Monday, 29 December 2014

Favourite Photos of 2014


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!


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


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


'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


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


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


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


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