NSW Country Hack Champs

AELEC is an awesome venue, a little like the bogan country sister of SIEC. I almost like it better because there is somewhere to warm up undercover, washbays are closer, camping relatively close and on tarmac (horse events always = rain). We were able to use just about whatever arena we wanted and I even ventured into the huge back paddock of the place that has the X-Country courses.

Food venues nearby and plenty of motels close as well unlike SIEC. At Tamworth I wasn’t particularly a fan of the food onsite however good work stocking Powerade etc. I think re catering SIEC is awesome with that one, or at least I’ve always been lucky to score really nice salads. AELEC office super helpful as well, for when your like me and decide to leave a day earlier…and want stabling an extra night. You can also order feed to be delivered to your stable pretty easily – unlike SIEC, but SIEC you can  control the lights. So both are equally awesome really.

E traveled well, I opted for the longer-flatter route so we left at 10.30am and arrive about 4pm with one stop..not to bad! Iceboots, a walk and dinner. Socialising keeps one sane. Massive storm came through late Friday night which I think meant quite a few horses/people were lacking sleep!

Encore and I had a ride around the indoor in the early morning, nothing scary so all good there. We headed out to walk around the arena’s but they were so wet back inside we went. Huge classes – 50 something in the Large Ponies.

Strapped for my favourite pony. Went to get a shirt..came back with a jacket/outfit – I was very worried my Pretty Ponies ones from the UK wouldn’t arrive in time.

Just when we were about to go for a ride…massive storm. Totally ridiculous. Felt for anyone trying to warm up/head to their class! Thankfully it passed and we went for a wander 🙂 Awesome chinese for dinner!

Sunday in the rider class early on…but huge classes I thought it mght take a while. It did. He was awesome if not a little wild for the rider class – which sorted itself via him flooding a small area – I did offer the opportunity before hand..but horses.

Then next up was friend’s Small SH Galloway. I have never been soo nervous watching and strapping before! She did awesome and we were on edge to here the results! Flowers! SO awesome :).

Commence anxious wait for our class, which was the last. It’s no secret he is prone to tying up and warming up in the dark/cold wasn’t the best! Anyway good result. Thankfully. Trip worthwhile, Horse gets what I think he deserves finally.



Stedinger (IMP)

So I’m feeling rather lucky!!

I had an amazing opportunity and got a ride on the super star that is Stedinger!

Revelwood Stud had a competition going to “win” a ride on him. My dear “Big Chad” owning friend suggested I should enter. Which of course I did! Thinking with a degree of trepidation I am not exactly a textbook Dressage rider for this imported Stallion that has amazing paces. Which of course if you google his name you will see a few videos from the European Stallion shows the display his incredible canter.

Worth a try anyway so I penned my words into a nice short little rhyming piece. Got the news I had won on Mother’s Day I think it was actually, as my dear Mum was quite thrilled!

Thankfully it’s a quieter period at work so I can take off mid week to ride a super fancy horse! I was pretty excited!

Left home a little earlier (though not so early that everyone froze) so we could have a look and a sit in the Equipe Saddles at Trailrace. I have ridden in a couple of models and was keen to see what the brown looked like. I am now 100% sold in a Equipe Emporio in Brown! I like the feel of this model and you could easily get away with it in the Show Ring.

Onto Amberwood Park and Stedinger! It was simply awe-inspiring to watch Gina riding him. I would very much look forward to seeing them both in a freestyle test as the work they produce is so expressive and Stedinger’s canter is totally world-class and an absolute highlight.

Not to mention he has a devine head and really is so leggy and elegant. There are quite a few Show Hunter horse mares I know off that would be such lovely crosses to him. The progeny would not only have the rideability but the good looks and the added height as he of course stands at 17.2 HH

Then it was my turn to jump aboard! He is certainly a bit taller than E’s great height of 14.3HH. He was really super, didn’t mind the change of rider and was happy to listen to what I was asking. No fuss and really enjoyable and I think I sat his big trots okay and we played around in the lateral work being coached by Gina.  Lost that left stirrup a bit which is frustrating but it is improving so I can’t complain. His canter is soo gorgeous to ride, flying changes and half pass no problems 🙂 Gina had me ride some tempi’s which Stedinger was happy to do! Finished off with some piaffe and passage and phoar he can passage!

He was such a gentlemen and quite the dude on the ground. Better manners than my two boys anyday! A massive thankyou to Stedinger for being such a gorgeous horse, Revelwood Stud and David & Amanda Shoobridge to let someone ride one of their uber fancy stallions, Amberwood Park for allowing another person onboard and so close to a competition…and for getting him so pretty!  Lastly but importantly to Chad’s Mum for getting me to enter. A fabulous opportunity that won’t be forgotten.

Video will be on the Revelwood Stud facebook page shortly


No pain, No gain (or a qualification)

No pain, No gain (or a qualification)

Well that’s one way to get back on the horse. Three days of showing. Anzac Day being breeds day at our local show and then back there for hack classes before a Hunter Valley show today.

Mildly appalled most people on Friday were riding without a poppy or rosemary in the very least.

Our local show is pretty dodgy in my opinion – minimal parking, uphill downhill to ride on and the sideshow rides being horrendously noisy. As it was both days we prepped Encore on the road parked a block away and walked in. Got the performances we wanted so happy there 🙂 Won a lovely flag rug donated by a local embroidery business.


Hunter Valley show today and it poured with rain just after we left. The show committee are wonderful and bright so it was such a lovely show to attend. I’ve judged here before and thought the same 🙂 E was very on the ball in the rain and won a pretty amazing red woolen rug. Donated by Rugrack


Nailed it.

Nailed it.

So very happy with Encore today, our first real week “in work” and he really seems to have stepped it up a notch. One would think after a relatively long break he might need a little encouragement but he has surprised me with exceptional work ethic and just so on the ball.

I decided it was time to attempt our last hurdle that was canter pirouettes. Perhaps I had a bit of a mental block, I thought they were really quite so much harder or at least the basic training.

So really a definite mental block…as we can canter half pass and canter along straight sitting for a few strides but I’d just never thought to ride a square or diamond shape, or travers in.

Not to mention the concept of walk pirouetting and then straight into a canter pirouette seemed completely unachievable. Proud to say E
proved me wrong and I think I’ve successfully muddled my way through teaching (or learning??) the raw basics of the movements.

I’ve decided I’ll have to man up and wear a boot from now on because I really do need spurs on. Not for the severity of the aid but more so the clarity…with flying changes it takes a few for him to realize the shoe against his side is me asking!

Nice to be back and having some good rides to make the early starts worthwhile.