With 2018 upon us and the countdown to the start of the BE season well and truly underway, January has been anything but blue for myself, Herbie and the rest of the White Hill Stud team!
The BD outing to Crow Wood Equestrian that I mentioned at the end of Decembers blog was, ahem………….interesting to say the least! Herbie took one look at the lorry being packed and turned into a fire breathing dragon, a theme which continued throughout the day, and the less said about the tests the better. We shall just say that a) he was pleased to be out and about, b) he does not like patches of light on the floor of an indoor arena and c) medium canter to emergency halt is not a very comfortable movement to sit to, nor are judges impressed by it!
With him feeling so well I decided it’s best to get him out and about as much as possible between now and his first event to make sure he is settled and ready. As well as the odd trip to the local water treadmill at Crow Wood Equestrian for fitness work, I have been taking him out for lessons and low level competitions every week.
The week after the embarrassing dressage outing I took him Arena Eventing at Kelsall Hill, where once again he was rather bright and very pleased to be out jumping again! This competition was a useful training tool for me as it highlighted areas I need to improve on in the jumping which I have since been able to work on during my show-jumping lessons.
Last weekend we went to Somerford Park for a spin around the amazing all weather XC facility. Having access to these facilities over the winter is absolutely invaluable, especially with younger horses, as it allows me to practice questions that will be found at events later in the season, as well as introduce new types of fence in an controlled environment before we venture out onto the grass in the Spring.
Four year old Jalisca has also been progressing well and has had her first jump under saddle and her first little Dressage lesson! She is such a super young horse to work with and shares the same enthusiasm towards her ridden work as Herbie does which really does make producing these horses an absolute joy. She will be going out to a few different arenas for a look around in the next few weeks before taking her to some low key unaffiliated competitions to learn her trade.
Both horses have had a bitting consultation and have consequently changed into new bits which has made an unbelievable difference to their way of going. It was a very interesting experience and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.
Herbies first event has been entered and is now just 5 short weeks away so February will be spent concentrating on further fittening work, plenty of training and a few more competitive outings to ensure we are both fit and ready to go!
We also have some very exciting things in the pipeline which will be revealed next month – 2018 is going to be a good one!!