Thursday, 12 August 2010


Well we are off to a clinic with Heather Moffett at the weekend (14th / 15th August) and am really looking forwards to it! Be prepared for a BIG update when I get back!,40767.0.html

Also there is a BIG Friesian event being ran alongside the Friesian gradings this year for FHAGBI’s 15th Anniversary – this is being held at Vale View in Leicestershire so not far from us so we have entered a couple of classes! WOOOOP! Im NOT gonna tell you what ive entered yet cos Ive been a bit crazy and now im crapping myself lol!! If anyone is going, be sure to come and say HI!!

Health Update!

After Antsje’s teeth had been done we noticed she was chewing her hay funny. Kind of making little twists with it like you were going to make a straw dolly lol! I got back in touch with the dentist and he said he would come and recheck her but couldn’t make it for 2 weeks. In the meantime the problem seemed to resolve itself but he still came out to put my (obsessed!) mind at rest lol! Nothing seemed to be causing a problem so maybe she just didn’t like that bale of hay! Who knows!

After doing a bit of trimming of her legs the other day I found some flaky skin in her feathers and also a ‘spongy’ area in the back of her heel. So since then I have been scrubbing with hibiscrub, combing out the flakes, drying the area thoroughly and using tea tree ointment / purple spray and sudocrem on the spongy bit lol! She also has an area on the inside hind that never grows any hair and can get quite dry skin. Ive always thought it was a skin allergy of some type but now I think it might be a strike mark from her other inside hind! So I thought I might experiment with some over-reach boots on her hind feet. All seemed to be going well until last night I noticed these had rubbed her foot on the opposite side! ARRRGGGGHHH! So not sure WHAT to do now!

Training Update........

Training Update!

God I MUST blog more regular lol! Where were we……..

Ok, so we have mostly been working on ‘forward into the contact’ and ‘power from behind’
We have definitely upped the anti this last couple of weeks and I think its been hard work for both of us…physically and mentally! For a start off, now we have a more powerful trot I am struggling to sit to it and can tell I am blocking Antsje and I rather suspect I have been for a while and this is why the trot has gone down to MY level and I suppose this has also suited Antsje lol! A bit humbling I can tell you when you realise its always the rider that’s stuffing up the horse lol! So I have been working more in rising trot to really free her up but she is grumbling about it a bit because now she has got to put a bit more effort in!
So I have been really concentrating on her reactions to my leg……….if she doesn’t react to it STRAIGHT AWAY and just lollops into trot, then she gets bought back to walk, ‘animated’ by use of my voice and a couple of taps with the schooling whip. We then do a succession of transitions until I can feel her really ‘waiting for it’ and once we are “there” a lot of things fall into place because she is ON THE AIDS! We had both got a bit DULL I think and Antsje was taking her own good time before she reacted to my requests and I was merrily accepting this!

We have had another lesson since the dressage tests too and the instructor had a little sit on Antsje too! It was good to watch her and I got good feedback on Antsje’s way of going. In the lesson it was just re-affirming Antsje being forwards into the contact, making sure she was reactive to the aids and we also played about with collecting and lengthening the stride in trot….done on a circle. We also did work on serpentines really asking Antsje for more suppleness through the changes of rein. I was very pleased at the end of the lesson ….. Antsje really does have a good attitude to her work which is more than half the battle (bad choice of word! But that’s the saying lol!)

We have also been working more on schooling the canter too and it is becoming just more ‘everyday’ rather than Ooooo shall we do ‘CANTER’!! lol!
The last couple of session’s I’ve noticed that although the contact is now very consistent and she still needs to be taking more weight behind and be getting that feeling of her rising up through the wither. We are getting moments of this and it feels bloody brilliant! But its time to move towards this being the normality rather than flashing glimpses.

So things I’ve been doing to help are:
Reinback to trot
Walk to canter
Shoulder in and Counter shoulder in
Leg yield to canter
Travers in walk and attempts (!!) in trot lol!
Half pass in walk and attempts (!!) in trot!

Although the travers / half pass in trot is pretty rubbish it is still having an effect of collecting her and bringing her together more, so I think its worth persevering with!
Fridays are her day off and she gets an all over massage with an electric massager which she LOVES. She worked hard last week so she had 2 days off with massages both days and felt loads ‘boingier’ on Saturday! And we also did a bit of jumping at the weekend for a change and some fun!

So its been all good! Oh, and for improving your seat, work without stirrups in SHORTS lol! Your skin sticks to the saddle and you gotta keep your butt in the saddle or it hurts lol!