend' as well as a few others. They are a super friendly company and I would definitely recommend that you visit their site as we all know that our equine friends are probably one of the most treated at Christmas! I am planning on putting in an order for the chia seeds shortly so keep posted for a review of how I get on in the future!




The next company is one called 'The Cosy Hat' which is a company that produces hats with a hole in the back for pony tails. There are two types - the slouchy which is perfect for everyday wear and the sports which is ideal for wearing whilst doing sports such as running, rowing, round the yard, etc. The hats come in a wide assortment of colours, including some bright ones so are ideal for winter runs! You also have the option of having a bobble on top which is something I prefer! These are such a great invention as I always see so many nice hats but hate having my hair down at the yard as it gets in the way so with these you get the best of both! I love the grey and cream slouchy one, mainly as I feel the sports ones might clash a bit with my ginger hair - though I might get away with the green! These are such a good bargain as well at only £14.95 - the same price, if not cheaper, than ordinary hats on the market!



I hope you like these websites! I seriously need to get cracking on with my Christmas shopping as I've only bought one present so far!

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

PS - I am a finalist for Haynet's Blogger of the Year 2014. If you would like to vote for me, or anyone else, you can do so here




Saturday, 29 November 2014

[Product Review] Hy Diesel Jodhpurs

Hello!


S.Milner & Son - £25

I have owned these jods for around 10 or 11 months now and decided I should do a review on them as I love them. Normally I prefer breeches, but as they can be slightly on the expensive side, these jods are the perfect item for everyday wear. They cost less than £30 and considering how I wear them most often, they are lasting really well! 

One feature that I absolutely adore is the pockets! They feature a front zip pocket which is something I always look for in riding legwear. I hate jods that don't have a zip pocket as I hate the ones inside so like a zip one to put my phone in when I ride. Not only do these jods feature that pocket, but they also have 2 rear pockets and a front slant pocket - absolute bonus! 

The one feature, however, that I'm not so keen on is the leg. They are quite long for me so I have to fold them up at the bottom which makes them slightly bulky which is a bit of a pain under socks and if I wear thicker socks then it's a bit of a hassle with my riding boots. 

Overall I would give these a 4 out of 5 as they are super comfortable - you can easily wear them all day! Also the pockets are so useful and for the price that they are they are good quality and have lasted me a while so far! 

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

PS - in case you're not aware, I've been nominated for Haynet's blogger of the year along with some fabulous other bloggers. If you would like to vote you can do so here!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

[Laura Loves] HKM Lauria Garrelli Champagne Collection

Hello!

So I was browsing the 'Equus' website the other day and had a peek at their lookbook section when I came across the HKM Lauria Garrelli collection, especially this Champagne horse set. After browsing the Equus site, I then went and perused on the 'HKM' website where I discovered that there are also other items in the Champagne range and it's all so gorgeous!


Saddle Pad (Deep Blue) - £34




The first item that is my favourite is this saddle pad. The pad comes in a dressage and GP cut as well as there being three colours to choose from - deep blue, deep green and ivory. I can't decide between the blue or the green as they are both so nice! I really like the patches and this is continued with their other items. 

Another favourite is this Anti Sweat rug that's not featured on Equus but I found on the HKM website:
Anti-Sweat Rug (Deep Green) - £61.95
I really like the set that you can buy on Equus with the saddle pad, bandages and ear bonnet. I like the patch on the bandages but it would really rest bandaging skills to ensure the patch is at the top in the right place! 


Bandages (Deep Green) - £20

Other items on the HKM website in the Champagne range include a lunge line, head collar and turnout rugs. There are also other collections in the Lauria Garrelli range such as the Majestic (another favourite), Naples and Milano. I strongly recommend you check out both the Equus and HKM website to view the range!

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

Monday, 24 November 2014

Christmas Website Gift Guide

Hello!

This year, instead of a normal gift guide, I thought I would feature 5 websites which sell some amazing things to give some inspiration for Christmas gifts!

The first is one which I have featured before and that is the wonderful 'The Dog & Dobbin'. If I had unlimited funds, I would buy so much of their stuff! They sell items such as scarves, photo frames, jewellery and mugs among other things and they are affordable which is always an added bonus! Some of my favourite items include this Silver Snaffle Leather Bracelet (£45):



I also like the Derby Stirrup Desk Clock (£32.95) and the Dog Breed Silhouette (£35). 

The second site is 'Equidivine' and is perfect for those competing in dressage, show-jumping or those who just love glitter! Equidivine sells products such as crystal plaiting bands, sparkle hoof varnish, glitter paint and stencils for use on the horse. My absolute favourite, which I might purchase in the future, are the Swarovski Crystal Plaiting Bands. These come in a whole range of colours (I'm possibly thinking blue which will hopefully stand out more against Pea's grey mane) and come in either single, double or triple rows! The price ranges from £0.99 for one single row band to £19.99 for 20 triple row bands and so these are definitely great value for money!



Next to be featured is the ever so talented Kathy from 'Kfsoriginals'. Kathy's items are not mass produced so if you see something you like, I suggest you snap it up quick! I think this is something which I love about her stuff as it makes the item that bit more unique and you can be sure that no one else will buy the same present! Her artwork is amazing and she designs on either ceramic, glass, slate or canvas which in my opinion is even better! I think the things she does on slate is my favourite as it's that bit different and the slate makes for an excellent background! 



Another site is 'Bespoke Browbands' who make handmade browbands, dog collars, bracelets and keyrings. They have a range of different browbands which can be made either beaded, plaited, have a name stitched on or just plain. I really like the beaded ones. I love that they are person specific, so you can't order from their website as you need to email them with what you want, therefore making them unique just to you! They are actually fully booked for Christmas, however you can order a gift card if you're planning on getting one made for someone. I do actually quite like the colour theme of this browband and I feel like it's quite Christmassy? However, I think I would go with a blue bead theme for Pea!




Finally, the last website to be featured is 'Harriet Glen Creations'.  Harriet creates bronze finished resin sculptures, cast bronzes and jewellery. I particularly love the rings and the bronze finished sculptures. My favourite sculptures are the Shetland pony and the one entitled 'Elegance', however my absolute favourite product is this Snaffle ring (£22). It's not too over the top and I think it demonstrates an equestrian love without being too 'in your face'! 



Hope this has given you a few ideas for any gifts if you need any?

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

P.S. I've been shortlisted for Haynet's blog of the year. If you enjoy my blog and would like to vote for me then you can do here

Friday, 21 November 2014

So Quotable

Hello!

This is a bit more of a fun and random post really, but whilst I was trawling through Pinterest, I cam across some quotes that I just had to share! These are quite comical but I feel that they relate to Pea, and no doubt some of you may find your horse/s relate too! 



This is definitely Pea down to the 't'! He can be covered in mud, but you ask him to walk through a boggy patch and he slams the brakes on! There's this particular part in his field which is always boggy so if he's on that side of the stream, I have to walk him up the hill to come back down to the gate just to avoid the bog! Even if I pick the part which isn't that bad, he refuses to walk through it! Muddy puddles are the same! The only time he will walk through them is when he's going back out to the field! If our arena gets a bit flooded, he will spook at the puddles, go slow, side step them, anything and everything to try and avoid them! Rolling however, a completely different story! 



Every now and then, Pea likes to trick everyone! In the warm-up, he will start going really nicely, pretty much the best he's ever gone, and you start to get slightly hopeful that the test might actually go well and then bam! You enter the arena and he suddenly decides that everything is worth looking at with his head in the air! No matter how hard you try, he is not going back to that superstar pony he was in the warm-up so you just have to smile and laugh! 


I do love some of the comments that dressage judges write! I remember the times when Pea would buck during a test and you'd see the judges comment of 'slightly disobedient' or 'wasn't really working with you today but a good try'! There was one particular time when Pea had a right bucking fit half way up the centre line and I had to try my hardest to stay on (luckily I did); when I received my score sheet, the comment to go with that was: "nice entry. disobedient. Not quite straight." I think we all laughed at that! 

Let me know if any of these relate to you and your horse/s or if you've found any others!

Thanks for reading, 
Laura xx



Thursday, 20 November 2014

We're Getting There

Hello!

As many of you will know, Pea has recently had a 3 month holiday and so this month is being spent bringing him back into work. The first two weeks have been spent out hacking building his fitness up. Obviously, we still have a long way to go, however he does seem to be feeling really good and is so far being a saint coming back into work! He had his back done just prior to starting work again as he had become rather stiff behind and looked uncomfortable, especially in trot. My chiro made a few comments on just how hairy and fat he was looking, which is something she's not seen in him before! He definitely needs to lose weight and he will be clipped in December which will hopefully make him look smarter and will also help with him losing weight. He had put his pelvis out of place again and had a few tight spots but other than that he wasn't too bad. She mentioned that he needs to lift his back more which will help stop his pelvis from rotating, so we need to work on doing long and low work which is rather difficult for us! If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them! 

For the first few days we just went for a short 20 minute walk, which Pea seemed rather confused about! I tend to try and stick to a 3 days work, one day off, three days work routine which doesn't always stick but tends to be our standard. So after a few days walking and then a day off, we increased the walk to around 25 minutes and I also included short trot steps. The thing with Pea, is that if I spend ages just walking then he'll get bored and start napping/bucking and misbehaving so I need to keep him entertained by doing lots of transitions, change of pace, and also some leg-yielding to open him up more. So for the past week and a half we have been increasing the trot work and incorporating some schooling whilst out hacking. Pea tends to get a bit lazy with his walk sometimes and so will trip. This used to concern me but after speaking to instructors we have established that it's mainly him just being lazy and that he needs to use his back end more to give more impulsion. I have dug out my spurs for the time being as he tends to ignore the whip and my leg so I need something to give him an extra 'listen to me' kind of aid! Hopefully once he gets into more work and gets fitter I can get rid of these again! I have also noticed that when we do a 'walk-trot' transition, he half stops before walking off and we have had one or two issues previously with him falling out of the transition so I have been taking advantage of hacking to do lots of these transitions and ensure that I keep my leg on to push him forward into the walk. 

Over the past few days we have also introduced short bursts of canter. This wasn't necessarily the plan but plans change so hey ho! This change of plan was down to Pea who decided that if he can trot, he can canter too! The first time he attempted it was by playing his old trick of doing a short trot as normally when I nudged him on he'd canter off, though I was wiser to it this time so it didn't work but the next day I failed. He did his little half trot, half canter stride and then the next thing we're cantering. I have been rather apprehensive about cantering him as I've been expecting explosions, but so far so good! He has only had a short canter twice now and he has been well behaved each time which is a bit of a shock! 

I have now started to slowly start schooling again and doing pole work which is something my vet recommended a while ago as he seems to be a little stiff in his stifles which the pole work will hopefully help out on! I am just keeping it short and sweet at the moment and nothing too taxing, sticking to walk and trot with large circles but plenty of transitions and some lateral work to open him up more and get him more responsive. I don't want to canter him in the arena until we've built it up more out hacking and he gets fitter with stronger muscles, especially as cantering in the school has been a major issue of ours previously. 

I am contemplating doing a simple walk-trot dressage test in December just to have a bit of a play and see what he's like. There's one at my yard or there's one near-by so I'm debating which to do as he goes better away from home but I don't know whether to take him out just for one test... I am also hoping that he might be a bit fitter in December to start having lessons again as I have noticed a few issues rising such as him wavering a bit when trying to go straight and I also want some ideas on how to get him to lift his back and generate more power from behind. 

Sorry for the rambling post! I felt that Pea hasn't been featured much on here as of late so decided to let you know what we're up to! There will also be the November Review at the end of the month and hopefully some better photos! 

I have been nominated for Haynet's Equestrian Blogger of the Year 2014 and would be honoured if you could please vote for me! There are also some other great bloggers nominated as well! If you would like to vote, here is the link: https://www.surveyplanet.com/5469fc343be78fa32ecd0058

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

Monday, 17 November 2014

[Laura Loves] Exercise Sheets

Hello!

Is it acceptable to have more than one exercise sheet? This is something I have been pondering for ages so if any of you have more than one, please let me know! I've had my current exercise sheet for a few years and do rather like it, however what annoys me about it is that it's not cut away at the leg so I have to fold it back and it doesn't always stay in place then. However, what I do love about it is that it's waterproof on top and fleece underneath. 

With it being the season where people are starting to dig out their exercise sheets, there have been a few that I have spotted and have my eye on..if only I had the money!



The first one, which has previously been featured on a wishlist on here, is the Amigo Competition Sheet (retails around £30-£40). I like this one as it features the same thing my current sheet does with the waterproof top and fleece lining but with the added bonus of being cut away for the leg. Furthermore, it also features reflective stripes which is great for winter riding. 

The next two are ones which I have seen on Fur Feather Meds. I love browsing this site and it fuels my saddlecloth addiction! Good thing I don't have money to buy them! 



The second is the Eskadron Next Generation Fleece Exercise Sheet (retails around £45). This one is only fleece, but I love the design on it! I think I slightly prefer the navy one more and I think it will look slightly better on Pea, however I have seen the blue one pictured on a bay on Instagram and I have to admit it looked great on their horse! 



The final one is typically the most expensive one on my wish list but I do rather love it! This is the Euro-Star Exercise Sheet and it retails at around £69 :/ It's quite simple in design but I love how it comes in either fleece or waterproof! There are three choice colours - Black, Navy or Eucalyptus - and I genuinely don't know which is my favourite! 

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

Friday, 14 November 2014

[Product Review] Horse Head Cake Tin

Hello!




Another one of my passions is baking and you will find me most weekends, or even some weekdays, in the kitchen baking mainly cupcakes or brownies. I am forever browsing supermarkets and shops for their baking equipments and have a slight cupcake case addiction! I can't wait for December when it will be more acceptable for me to use either my reindeer cases or snowman ones (I actually bought the reindeer ones in about March...)! My family are often asking me to bake cakes for birthdays/anniversaries/meals/occasions! 

Hobbycraft has recently opened near where I live and I was browsing at some of their stuff when I discovered that they have a baking section. I was so excited when I saw their cake tin selection, especially as there was a horse head shaped one! I was even more excited when it was half price so obviously I just had to have one! 

My cake didn't quite turn out perfect as I found it a bit hard to get the cake out of the tin but overall I'm pretty pleased with it, I just need to maybe grease it a lot more which is hard with all the grooves in the tin! Overall, I think this is a great buy and will be perfect to use for birthday cakes for any horse enthusiast or child! 

Have you made any equestrian themed cakes? I would love to see any photos (you can tweet me at @Lauraaa_CB)! I'm always looking for new ideas! 

Thanks for reading,

Laura xx


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Rosette & Sash Display Ideas

Hello!

For this post, I thought I would feature a few ideas that I have come across (mainly on Pinterest) to display rosettes and also for sashes. For many riders, rosettes important memoirs from competing or participating in certain events. For me, there are certain rosettes on my wall which I can look at and remember when I won them and I am sure this may be the same for many others.

The way I display mine for Pea is that I have a small wall with string up to hold the rosettes and then a large photo frame underneath with various different pictures of Pea and I in. This could be developed for others, if you have a larger space, by making it more of a feature wall with individual frames and/or a painting/portrait of your horse/s. I am keen to get a drawing done of Pea to match one that I had done of my old pony so I might end up changing my display wall to a larger one in the future. 


Image source: Pinterest

Another idea which I have seen on Pinterest, is large photo boxes/frames filled with your rosettes. These especially look good in large tack rooms, so would be perfect if you own your own yard! Another alternative would be to hang the frame over your bed or sofa as a bit of a statement! The assortment of colours looks really great and you can display them however you like - either mix them up or organise them by colour! Another possibility, which is a bit of a DIY, is that you could make a coffee table using an old window/large photo box and fill the middle with the rosettes/sashes. Or, if you have a few sashes and are a keen DIY person, you could potentially make a coffee table using just sashes by stapling them round either wood or a fabric coffee table.


Image source: Pinterest

A further idea is to fill vases/jars with your rosettes. These look surprisingly good and means that you can put them anywhere! Or you could hang them on shelves to make the front of the shelf look less plain! (The shelf idea came from the wonderful Becky at kickingon!)

Finally, this last idea is if you fancy turning your sashes into cushions or bed throws and do not want to do it yourself. There are some companies out there, such as Ribbonsettes (UK) which convert your sashes into either cushions or bed throws and so are a nice touch to the home to proudly display your sashes as these can be slightly harder to display!

I hope this has given you a few ideas for how to display your rosettes! Let me know if there are any other ideas you do/have come across which I haven't featured!

Thanks for reading,

Laura xx


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

DIY Stable Toys for less than £5!

Hello!

As it has reached that time of year when many of us bring our horses in at night, I've decided to do a post on some quick and simple 'toys' to help keep your horses happy whilst confined to their 4 walls! There are various stable toys available on the market, however these can be expensive - especially if your horse doesn't get on with them! 



#1: A Swede
These are really good as they take a while for horses to get through and can also be hung or left to roll around on the ground (however, be aware that if you are going to hang them, it takes a lot of effort to make a hole in!). 

#2: Carrots & Apples
These can be hidden in haynets, in the bedding, in water buckets - anywhere that involves your horse having to do a bit of digging and investigating in order for them to get the reward! Putting them in water buckets also encourages them to drink, so perfect if your horse is a bit reluctant or you want to see if they are getting water. 

#3: A Football
This can be a hit or miss one as some horses may like it, whilst others may not! They can act as a 'Jolly Ball' or you could also make a DIY 'Distraction Aid'  by placing the ball in a carrot net and then adding the carrots round the edge and using some string/baling twine to hang it up! 

#4: Licks
This is a slight cheat but you can get some licks for less than £5 such as a salt lick or 'Uncle Jimmy's Licky Thing' and then as a means of making it cheaper, instead of forking out for a lick holder, just use some string/baling twine, through the middle and hang where you desire :)

There are also other ideas which I found such as traffic cones, old plastic containers with holes put in and used as a treat trickle feeder or stuffing a paper bag with hay/carrots/various other edible items!

Let me know if you've ever tried any DIY stable toys! Or even ones you've bought! Pea has a likit snak-a-ball but he never worked out how to use it properly!

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

Friday, 31 October 2014

[Monthly Review] October 2014

Hello!

As you can probably guess, October has been another quiet month with Pea as I was doing the last month of my placement. I finished last Friday and half this week has been quiet again as he had to wait to have his back done (which he was done on Wednesday) and then has a day off before coming into work. As he has had 3 months off, I have been scouring online for training schedules. I have come across a few which give a basic idea of how to build up his work and I have bought a notebook which I plan on making into a diary of sorts to keep track of what workload he should be doing, how schooling sessions went, etc. 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Equestrian Themed Halloween

Hello!

It feels like I should say 'long time no speak' as it feels like ages since I last blogged! Seeing as it is Halloween on Friday, I decided to do an equestrian themed halloween post, however this has proven slightly more difficult than what I anticipated! However, here are some ideas to have an equine themed halloween, from the subtle to the full blown!


Orange and black are colours predominately associated with Halloween, so for a bit of subtlety, why not kit your horse out in an orange saddle pad and bandages?

I also found these on Pinterest, which I think can be bought from Etsy, though the saddlecloth is probably quite an easy DIY! For the hooves, you could probably also use orange over-reach boots and use a permanent marker to draw on a face! That way, they can also be re-usable and you don't run the risk of your horse walking round with orange hooves for a while! 

If you're more into pumpkin carving, how about these? I've found on Pinterest that there's lots of stencils to make a horse themed pumpkin, and I think the first one is probably the one that's slightly easier (or at least the stencil makes it look this way)! Kudos to anyone who manages the third one! It looks so good but it must take hours! Or, for an alternative version that might last longer, I love the last one made using horse shoes! Such a good idea and it just looks amazing! 

Last, but not least, if you're up for going all out this Halloween and want some good fancy dress ideas then here are three of my favourites! Two involve a black horse, but if you have a grey then the first picture of Cruella de Vil and a rather large 'puppy' is a good variation! However, the last is definitely my favourite! Think it would freak me out though if I saw it at night! 

I hope you liked this post! I think I am definitely tempted to try a horse themed pumpkin! Let me know if you're planning on incorporating your love for horses to your Halloween plans! 

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

(All images came from Pinterest)