Wednesday, 30 April 2014

[Monthly Review] April 2014


Is it just me or is this year going rather fast? So scary to think that in less than a month I will have finished University for life (hopefully) and have to go out into the big wide world and find a career job (which so far, isn't going too great!). Also, a month today (30th), my sister is getting married! It's been planned for so long and I cannot believe there is just a month to go now!

April has been a very quiet month with Pea hardly having done too much work. He had the first week off as I was away working at Belton. He then did a bit of work, hacking the first day and then lunged the day after only to look awfully stiff behind so I schooled the next day to see if he needed the chiro or anything but he seemed fine. I also jumped him a few days later (blog post here) and he was perfectly fine, schooled again a few days later and again no issues. He then had another few days off as I managed to pass out and wacked my toe in the process meaning I could hardly walk on it (so clever!). I lunged him again and although possibly slightly stiff in trot he was happy cantering round in circles. Hacked him and he was fine, lunged again in front of dad and no issues whatsoever. So frustrating, especially as I had put down for him to see the vet about it when he had his jabs a few days later. The vet said that he's slightly stiff in his stifles and that he also drags his toes so to do some raised poles with him for a few weeks and then if I feel he's not any better then to possibly x-ray and see if there's anything more. He seems to have been fine over poles and instead is just refusing to bend so who knows. I'm going to try again for another week or two and if his bending doesn't improve then get the chiro out unless he's still iffy behind then it will be the vet. 

Sorry there's not much to report, I've been so busy with university and everything but hopefully May will bring better work from him! 

Thanks for reading, 
Laura xx

Saturday, 26 April 2014

All the small things


So today whilst I was riding round on Pea, I realised some of the changes in him from since I got him. We're nearing the 6 year mark and whilst he is currently in my not so good books due to refusing to bend in any way, especially on the left rein, therefore making life rather difficult, I thought I would share some of the little things that I've noticed have changed in him over the years as well as some of the little things I love about him!

#1: He is perfectly happy to carry on schooling and going past other horses, even when they're just standing, without even contemplating stopping! Before he would stop as soon as another horse went past, and even more so if they were stood as he believed that if they weren't working, why should he! 

#2: How whenever there's a new horse in the field he always acts like he hates it and then a few days later see that he's best buds with it! 

#3: His silliness that when we're cantering round he half locks onto a fence (normally a rather large upright) and speeds up thinking he's going to jump it despite not being in line with and the fact that he would probably just ditch me anyway! 

#4: How he always looks asleep until he's trotting! I can bring him in and he walks so slowly, then stands half asleep whilst being groomed, walks sooo slowly to the mounting block, finally perks up out hacking or when we start trotting and then when we finish and untack he stands there half asleep again!

#5: He is much better with his strides jumping meaning that he doesn't get in too deep and then scramble over the fence. We do have the odd deep moment but he doesn't do an uncomfortable jump anymore.

I think I'll leave it at those 5 for now and maybe make a little feature of it :) Let me know your favourite things of your horse or the little changes you notice. 

Thanks for reading, 
Laura xx

Friday, 18 April 2014

[Laura Loves] Show Shirts


I am currently on the hunt for a new show shirt as mine is getting rather old now and I feel like a change. I originally decided I wanted an Ariat one, however, now I have browsed around I have found a few others which I like which means that I have the tough decision of which one to buy!

#1: Equetech Lacie Competition Shirt (£28):
Lacie Competition Shirt
Picture: Robinsons Equestrian
I really like the lace detailing on the back of this shirt and the buttons of the front add a touch of glamour. I also like the sleeving with them being capped as it means that it's perfect for summer competitions.

#2: Ariat Aptos Show Top (£34):
Aptos Show Top
Picture: Robinsons Equestrian
I have seen this in a light blue, however very few stores seem to stock it so if not I do quite like this pale pink. I like the material of this top, and it is lightweight and stretchy with MMT technology which is supposed to help keep you cool and dry. 

#3: Kingland Zara Show Shirt (£49):
Picture: Kingland Equestrian
This is actually more than I'm thinking of spending, however I really like the different colours as I think they jazz it up a bit although I'm not sure what it will be like when it's on..

These are my three favourites. I have seen a few others but I think i'm more drawn to these, though who knows? At the moment I think the Equetech Lacie is my favourite but I do also really like the Ariat one! I'm awful at making decisions so let me know which one is your favourite, or if you have any others which you like or recommend then please let me know! 

Thanks for reading, 
Laura xx

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Let's go Jumping!


For frequent readers of my blog, you will know that I very rarely jump pea nowadays! For some reason, I have just fallen out of my previous love for jumping and have ignited a new love for dressage (despite not being very good at it!). When I first bought Pea, nearly 6 years ago, it was with the aim of possibly affiliating show-jumping, however, with his lack of experience and my lack of riding we soon lost a lot of confidence with one another and I fell off many a time. We then focused more on dressage and eventually rarely jumped. So today, I had my dad and niece coming down so persuaded dad to bring the camera and for some reason I decided I really want to give Pea a slightly more decent jump than just the one-off cross pole occasionally done after a schooling session. 

We had a quick warm-up session and then started popping a few fences. They were just kept small as it's been a while and I didn't want to get too carried away and risk losing my confidence again. Also, I'm still not 100% sure if he's fine behind or not. He seemed eager enough jumping and is alright cantering so I don't know if I'm just getting slightly paranoid or what...however, if over the next few weeks he doesn't feel truly right, I'm contemplating getting my vet to look at him when he comes out to do his jabs. Pea's been having the chiro every two months and it has been two months since she last came out, however, he should be going at least 3 months before needing a check-up so I'm tempted to have the vet look to make sure there's not any underlying problems causing him to go off every two months! 

We just stuck to simple cross-poles and a couple of straights, around 70-75cm, just to see how he was as, like I mentioned, I didn't want to do too much and risk him being really stiff and off tomorrow. Unfortunately, Dad really isn't the greatest of photographers so I think I might need to recruit a friend who's more handy with a camera than Dad! My niece also had a little sit on him and helped me sort his stable out as I've unfortunately had to give it up due to needing to save up for a place of my own potentially happening this summer. 

Thanks for reading, 
Laura xx

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

[Monthly Review] March 2014


I have been rather bad again and forgotten half of what happened during March! As it was the month that my dissertation was due in, Pea unfortunately had to take a bit of a back seat and didn't get worked for as long or as many days as normal. 

March meant that Peas routine changed and he started to go out full time again. With this, his work suffered a little bit as he went a bit lethargic and wasn't working great as well as the odd naughtiness, but that soon seemed to ease off again once he got used to being out again. There were also many warm days which meant he got to go out without a rug for a few hours, though I regretted it the first time when I went back and saw how mucky he was! Oh the joys of owning a grey! However, I do like to give him a few hours without a rug on at this time of the year as he just moults and moults so it's good for him to have a good roll to try and get rid of some hair! 

His schooling has been going well and now that he's happier cantering we are able to focus on bringing it all together to aim for a smoother image and get him more round. As I mentioned from the competition report, he is now more active in his paces and now just needs to work on his bend. He does occasionally seem to get it right but I think he finds it hard to stay correct for long due to using muscles he normally doesn't so I am hoping that doing little bits of asking for a true bend will enable him to feel more comfortable offering the bend as he builds up more muscle. He has a tendency at the moment that when he's on the left rein especially (at least, I notice it a lot more) he looks off to the right...At first I thought it was nosiness but now I think he's just doing it to try and get out of bending to the left and he doesn't seem to have yet realised that looking to the right means he has to work harder as I ask for left bend! 

I have also started to introduce a bit more jumping by popping over the odd cross-pole or upright after schooling so I am hoping in the next few months to start more proper jumping sessions as I find it rather hard using a schooling whip and just a snaffle! 

April is being spent working on his bend and hopefully getting him out again towards the end of the month as he's just had a week off due to Belton so he needs to do some schooling first! (however, he might be needing the chiro again so I shall keep you posted!)

Thanks for reading, 
Laura xx

Monday, 7 April 2014

Working at Belton Horse Trials 2014

Picture from

Hello everyone! 

I am finally free after a busy week working at Belton Horse Trials as part of their site crew. I started Sunday 30th March and finished today (7th April). I have had such a long week, working days between 9 and 12 hours but I have enjoyed every minute and learnt so much! 

I have done various things over the week such as putting out dressage boards, cleaning them (all 7!!), helping trade stands find their spots, stringing the cross country course and many many other jobs! I have worked with some fantastic people which always helps make working so much easier and more enjoyable! I have met some of the nicest traders and if anyone wants some good food to eat at an event there are a couple that I would strongly suggest visiting if they happen to be there! 

Overall I have learnt so much from this past week and it has been so valuable to me learning about what goes on behind the scenes at events! Some of you may be aware that I am hoping to have a career in events management - obviously particularly equestrian events - and therefore working as part of the site crew team has been so helpful! 

I am now busy finishing university and also looking for jobs when I finish but I am keen to work at more events and I am hoping to branch out to other disciplines although I do love working in eventing! 

Sorry for the lack of photos, I really need to learn to take more for my blog posts so I shall try and make it my mission to take more photos! I will also have my March update coming shortly! 

Thanks for reading, 
Laura xx