Read on for all the latest updates from all things White Horse Support
So after my rubbish end to 2020, I am thrilled to say that my recovery is going well and as of 8th Feb, I have returned to Coaching. Riding is taking a little longer and relies on the strength in my hand building up again but I have managed a little sit back on Scottie (see photo on the right!) for all of 5 minutes and it felt brilliant!
I am continuing with my Hand Therapy appointments, exercises and have my follow up with the Surgeon soon so hopefully I'll be back to a point where I can ride for clients again soon.
Just when we all thought more positive days might be on the horizon for 2021, this year just had to have one more go at me.
Sadly an unplanned dismount has resulted in me damaging my right hand quite considerable and what was initially thought to be a dislocated finger, then went on to actually be 3 fractured knuckles (1 of which is rather complex!) This has resulted in me having surgery on my hand and means it will be some time before I am riding again and certainly a few weeks before I am able to be out coaching again.
I will do my best to keep you all updated with how I am getting on and what this means for working. Although it will be easier for me to post updates on my Facebook & Instagram accounts as these can be done 1 handed on my phone so keep an eye out!
Here's to a better 2021!!
2020 has certainly been a year that none of us want to repeat anytime soon...
However that doesn't mean it's all been bad! I've been lucky enough to carry on working with my wonderful regulars for most of the year (minus 8 weeks lockdown in March!) and also welcome back so previous clients and some lovely new partnerships too :-)
Thankfully I am now back in a position to be able to welcome new clients (following the lifting of the November lockdown period), hire arenas and get back out to competitions! A few of us have even turned our hand to online dressage competitions whilst show centres were closed.
I'm certainly ready for 2021 and to see what we can all get up to next!
OOR Scotch Bonnet (Scottie) and I have had our online Dressage debut with Chelmsford and District Riding Club last week for the November leg of their Winter 2020 Online Dressage leagues.
We boxed him up and headed 10minutes down the road to a borrowed arena (a challenge in itself as Scottie hasn't been in the horsebox on his own and hasn't been in it full stop for over a year!). We tacked up, had a quick spin on the lunge and cracked on with warming up and recording our entries!
We opted for 2 Intro (walk & trot) tests for Scottie to have an easy start and behaved beautifully.
Now to wait for the results!!
Bella and Foxworthy Pepper (Pepper) fancied having a crack at their Clear Round jumping course as part of their Yard show last weekend. Bella had already completed her first Dressage test without a caller or leader! (Seriously proud coach moment!) and came 4th in Intro B with 62%. Luckily I had my trainers to hand as Bella decided I needed to run and jump the course with her!
The girls displayed a very stylish Clear Round and Pepper and I even managed some synchronised Jumping with luckily the photographer, Meg Franklin, managed to capture brilliantly.
Clare and I decided that the time had finally come for Glen to have a crack at a show on grass and without the blinkers of an indoor school to hide distractions.
We headed over to Chelmsford & District Riding Club's new showground at Blewgates Farm shop in Blackmore to have a go at Intro B on 14th July as part of their Team Dressage and Fun Show as an individual.
We were first in under the watchful eye of Jessica Williams' judging and thankfully had the warm up area to ourselves which gave Glen a chance to adjust to working in and still being able to see and hear everything. This meant we started off a little tense but he soon settled down and produced some fairly consistent work. We came away with a score of 63.9% at 4th, so not out best score but certainly a positive result considering the challenge :-)
Clare and Glen (Nashend Glenfiddich) went over to Elmwood Equestrian Centre for their Novice Showing Show and not only won their class but also came away with In Hand Champion!
Here they both are looking proud as punch and rightly so!
Now to get those nerves under control and start preparing for those ridden classes...
Following our successful first outing under saddle to Beechwood Equestrian Centre for a spot of Dressage back in April, Clare and I thought it was about time Glen saw another venue.
So we packed up and went over to Chelmsford Equestrian Centre to have a crack at Intro C.
Glen was rather unsure in the warm up, mainly because of the field of ponies next door which was far more interesting than anything I was asking for! However when it came to our turn Glen marched into the indoor school as if he was at home and really brought his "A" game and produced a wonderfully forward and soft test. Earning us some very positive comments from judge, Debbie Morgan.
So much so I am thrilled to report that not only did we come away with a fantastic score of 69.1% but we won our class out of 13!!
This time it was Bella and Foxworthy Pepper's (Pepper) turn to give a Dressage Show a go.
We all had a trip over to South Hill Livery for Chelmsford & District Riding Club's first Dressage Competition for Bella to have a go at Pony Club Test D and Intro C.
Bella did her first test with myself on lead rein (just in case!) but will very minimal input on my part, to score a wonderful result of 65% which gave them 2nd place in a big class. Not a bad result for your first try, hey!
Off the back of this success Bella was brave enough to tackle her second test (Intro C) without the lead rein and with me just walking/ running beside, just in case. Yet again Bella rode a beautiful test against an even bigger class but was sadly just outside the placings with 58.7%
Donald Be (Murphy, owned by Hilary Baker) had his time to shine at Beechwood Equestrian Centre in April and we had a crack at Prelim 14 & 18 scoring a respectable 62.3% & 64.6%!
Murphy and I have been hacking together for over a year now and I like to think we have reached an understanding where Murphy realises that I'm not all bad. If he does his bit then he gets to have a good canter without me hauling him around!
However a Dressage test requires rather a lot more from both of us and I'm pleased to say we certainly had a lot of fun practising and I'm thrilled with just how well Murphy behaved on the night. He's never been to Beechwood, never competed in Dressage and not been to any form of competition for many years!
I have been working with Glen and his owner, Clare, for almost a year now starting with a rather unruly pony who had spent the past year recovering from a rather nasty tendon injury. With a lot of hard work we are now at the point of having walk, trot and canter established under saddle and even a couple of in-hand shows to boot.
The time had come for us to find our brave pants and to get Glen in front of the judges under saddle. I dug out my Tweed jacket and beige breeches (only right on a Highland, as I'm sure you'll agree!) and got practising.
Well what can I say, not only did Glen behave as if he's been in a warm up ring every day of his life but he really brought his A game once we stepped foot in the arena. We came away thrilled with his behaviour and then even managed to get 65.4% and 4th place in Intro A!
Back in March I was privileged enough to accompany Bella and her new pony, Pepper, on their trip to the beach at Frinton.
Bella has now outgrown Summer so was joined by Pepper in the summer of 2018. They have been working hard together and have really come on leaps and bounds. This was their second trip to the seaside together and the first time Bella was brave enough to have a canter (something I've always wanted to do and never had the chance!).
They were so happy together and really brought a smile to all our faces, plus it helped that the sun was shining and it wasn't windy!
In March 2019, I took my B+E trailer test in horrendous weather conditions and am pleased to say I passed 1st time.
I did my training and test in one day with the fantastic team at Flair Trailer Training and would actually do the training section all again tomorrow if I could, it was so much fun!
I wasn't so thrilled about getting absolutely drenched uncoupling and re-coupling the trailer as part of my test, but we can't have everything.
This is a new offering from the British Horse Society and is aimed to support those owners that feel they want a little more knowledge and practical skills without the formality and pressure on the Stages Exam system. These can assessed in your own time, at your own pace, with your own horse!
I am now a registered trainer and assessor for these awards with run at 3 levels; Bronze, Silver and Gold. As you can see from the image, they can cover Care, Riding and Lunging and each come with a really smart handbook full of tips, information and assessment criteria.
Contact me today if you want to know more or if you feel these might be for you, I'll be more than happy to discuss and get you up and running with this great program.
I'd like to introduce you to Sasha and Daisy!
I've been working with this gorgeous pair for a little while now and am thrilled with their progress. We've worked hard on their flatwork and they've been strutting their stuff within the Dressage Boards under my watchful eye.
I'm really looking forward to seeing these two progress together and get out and about on those Cross Country Courses!
Here's a snap of them both in their glad rags for a Dressage competition at Beechwood recently.
Those of you that have followed my company for a while now, may remember little Bella and her gorgeous pony, Summer.
Well Summer has returned home to her own but Bella had a chance to try a bit of showing with Summer at the Tiptree and Thurstable Show at Layer Marney Tower a few weeks ago.
The girls took on Child Handler and gained a 6th and then Ridden Mountain and Moorland and came 2nd!
As of 17th August 2018, I became a British Horse Society Accredited Professional Coach!
This replaces the old BHS Register of Instructors and has been a goal of mine for a good few years now. Its certainly taken a lot of work to get here but I'm so proud of my achievement.
Another successful evening was had by all at Chelmsford Equestrian Centre on Friday 20th July for their Unaffiliated Dressage. I, along with 3 clients, were competing in test ranging from Intro up to Novice. We were all sporting our team saddle cloths and I'm really pleased with how smart everyone looked.
We now have 7 weeks before their next evening so time to get practicing!
I am thrilled to be able to announce that I my trip to Hartpury was well worth all the stress and I have achieved my Stage 3 Complete!
This not only means I do not have to do the exam again (thank god!) but that I have also now achieved the status of Stage 3 Coach in Complete Horsemanship, previously known as BHSAI. This is a massive achievement for me and I'm enormously proud.
Now where's the Champagne?!
Having sadly not quite got the results I wanted from my last Stage 3 exam, I headed over to Hartpury College on 30th May to resit the final 4 criteria for the care and lunging sections. I am pleased to say that it was a far more positive day and I am much more confident I've done all I needed to do.
Now for the long 2 week wait for results!
On 25th May we headed over to Chelmsford Equestrian Centre to take part in their Unaffiliated Dressage evening. Ashleigh and Honey did their first ever test and came second in the Intro B class and Whizz and I did our first Novice test together!
We gave Novice 28 a go and scored a pleasing 61.8%, not bad considering Whizz was tense and calling for the entire test.
I'd like to introduce you all to Jumping Jersey (Jez). He is a 5yr old Cob cross who has been backed and ridden previously. He's been out of work for the past year but looks to have great potential and is a work in progress.
So on 13th May Clare, Marian, Lisa, Ashleigh, Jill & I took Whizz and Honey over to the Codham Park annual show.
Whizz and I competed in a Working Hunter class and Ashleigh and Honey did the In-Hand Coloured class. We both came away from our classes thrilled, having both gained fourth place!
A very enjoyable but tiring day but I think it's fair to say we're all looking forward to the next outing for the Dressage at Chelmsford Equestrian Centre on 25th May.
I now have 2 beautiful show rugs for Belle and Whizz to wear whilst they're out and about!
The rugs are Amigo jersey fleeces by Horseware Ireland and are just amazing.
Can't wait for the girls to get out in these for our first show at Codham Park Equestrian on 13th May.
If you would like to purchase your own, just drop me a message to discuss.
On Monday 23rd April I am off to Trent Park Equestrian Centre to sit the remaining units for my British Horse Society Stage 3 exam. Once achieved this will make me a Stage 3 Complete Coach in Horsemanship (previously BHASI). This will also allow me to become a BHS Accredited Professional Coach (previously Instructors Register).
I've already achieved my Riding (flat & jump) at Stage 3 so it's just my Care and Lunging units to be completed. Wish me luck!
Results will be posted, I promise!
Yet again Trot On Embroidery have done an amazing job and embroidered 4 beautiful Premier Equine Saddle Cloths for myself and clients to use in competition. Currently I have 4, 2x Full Dressage Squares & 2x Full GP cloths. However if you wish to purchase your own (available in a range of colours!) please just let me know and we can organise.
I really can't wait to see these out and about in use!
What this space for further personalised WHS items!!
On 25th March 2017 Church House Farm had their first Unaffiliated Dressage competition for 2017. I'm pleased to say it was a great success and their next Dressage event is on 6th May.