Playing groom with Brooksby Dressage

On Sunday, I went off to a British Dressage competition at Hargate with Brooksby Dressage. I love going out to support friends, I have blogged many times about my friends' successes at competitions  and how much I adore being able to help out and support my lovely friends. 

Lili was doing her first Elementary outing, and she had two tests to do. She'd only done one unaffiliated Elementary test before this with Fons so when on Saturday she told me was going to go out, I offered to go help out. It's always lovely day out with the Brooksby-Dalby lot, I have a great laugh and I always come back with a big smile on my face no matter what the result and no matter how tired I am. 

The first elementary test was good. Considering how 6 months before Lili had decided to not compete Fons this year and concentrate on his training and de-spooking, it was fantastic. Apart from the complete slutdrop that Fons did after the buzzer went, in the actual test Fons was great. Soft, sweet and listening. A really good first attempt, which resulted in Lili winning the class with 65.6% and a big confidence boost.

The second test Lili hadn't even practised beforehand (we super quickly went through it together in the warm up walking around so she had some idea where to go) and I had to call the test for her. I absolutely detest calling tests for people - I have the biggest fear of messing it up for the rider. But even with some tension in parts of the test and Fons deciding not to know how to rein back, Lili and Fons came 2nd with 66.18%. These were also both on short arenas, and considering how big Fons is he really needs the bigger arena to show his big movements. But those results are amazing for a first attempt! Just image what the results are going to be with more tests under their belts.
I'm so looking forward to seeing what these two end up achieving, this is such a super pair and I am so proud to have been a small part of the team. Way to go Brooko, here's to many more super days out!


Busy weekend!

Finally re-united with our hacking partners Lisa and Milky ♥︎
Wow, what a weekend it has been!! Safe and calm hacking out achieved twice with Vallu, I have schooled Zu properly on Saturday and on Sunday Lili and I took her grey boys up the drive before going to her competition.  My back hurts, my thighs hurt, my stomach muscles hurt but this is all good pain - it means I am getting to do the stuff that I love to do and it's all good for me!

 There is no point for this blog post apart from the fact that I want to remember the memories and events when looking back at the year. I have also become very aware of the fact that I have around 6 weeks left before starting the trip back to Finland and I'm trying to enjoy my time here as much as I possibly can and live life to the fullest! :)
Vallu nannying Fons up the drive

Zu in mango big square set from Fur Feather Meds

Vallu and Winston on the way back from our very first hack in 4 months!
Sunday morning going up the drive in head collars!! 


Happy days!

Back where I belong! We have the vet's permission to start riding in walk and also hacking out! :) It may not seem much to many people, but after nearly four months it is an amazing feeling to be riding again. 2 months of this and building up basic fitness again before re-scanning again to make sure the leg has healed more again after which we should be able to start trotting and cantering again! I'm so happy!! ♥︎♥︎♥︎


Learning from others: Brooksby Dressage with Charlotte Dujardin

So this happened!!! I don't have the words to explain how excited I was to be accompanying Lili (from Brooksby Dressage) to one of her regular Charlotte lessons! Even though we had to leave the yard before 8am (which meant I had to wake up before 6am to have Vallu done before we left) it was so worth it. Charlotte is everything you have imagined and read about online and is even better in real life. It was absolutely amazing to witness how Charlotte managed to make Lili and Fons look even better than they normally do.
The lesson started with Lili warming Fons up just doing trot and canter around the outdoor, whilst Charlotte and Lili caught up on how Fons had been since the last lesson. I did wonder at the start of how the lesson would go because there was so much going on. Dogs running around, the outdoor is next to the road, horse galloping around in the paddock next to the outdoor! Charlotte joked that Fons is find going to competitions relaxing when the lessons are this busy and that nothing should faze him! I don't think Vallu would have coped half as well as Fons did, he didn't do a single spook!
There was a lot of work that was all focused on getting the horse straighter, rounder and softer through the back whilst getting the rider quicker, braver and riding more accurately. One of the first exercises was to do shoulder-in on the 3/4 line towards the mirrors to gain straightness from the horse and more accuracy from the rider. If Lili didn't get exactly on the 3/4 line and didn't turn well enough from the corner Charlotte made her do it again! You can see how Charlotte wins everything because she is so accurate herself when riding that therefore she wants her pupils to be accurate too.
The rest of the lesson had lots more of lateral movements like half pass and travers. Everything was focused on getting the rider accurate and the horse soft and forward - sounds basic, but incredibly important! I had a great time, it was totally worth the 8 hour round trip and I am so inspired ♥︎ 
Smiles! :)

(For anyone interested: Lili wears the new Pikeur Helene jacket and Fons is wearing the Eskadron Platinum saddle pad and bandages and Horka overreach boots - all from Fur Feather Meds)


Farrier and dentist weekend!

What an exciting weekend we've had ;) Farrier on Saturday and a trip to a dentist clinic on Sunday to sort those teeth out. Pleased to say that Vallu loaded superbly well (he's not been on a lorry in a year!) and was a superb gentleman to travel like always - clear to see he hasn't forgotten his travelling manners! I hate the dentist, but Vallu needs his teeth checked more than once a year because of his tendency to get hooks right at the back or then he becomes very uneven quite quickly, so 6 monthly check ups are vital for making sure he stays happy and comfortable.
Out of this world pony :D

Because we knew he needed a lot of work doing, the vet there was happy to sedate him in order to allow the dentist to do her work without Vallu twitching or moving. He got a normal that are given to 'bigger' horses but for some reason this time it took well over two hours for Vallu to get back to normal. Anyone else's horse take a super long time to recover from sedation?

So with new teeth and new shoes, maybe maybe we might get some good news in a week? :D (*fingers crossed*!)
New shoes too - please don't pull any of these off Vallu!


Springtime matchy

With this crazy one day rain one day glorious warm sunny days weather nobody could say that spring isn't on its way! Since moving back to Finland is edging closer and closer to me, I've been actively looking for some last minute bargains to take back with me - prices for Eskadron, Le Mieux, HV Polo sets are sky high in comparison to over here in the UK so it would be silly to not buy another set before I leave, right?! (Hello I have no horses to ride but at least I can dress them up pretty when they do come back into work - and I will have 2 once I'm back in Finland, so even more reasons to buy more matchy!)

Since strong bright colours seem to be the biggest trend at the moment, and so this amazing Le Mieux set has caught my eye! No one sells Le Mieux in Finland apparently either, so I would save on the hefty shipping costs that come with shipping stuff to Finland ;) 
And I think this would suit both my boys so well! There's nothing quite like setting yourself a goal (get all essays and dissertation done) and have a reward ready for once you achieve it! Surviving the deadlines of the last term of final year is turning out to be a lot harder than I thought it would. I am spending every single moment when I'm not at the yard on my laptop staring at three different essays. I have a total of 19.5k words due in by the 9th May, and then an exam on 24th - but then I am done! After which then starts the big move back to Finland :)

And for me too ;)


Bad luck

Well hello there April, please be good to me? (Also how the hell is it already April?! It was just Christmas what feels like a few weeks ago?!)

So I appear to be having the worst possible luck with my boys at the moment. I only managed to be away from Vallu for less than 48 hours in Finland visiting family and horses before I get that dreaded phone call - "Vallu's leg is really swollen and hot". Cue panic, lots of emergency vet calls and amazing friends who stayed with Vallu until the vet came to scan his leg. His fetlock is swollen so we can't really see what is going on, but the original injury higher up is healing well... He is now on 5 day box rest, then carry on hand walking until the 18th April when his 3 month re-scan is due. Hopefully by some miracle he has done nothing bad and that he only needs some more walking. 
Basse has been off work for a month now due to an injury to his straight distal sesamoid ligament, which is why I came home for the week so that I could go to the clinic with him. He is now on turn out and limited hand walk (20-30minutes/day) for 3 months with shockwave therapy, anti-inflammatory meds and regular ultrasound scans. Which is then followed by 3 months of ridden walk work/hacking out and lots of turn out before we re-evaluate in the autumn, and hopefully it will have healed by then :( 
I love his face more than I could ever describe with words

Someone send me good luck please? I feel like I have had my years worth of bad news already in the last 3 months.