Lucerne Trees & Ollie!

Lucerne trees and little Ollie have certainly been recent highlights!

Blessed to be in such a beautiful new area with so many gorgeous places only a short drive away. Thrilled to find Lucerne trees available at a nursery located near Yackandandah. Which just so happens to be a stunning place to visit! Not to mention lot of great cafes.

We’ve planted about 120 of them now, it will be interesting to see how they go over Winter.

Grace arrived safely and is happy in her new paddock. We are very excited for her foal, keeping everything crossed there. I forgot just how like Encore she really is. At least with a baby belly now we can tell them apart 😂.

Little Ollie arrived last Thursday. One of those horses I’d seen online and LOVED since last last year. Hoping he matures small galloway or large pony. I would love him to be tall enough I can look “okay” on him in the show ring, even if that entails a bit of starvation on my part.

He was such an good little man travelling. I prefer to use Southern Cross as the horses come first. For a young weanling doing a fairly long trip he travelled brilliantly.

This week has been learning basics aka being caught in the paddock, rugs (poor wee thing has no hair…our 2/3deg nights meant rugs were a must!). In the space of a few days he is rather happy with life and quietly stood for a trim with the farrier today. Little champion of a pony – my pretend palomino!

(If you can’t tell already…I’m besotted!!!).

Purchasing pony rugs has been interesting as I’ve learnt how it’s hard to find decent ones are on the market in 4’9 and smaller. Talking super warm doona’s etc – don’t be surprised if I come up with my own range of pony rugs.

We met some more of the locals over the weekend, who have made a track along the road for about 3 mile which you can safely gallop along. Lots of our neighbours are into tent pegging so it’s not uncommon to see 1 go galloping past with a couple being ponied off the side. Or a gypsy cart with a couple of breakers tied to it. Good variety for Encore anyway – we went for a gallop today, startled a fox along the track 🦊.

Enjoying life anyway ☺️🍁🍂🐴.

Home is where the horses are.

There is ever an particularly ideal time to “start” blogging again however the last couple of months have been a mix of chaotic, amazing and devastating.

To paraphrase very (very!!) briefly boxes ticked including moving house, a business and somehow place this around the major shows keeping Encore in work. I’m still not quite sure how what needed to be accomplished happened.

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Encore frightened us all when he became drastically sick one afternoon in early January. Long story short he is alive, having spent a couple of days on a drip in pony hospital. The slightly shaved patch on his neck where the cannula was hasn’t proved too much of a disadvantage thus far.

We did start him at ENSW Hoty, allbeit he had lost a lot of weight and wasn’t quite so bright. The outing did him well as he picked up a little, appetite grew and scored well enough to be in the placings.

Birthday surprise Bunny…Flopsy

2nd time I’ve blown a Tyre going to Battle of the borders. Least changing takes about 8 minutes. Makes travelling with a spare spare worthwhile?!

Battle of the borders at Albury was fun, as we collected our house keys and enjoyed the weekend. Fairly sure we did half the wrong workout in our hunter class, one of those horse goes so well and your enjoying riding them you just pat lots and canter out. New hunter jacket was also a highlight.

Canberra Royal was fun. Really windy and we cut our time being there from a week to just a few days to maximise good grass time for E. Glad we left early aka before it flooded.

Grand Nationals was successful from the perspective as a sponsor, it was great to hear feedback on products and talk to customers. One would hope people are appreciate of the effort all sponsors put in – the cash donations made for the Grand Champions prizes really were huge and well done to those people for supporting the industry.

We had our own success at Grand Nationals with Encore. Finally! You see it’s been quite a few years of random misfortunes, judges rushing through the class so as not to miss flights or massive storm coming though and scaring the life out of E that he has never been selected.

This has always been a bit of a sore point because we know beyond any doubt the judge will love riding him. Encore really is the most fun and honest horse to ride. 100% good pony which is why we don’t mind all his other quirks.

So after 8 years in the ring, he gets his chance. Albeit a bit of an error in numbers being recorded we finally had our chance. (For the record – least the live-streaming shows the wrong numbers being called out!). Admittedly due to the fact of having really bad hearing and not being able to discern what was said, it was only outside did I understand he wasn’t just sashed owner rider but also Res champ. Well done E – best pony (after J). We’d been practicing our gallops for weeks, including warming up with a gallop up the paths so I think J would have been proud of us. All of this said, I really am just thrilled to be riding Encore and have him alive.

Sydney Royal was lots of fun there, I’m a fan of the food in the stables. It’s totally worthwhile to qualify horses and attend just to eat the meatballs & chips. Encore worked very well in his open class getting a bow – admittedly I get a bit lost with ribbons colours/placing after 1/2/3. Popular opinion would seem nobody wants a poo Brown ribbon and the pink or purple ones are the most popular. Meatballs and the ability to shop at Wagners 10 times a day is awesome.

Encore’s mare friend and companion Meeka. One very sweet older Black mare. She has come from an eventing home and is very gentle and easy to handle. We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have such a pretty paddock friend for E.

Cue a few weeks with all the fun of setting up a new horse property. Safe stables and fences done we had the girls booked on transport.

As we had some of the larger events, along with moving it was arranged Scarlett would have 6wks off and stay to be companion for Grace. Grace being a few months in foal, we’d planned things to be as low stress as possible for her. The girls always got along well together.

Which considering the timing makes it all the more devastating when Scarlett had a horrific paddock accident. Poor Scarlett – we are all absolutely heartbroken. As a dear friend said, the are such big but fragile creatures.

So with that in mind, it’s so exciting to have Grace arriving home and yet rather tragic as Scarlett will not be led off with her.

What will be nice is to have all the horses together again, home is where the horses are.

Mission Garryowen complete.

In what has been the most monumental effort since we the idea was sorted of floated end of February…mission Garryowen is complete. Lots of fun but lots and lots of work!

Acquiring the gear, cleaning the gear, making sure everything fits or will fit ie 5 girths later and then cleaning everything again I’ll be quite happy to not clean tack for the next month or so. Apart from the fact everything needs to be cleaned before it goes into storage.

Scarlett whilst still paddock dwelling is coming back into work. I just didn’t have the time over Winter.

New boots – Cavallo Primus Pro

Firstly, yes slight redesign and update. I had this logo designed late last year for me, I absolutely love it!

Super excited to unbox a pair of the Cavallo Primus Pro today. Thankyou past self for ordering these at Canberra Royal!

I prefer to order through Wagners, as then I know with Caroline measuring they will fit perfectly.  I am of course a fan of the Cognac colour, once they darker a little (as all good brown leathers do with time!) they will be superb.

Hey 2017

17 days in seems timely enough however.

I feel it remiss of me to not firstly mention Ooteman are having a massive sale on all the things. This said, I have all the things so don’t yet need to order! Life goals I’m not sure but we are currently okay gear wise which is nice.

It’s also kind of interesting that pretty much all of the Anky colours are on sale – I totally admit I got bored once they started repeating colours rather than doing new patterns and designs. Which looking at the new range that has just come out – yawn.

We still miss J, I can’t believe it was May last year – seems like only yesterday. In a comment that horse people will understand, the grass where the paraffin bucket was dumped is nearly grown over but not quite. His stable empty and E feeling like he needs to be the stallion of the place.

E is being awesome of course, hopefully we will start Inter 1 this year. He is more than capable of it  – we are really looking forward to being able to compete in the snaffle bridle as well as it just suits him better. It’s still funny score wise as the judges don’t know what to do with him, some love him and some hate him and we consistently get 3’s and 8’s for the same movements. That said one of the judges who isn’t really appreciative of him handed out a 8 for his extended walk and we were like wait what..!

That is where I like Dressage though in that we can turn up, ride and go home without worrying about scores or placings. It’s the best! Particularly as there is much less effort required.

I’m amused now that Scarlett is ready to start I much prefer riding her in the double bridle! She does go far better and is generally a much (much!) happier horse and as relayed to me by quite a few people, some horses are just built for a double. (And that in itself is funny as with the other horse I’m all yay about FEI in a snaffle!). So I daresay we will do limited newcomer classes and just drop the weymouth off beforehand.

Dressage wise it causes a few issues as whilst she is happily training Medium (and other tricks) it is a little too much pressure to start her out at Medium, pressure for her not me! So prep it is. Hopefully by years end she will be Medium/Adv. She is training all the things and has good horse knowledge on what is what – it’s more so just getting control which is a continual process. I admit I find the Prelim/Novice bloody boring and not challenging what so ever – we can walk/trot/canter and ride lengthened paces in the show ring.

I’m sure people will read what I’ve typed and pick it apart but meh! I’m really happy with how Scarlett is going, it’s been a long what 3/4yrs? I think some methods suit her and some certainly don’t – we will just continue to to take advice from all areas and run with what works. One of the most important things to continually improve and move forwards is that you try new concepts, if you always do what you’ve always done you will always get what you’ve always got. Which is why some people seem to hit proverbial brick walls and their horses always go the same way.

She will probably be a wild beast and cause carnage in the show ring – she is so not a show horse but it will be excellent acclimatization for her! She can gallop no problems, it’s more the stopping that is an issue – as in she is quite quick of the seat to stop!! That and I’m sure many show horse people seem to think Warmbloods are all massive hyper extended trots – which some are – but personally I would rather a horse that doesn’t consistently do late flying changes and one that has decent legs in years to come!

Hufglocken is steadily growing, it has outgrown my grasp. I can’t tell you how amusing it is to be at Dressage competitions and have people tell me that I should go an purchase Huf gear for XYZ reasons. It’s fun to be able to do lots of different designs and nice it’s being well recognized. Lots of time of course has been poured into it!

Obviously I’m a KEP fan, so was super excited to be able to take on distribution rights there. Currently in the process of setting up new site (EOH) to do KEP, Mattes etc. so H can just be Huf stuff. Easier ordering wise, particularly with the custom orders that take weeks on end.

Life is fine with just the two horses at the moment although my friends happily put up with me wanting a palomino pony or a new open galloway from one week to the next! Still wouldn’t mind a really nice open type. Scarlett will have a year or so in the show ring but she is very very much a dressage horse and I don’t want to smash her legs around on shitty ag show surfaces – what’s the point?!

Looking forward to our County saddles soon! Should be here early Feb and I’m sure it will really help both of them and myself.

I did switch all my Sprenger spurs over to the extra grip ones – which are the best because they don’t move!! An issue I was having with the plain metal ones.

Encore has a new DQ double bridle and Scarlett’s m2m one is coming soon hopefully! Still waiting on her dressage double but that should also be soon. So not really accumulating more, just switching to higher quality. In E’s show bridle case I just wanted a slightly wider noseband and so we had a 3rd bridle to put a browband on for rider classes – because I am not a fan of taking bridles apart!

White hamag numbers for S, new false tails (Tails by Jocelyn still being my favourite). I’ve reduced jacket wardrobe down to just my favourites – which no surprises is still Pretty Ponies, Wagners, Animo and then the Show Stoppers one in the slightly luminous brown tweed.

Still wanting red patent top boots though.

It will be interesting to see what this year brings, lots of things happening and I continually seem to add more. Game on bitches.

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Gunning Royal

I made myself useful by plaiting a tail before we left, it was also good to get some practice in before I do E’s later this week. Or at least plait at royal standard.

Gunning show ground isn’t that far off the federal highway and in between was a huge paddock with some very friendly horses. (Encore had friends!)!
We has definitely brought the rain with us as the show ground and surrounds looked very wet.

I usually don’t work E beforehand but seeing as how he had a big trip the day before I tacked him up in the lunge gear and we had a wander around for a while. The show turned out to be running quite slowly or at least a long wait as lots of other classes were on. Also a dilemma as the tones ambulance was called to an accident so everyone was off their horses until it was back. Fair enough because the sporting was fast and furious. I took a video of which I will upload later but I have never seen anything like it!

Our ridden Arabian derivative came up first and he worked perfectly and won it. In the Champion workout one of the flag races started which majorly startled Encore (5th spook in his life!). The judges called out for us to stop as she thought it was very unfair and didn’t want to give him a fright (her words). That was quite lovely of her as he isn’t one to behave like that and so she allowed him to run through his workout again which was foot perfect. The other horse worked very nicely and didn’t have any races mid workout but it was nice of the rider to be understanding enough of the situation that she didn’t seem annoyed. So he went Ch & Supreme Ridden Arab Deriv.

Another long wait I thought what the heck I will do my rider class. Actually turned out to be lots of people in it and the judge worked out about 12 people! E nailed the Champion workout for me which includes a sitting extension and extended canter…nothing terribly hard but he let me look pretty. Amusing thing was my phone rang mid workout (and not on silent!) so we had a nice bit if hunting themed music to ride to!

As we started the Galloway classes it absolutely pelted down, reins became hard to hold and my boots filled with water. The judge very kindly combined a lot of classes and judged then on the circle in an effort to run through things. Encore worked flawlessly considering the conditions and scored himself another tri colour. Some very nice horses in the class however I think being from the North Coast we are used to riding in torrential rain!

Seeing as how we were already soaked we stayed for the Ansa classes. I rode not very nicely as I was bloody frozen but Encore kept things together for me. He scored a new ANSA saddlecloth for his efforts.

Last was Supreme hack, days like this he is such a angel of a horse and it was pouring with rain harder than before. Horse land voucher in the bag! Woohoo!

I dropped the ramp and put him on the float saddle, ribbon and all and untacked him in there. I have never been so wet & cold, if if known it was going to rain like that I think we would have just left!

We were both surely grateful for hot showers & warm clothes!!! A good last show before the royal though.

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7 weeks and counting

7 weeks and counting

Whilst I generally like to keep my *ponies in good condition  I feel you cannot keep a horse at its peak 24/7. They always need a spell mentally and physically at the end of the season I tend to give them a holiday of about 4 weeks. Mainly as it for the past few years as coincided with Uni/Post grad exams.

With some luck I may have finished studies, so hopefully we can make use of the winter break -. I don’t know what it is but we seem to be slightly cursed with something fairly bad happening to one whilst on their break. Anyway so holidays now = winter…end of season this year, they can stay in light work but trail ride and beach.

Work started Mid Dec – I like to use these off season periods to train something new, that may cause a few issues if I was to teach when we are showing every weekend. Last year E learnt flying changes, picked them up rather quickly. Though I should have started a little earlier as we were still a bit keen to show them at every opportunity. Like Here. Nice one E…should have smiled and gone with it…but I’d prefer to contain the self-expression.

Fast forward nearly a year and tempi changes are happening. E is one of those “I want to dance” types and finds them fairly easy,  being on board I have to work on sitting up, counting correctly (naturally I get a bit hung up of this) and not interfering. I appreciate dearly of both J & E that I can teach them something, then they “schoolmaster it” back to me.

This summer we have been a little confused about lateral work to a certain direction and lacking forward, 2 weeks in and we have *got* it. Now just a matter of suppleness and flexion. Both working with that and shortening/collecting the trot and canter to later prepare for higher level work.

Riding early this morning the aim was along with the above, to work on being a little more responsive to the aids, both upwards and downwards. This evenings ride I went sans spurs, need to use legs a bit more and rode mainly long and low doing basic lateral work and practice walking. If your time poor I find a collected walk without anticipation is one of those hard things, we finish work and head goes straight down to stretch. So lots of practice collected walking now, just a matter of making the time for it.

So yes I rode my pony twice!! Canberra is coming up in about 7 wks and we need a decent amount of fitness. Compared to last year when E kept falling asleep again the stable door, which need to be pushed in, to open….he effectively locked himself in….wishful thinking to prevent that! LOL!

So above you have work wise to prepare for big show. Next post will be all the other things 🙂

I saw these gorgeous photos on Supreme Products Facebook even Olympic gold medalists do shiny faces and quartermarks.

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Yep, she is my idol….though that was confirmed before she was famous, the picture of  Ardenhall Royal Secret has been a favourite of mine for years! I came across the mare when looking for pics of E’s relatives. For those not into the riding ponies, she is now owned by Whitemere stud and progeny include a number of highly succesful LJS/Kolbeach/Whitmere

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*Well really horses yes, but seeminly as galloways and one being RPSBs and the other just scraping into pony dressage height they make good ponies 😉