Rest in peace Rosi

God looked at the little angel
standing by his side,
and smiled as he whispered, you need a horse to ride.

So he looked the whole world over,
for one he trusted dear 
but to our utmost sorrow
the one he chose was here

Where God took this precious horse
there are pastures free to roam
and on the wings of angels,
he took this great horse home

Now on his back sits proudly 
a little angel strong and true
as they race the winds of heaven

Just watching over you

Rest in peace Rosi. You weren't just a pony, but a member of our family, you stole a piece of everyone's hearts. My heart hurts, and there's a little bit less joy in my life. I'll love you indefinitely and will see you soon at the rainbow bridge.


A fast Friday

Today we wore purple because it was pancreatic cancer awareness day.
Having not had a lesson this week I have felt really lost. Apparently in a few weeks I got used to someone helping me and giving me exercises to do... So today I decided to get my act together, go in the outdoor arena(!) and get a good, proper training session done. Unfortunately, Vallu had other ideas! It may not have been my most clever moment to decide to go in the outdoor where Vallu spooks all the time on the day where we had 70mph winds, and the horse had only been out for an hour before having to be brought in because of torrential rain.
 It started off so well. A good long walk first, with long reins. Then some collection, and riding a few squares with turn on the quarters in every corner to get the outside shoulder in control on both reins. Then leg yielding zig zags down the centre line, during which Vallu was quite literally hoof perfect - listening to me, changing directly immediately when I asked, walking with really good purpose. He's now had twenty minutes to warm up (and in the wind with no coat on, I've had twenty minutes to start going into a deep freeze) so off we pop into a canter, and then whoosh bum down, head up and straight into gallop down the long side....... #notimpressed 

Rightio. Gain some control, back to walk, shorten reins A LOT and try again. Little pony then lulls me into a false sense of security by behaving for five minutes. We got perfect squares, perfect canter-walk-canter transitions, perfect flying changes. I should have known that ears forward means that he was planning something. Lili always wants me to do some collected canter to medium to collected transitions within the canter to get Vallu properly engaged behind, and so I decided to focus on this. Baaaad move. Like seriously bad move. Every single long side, and I mean every single long side Vallu took this as an opportunity to show me that he really could have been a race horse/eventing horse - I'd appeared to have forgotten how quick this horse can go!! Lots of small voltes, lots of half halts and lots of transitions (and about 20 minutes) later we finally got to a stage where we could do a few strides of medium canter down the long side without Vallu turning into a fire breathing dragon. Cue lots of "good boy"s and "please lets never repeat that."

Apparently purple means go faster for Vallu? :D I'm honestly so glad that Vallu is feeling SO much better, and as much as I may moan I'm super chuffed that fat pony has come back ♥︎
Thank you Fur Feather Meds/Lili for letting me borrow this set :)


Dressage lesson with Brooksby Dressage: Stop riding like a fairy

There's nothing quite a Brooksby encouragement to help you get your brave pants on! :D "Stop riding like a fairy and get on with it" has now become my absolute new favourite. It's all about being an effective rider, because if I don't ask properly Vallu won't give 100% especially if I am feeling a bit nervous.
I was warming up whilst Lili was teaching someone else, so I ended up just doing trot and canter on both reins on the 3/4 line whilst focusing on turning in the corners all by outside rein and outside leg to get control of Vallu's outside shoulder. Once Lili had finished the previous lesson she watched us for a bit and then said that Vallu looked a lot better this week compared to our last lesson, a lot more supple, loose and just generally happier in his way of moving. 

I had several 'everything clicked and suddenly made sense' moments during the lesson. Firstly, in the shoulder-in I can't let Vallu go 'too deep' with too much flexion because it blocks his legs from moving as well as he can. When I don't ask him to go too deep it feels so easy and flows so much better.

In the canter, we did our first set of tempis since the summer, and gosh I cannot count to four anymore! Lili ended up making me count one two three four out loud until I managed four good fours down the long side :D We did the flying changes down the long side to get some help from the wall to keep us straighter, and amazingly when I keep my hands still they're a lot better ;) Funny that.


Happy Halloween!

What could be better than celebrating Halloween with a lovely little hack around the fields? After a few horrible rainy days, we managed to get an absolutely beautiful and gloriously sunny afternoon and we all went off for a little plod around the fields. Vallu would obviously live up to the fact that its was Halloween and that he therefore needed to scare me with his prancing across the field instead of walking on the track around it... Who would want a totally calm ride anyway!

Hope everyone else had a scary Halloween too ;)
So much love for Vallu and Zu #bffs