Sunday, 30 August 2015

[Top Find] H&M Horse Print Items

I was browsing through H&M a few days ago after a dentist appointment when I stumbled across these two items. Of course, there was no way I could just leave them on the shelf so they may have ended up in a bag and came home with me...oops!

I picked up this jumper for just £14.99. It's navy in colour with a round neck collar. I picked it up in a medium and it's slightly too big and so I would recommend going for a size smaller if you prefer them more fitted. I also picked up the white horse print shirt for £19.99 which is a really nice fit. 

I've always been a fan of H&M for their clothes, though their sizings can be quite random so it's always worth trying before you buy (which I actually don't always do!). They've got a lot of great country style clothing in at the moment so I would definitely check out their website!

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

Friday, 28 August 2015

[Monthly Review] August 2015

It seems like only two minutes ago that I was writing my July review (okay so it was like two weeks late but shh!). To be honest, I've hardly ridden this month due to various injuries that Pea's decided to keep chucking at me. Luckily, nothings been too serious but it has meant a stop to continuous work. 

The last Thursday of July, Pea refused to trot when I was riding him so I trotted him up straight - no issues. Tried riding again and he was fine on the straight but stopped dead when I went to turn. I then got rather paranoid so decided to pop him on the lunge and he seemed slightly funny behind so left him for the day. The next day I just did some gentle long-reining before he had the weekend off due to me working all day. Monday morning I lunged him again to double check and he was fine so I schooled him the day after and despite arguments he did actually work really well. Thursday he then decided that payback of working well meant he'd come in with a fat leg. Cue a couple of days walking out and cold hosing before we could start work again. 

However, Thursday morning came around again & this time I get a phone call from my yard owner to say that Pea had been bought in from the field after getting tangled in his rug and stressing out big time. It probably didn't help that the rug got caught in his hind shoe and like an idiot he decided to gallop round the field with the rug flying behind him which scared him more! It took two hours of walking round on the grass, letting him graze, in order for him to calm down enough to stand back in his box without box-walking and pawing the ground. After three hours I took the plunge that he had calmed down enough that I left him in with the yard staff keeping an eye on him. He was due the farrier anyway but after speaking to him we decided to just do his front feet as he can still be quite bad with his hind. I then turned him back out a few hours later and walked the dog over a couple of hours after that to check on him and he was so much more chilled now he was back with his best friend! The next day I left him to just chill out before riding him again at the weekend. Unfortunately, he seemed really reluctant about moving forward and when I attempted carrot stretches he was hardly bending. This led to me giving him a few more days off until someone at my yard who's an equine sports massage practitioner could look at him. She actually looked at him over two days as part of a training course which was actually quite useful! They didn't find anything too major but have commented that his teeth might need looking at again as he is really sensitive around the TMJ. I've given him a few more days off due to work and the weather but will start working again this weekend and will also get the vet to look at him next week when the vet's at the yard. 

So, it's been a relatively quiet month work wise but lots of drama! Let's hope that September brings some better luck!

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

Sunday, 23 August 2015

[Top Tip] Helping with Head-Shaking

Pea suffers quite badly with head-shaking throughout the summer due to the pollen in the air and whilst the Equilibrium Nose Net does help, he can still be quite bad, especially if pollen levels are high.

A few people have recommended using vaseline around the nose as it traps the pollen before entering the nostril which helps but then someone on my yard recommended adding vicks vaporub to the vaseline as well. Yes, I mean that strong smelling stuff that helps clear colds! 

The first time I applied it to Pea, it was safe to say he wasn't sure! The flehmens response came out as well as a bit of snorting! However, after a few days of applying it, he finally got used to it and I have to admit that it does help!

I mix the vick & vaseline together and apply round his nose and it seems to keep him a lot quieter in the head whilst being ridden so I would definitely recommend it if your horse can be a bit bad with pollen! 

Secondary top tip - keep some baby wipes in your grooming kit otherwise your hands will smell of vick and be greasy! 

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

Sunday, 16 August 2015

[ROOTD] Feat. Tottie Maven Breeches

I've been thinking about doing a 'rider outfit of the day' series for a few weeks now and after getting my new boots the other day I've finally decided to just take the plunge and just do it! 

Pea is wearing:

I am wearing:
  • Plain white long-sleeve t-shirt from Primark. 
  • Navy padded gilet from Jack Wills
  • Mavern tie-dye breeches from Tottie
  • Boots from Rhinegold (I think)
I actually love my white t-shirt. It's such a nice material and it's so versatile for any season. For example, I wore it today as it was slightly cooler but it goes well under my gilet to keep me from getting too hot but keeps me suitably warm as well. The breeches are my one of my favourites as I think they look so smart even though they've got a rather trendy pattern! 

I hope you like this new series. I know that I love seeing people's riding outfits and although I'm not super stylish, I thought it would be nice to share. 

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

Thursday, 13 August 2015

[Laura Loves] My New Riding Boots

After a slightly stressful morning where I got a phone call from my yard owner at 8.30am to say that Pea had been bought in after getting badly tangled in his rug, I managed to pop the five minutes down the road to visit Equifest for the afternoon. 

We only popped over for a couple of hours as I didn't want to leave Pea long after the stressful morning, but as he had calmed down a lot by midday, we decided we'd head over to have a look round the stands and maybe watch a couple of classes. They have a reasonable number of stands and so many had complete bargains! 

One of those bargains were these lovely riding boots at only £75! Considering finding brown riding boots I like is quite hard and I was therefore resulting into adding some onto my 'things to save for/never happening' list, I was pretty glad to have found these! They also had another pair which were a darker brown and had the lace-up detail but unfortunately they were too tall for my short legs! 

I also bought a lovely arty photo and some of Pea's favourite treats to cheer him up!

Thanks for reading, 
Laura xx

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

[Monthly Review] July 2015

So we're a third of the way through August and I've just realised I haven't done my July review! Where is this year going?! 

July has been a bit of an up and down ride with me and Pea. He is slowly improving with his flatwork and I feel that we're progressing more with his canter work. If you read either of my lesson posts then you'll know that I'm starting to work on getting him to relax more in his work and also getting a hold of the contact better so that he comes rounder. The past few schooling sessions with him (around him going a bit lame and getting a fat leg!) have been really good! He's still throws his head round a bit when he wants to try and get his head back but luckily he is realising that it's not actually too bad to come into the contact better! 

We are also building the canter up again and getting past the worry that I had after my fall the other month. He seems much happier cantering now and we're incorporating more bends and circles. We're still building up to doing full 20m circles in canter as I don't want to rush it so if he starts to feel a bit tight round a circle then I'll come back to trot or go large again. 

I have also started to do some carrot stretches with Pea on a regular basis. After I've
exercised him and untacked him, I do a flank stretch on either side a couple of times and then also between his legs. By doing it at the end of a working session, his muscles are already warm and loosened up so he's less likely to injure himself. I think there has been some improvement but I'm going to have a look through an old Your Horse issue as I'm sure there was an article on them in there as I think I need a bit more inspiration!

Fingers crossed August will see more improvement!

Thanks for reading, 
Laura xx

Friday, 7 August 2015

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

For the past month it seems that me and Pea are on a bit of a roller coaster ride! We get so far and start doing well and then something goes wrong. 

He had been going well and we were building canter up again after my knock in confidence and then when I was schooling last Thursday, he point blank refused to trot. I immediately knew something wasn't right and on the lunge his was being really iffy with his off hind. I gave him a few days off and then Monday lunged him again. He was being odd to begin with but then got sent forward and was fine. Wednesday I rode him and whilst he tried it on when I asked for trot, I pushed through and he worked really well. 

Thursday (yesterday) I bought him in only to discover his near hind was all swollen. At the moment it just seems bruised and I've taken him out for a walk hack and kept him out as well as cold hosed it each day. I'm working over the weekend but I have some people keeping an eye on him and cold hosing it for me so hopefully it will go down! Fingers crossed!

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx