Progress

This weather, in February has been crazy and amazing! We have got so much done and made so much progress, both ridden and on the ground. We have also been enjoying being a part of the Equissimo search for a new brand ambassador. We are keeping our fingers (and hooves) crossed! #teamequissimo https://equissimo.co.uk

https://equissimo.co.uk

As some may already know Caspar is terrified of poles. We have been doing some work over the last couple of months at getting past this. With some success. He has been going over reluctantly and was getting himself stressed about it. The other day I am sure some of you have seen via our social media pages we had another go. I honestly couldn’t believe it, totally unexpected, but he willingly walked over in a really calm relaxed way. Not just once but a whole handful of times. I am so proud of him for this as I know how hard it was for him. I am going to work at this little bit by bit and not rush it as I really don’t want it to be a fluke. But I will only work at it when he feels happy to. This is how we got here so it’s how we will continue 🙂

Last night we had a last minute lesson as I had checked the weather forecast and the rain was going to be making a comeback. (Which it has) I am so glad we did, we had a great lesson and did a lot of sitting trot and boy am I sore today. To me that just means we had a great session. Caspar has a new bit also which was making me a little nervous. It was our 4th ride in it and I hadn’t really asked much of him up until then. He seems to be going well in it bar a few giraffe impressions here and there, but time will tell with this.

The next few days will be relatively quiet riding wise until my husband comes home from working away in Ireland as the little man can’t be running wild in the rain with this never ending cold that he just can’t seem to shift. Roll on the weekend!

Jen & Caspar

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#goals

I’ve been thinking recently. What are our current goals? With my 30th rapidly approaching in August, what are our next steps? We need something to aim for.

For those that do not know much about us, I have come into riding later in life. Caspar is my first own, and I struggle with confidence. A lot. Caspar is afraid of poles which is something we are currently working on. He used to jump beautifully but as I say we are working together to get past that. Which will also mean I will have to learn to jump (this is something I am terrified of) I do have a plan set out in my head and I will need to get some help in, I know exactly the lady to help should she oblige. But at some point down the line, this is a ‘step by step’ plan . This, I know will be a very long-term goal and I do not expect to achieve this in 2019. We have a long road ahead of us. But we will get there.

Goals I am thinking so far is to take Caspar out for a beach ride, something I have wanted to do forever. Get a 1st Rosette, by my 30th (August 5th) and get out as much as we can over the summer. And our main one (My main one should I say) is to believe in myself and put all of my faith in my boy. Because I know he does with me.

What are your goals this year?

Jen & Caspar xx

Non horsey weekend?

What is this? I hear you cry!

I have a non horsey weekend, this is a rare occurrence and I know our wonderful yard owner is taking fantastic care of my boy! I am however missing him like crazy, but Katy has been sending me photos of my boy, which I shall share with you later.

In the meantime I have been making an extensive list of beautiful things to buy from Equissimo, I am especially loving Montar and Kingsland at the moment. I am in desperate need of new breeches!! Think these may be the ones in grey: https://equissimo.co.uk/collections/riding-breeches/products/montar-ess-highwaisted-breeches?variant=1615214706713 😍 How do we all think Caspar would look in plum?? I love grey and plum!

Yesterday we bundled into the car to head out to Exeter to have a nose around the shops and I genuinely forget how busy it is! Today, I was hoping to head to the donkey sanctuary in Sidmouth, but are closed for the moment to be on the safe side. So coming up with plan b for a birthday day out for our son who turned 3 on Wednesday. Pony ride??

What are your favourite things to do on a non horsey day?

Here are the photos Katy has sent me

Jen & Caspar xx

Little steps

Recently I haven’t posted much as honestly I have been battling my demons with being nervous. I came off, not even badly and we couldn’t ride for a short while to some truly horrendous weather. So during that time I spent some time getting inside my own head, which is always bad news. I’ve been trying to make little steps to get back to where we were.

During the time I haven’t posted, Christmas has come and gone. We had a brilliant low key Christmas Show at our yard. Everyone was brilliant and made such an effort with their fancy dress. Of course the weather was bad, thick fog and a fair amount of mizzle. Caspar and I donned our favourite sparkly things and some fairy lights for the occasion. We both had a brilliant time. We are so looking forward to going out to do more shows in the summer! We treated ourselves to some new stirrups as well as I find my ankle and knee can get a bit sore, so after searching and searching I found the perfect ones for us at Equissimo we went for Tech Stirrups Iris in rose gold. Not only are they super comfortable, the grip is amazing, and they are my all time favourite colour rose gold. What more could I want for.

This time last year we had quite a bit of snow, and this year we have had some more! Not quite the same amount, but it came down thick and fast. It’s also gone as quickly as it came. Caspar and I had a nice relaxed ride in the school in the left over snow. He was such a good boy, he hadn’t been ridden for two weeks due to the wild weather and him having a cough, I was expecting a little bit of a lively ride. But I can’t fault him, such a special boy. Of course, we couldn’t resist a photo opportunity!

Jen & Caspar xx

Autumn

I can’t believe it’s that time of year again already. Crunchy leaves, stunning sunrises and sunsets…mud, mud and more mud. Who could forget it’s clipping season too! So also along with Autumn, the routine has changed so the four legged one is not only resembling a woolly mammoth but a really grumpy one at that! It makes me so appreciate the days where he is like a marshmallow and loves his cuddles.

Since we last posted, honestly I’ve not done much in the way of smashing goals. Seems since our outing in August I’ve had the most persistant cold/flu/tonsilitis/plague I can ever remember having. I would really love it to go now!

We have some goals set which we are working toward for our next outing. We are having a lovely time working to improve, although it’s getting a little difficult with the darker evenings drawing in, but where there’s a will, there’s a way!

On Sunday after lunging Caspar was really following me around the school with no lead rope or tack. Shoulder to shoulder never in my space even if I turned a tight figure of eight. Stopped next to me when I did and not a foot ahead of me.

Our ground work is clearly paying off. It was really very sweet and it was a magic feeling. I’m thinking of seeing where this goes and trying to have a go at some liberty with him. The idea of him getting past his fear of poles and willingly walk over one is so lovely. I have a lot to learn as it’s never something I have tried. I think this could be a lot of fun!

Jen & Caspar x

The big day

6.30am- alarm goes off. I haven’t really slept due to suspected tonsilitis. Turned alarm off and went back to sleep.

7am – still can’t breathe properly. Time for Lemsip and cough mixture and Sudafed.

7.30am – still in bed drinking Lemsip and looking at test sheets. Should probably get up soon. Caspar needs a bath.

8am – Remembered I have to petrol and have to go into town to get some before I go to the yard.

8.30am – Finally arrive at the yard. Delayed as there are lots of holiday makers around as it’s bank holiday. I’m having to wave at everybody this morning as I’m actually barely audible when I speak. Couldn’t have happened on a better day.

9.00am – Bath time! Out we go to get Caspar nice and clean, poor chap looks at me like he’s thinking ‘how could you mum’ I’m going to guess that’s because it was tipping it down.

10.00am – One very clean and heavenly smelling horse! Secret weapon… silvikrin purple shampoo on the legs. Brilliant.

10.30am – I’m halfway through plaiting. Halfway through dying from whatever it is that’s stopping me from breathing and socially interacting like a normal person. I think Caspar is glad I’m not gabbing away to him to be honest.

11.00am – The plaits are passable for a first proper effort. I gave up on the French plait for his forelock.. I just couldn’t get it to look nice so I just did a normal one and it looked fine. (But I knew it wasn’t how I really wanted it, so that bugged me.) Time for the calmer. This should be fun. In actual fact he took most of it pretty well, only minimal amounts went on me and the floor. He then looked at me like I was a traitor when I offered him a polo. I had smelt that calmer after, it wasn’t all that enticing.

11.30am – Time to get me ready! I am soaking wet. Cannot breathe, my jacket is still a bit tight. But at least I can get it done up now unlike 6 months ago! I decided to keep a separate pair of jeans in my bag until we arrived as the weather really was foul and if my whites didn’t go see through because of the they would be brown from the mud. Figured it was best to change into those on the lorry.

12.00pm – I’m starting to flap now. I need my husband to come pick up our son as we need to leave in half an hour… shame the calmer isn’t for people too. Mind you.. I do have some rescue remedy? Had a drop of that.

12.30pm – We are loaded up and on our way!! My very kind friend Jo is taking us in her lorry. If you’re reading this Jo, THANK YOU!!!

1.45pm – We have arrived, I’m flapping more now. My dutiful husband has arrived with our lovely little boy and I’m in the back of the lorry using my yard boots as something (kind of) dry to stand on whilst I swap into my breeches.

2.00pm – Both horses have been unloaded and tacked up, I’m still flapping and I go to mount and realise the steps aren’t quite high enough so I start to flap again. So we are going to get on in the warm up. That’s fine. I have also started to notice that the glands on my neck have swollen to three times their size and it’s very difficult to speak, make any kind of noise or breathe without feeling like I’ve inhaled a bonfire.

2.30pm – We are now in the warm up and I know I am first, I am feeling so tense right now. Despite chugging the rest of the rescue remedy before heading to warm up. Caspar is feeling quite tense and is a bit looky but he settles down quite quickly after a few turns around the area and some trotting. I’m up there singing away and and repeating ‘flabby bum’ to myself over and over. I must have looked like a mad woman. The bell has gone. Oh shit.

Sometime after 2.30pm – Its a bit of a blur now, I’m feeling a bit delirious from all the cold and flu stuff I’ve taken. But I’ve spied a friend who has come to watch and seen the other liveries warming up, I think the test went well. My instructor Katy called it out for us as my little brain kind of went blank. But over all I have really enjoyed it and have relaxed at last. I’m actually looking forward to my next test now!

3.22pm – We are called again, Caspar slightly less willing to go in again this time but he did brilliantly. Katy called for us again, I had made a couple of mistakes but that was to be expected. But we smiled and we had fun!

3.40pm- We took some group photos as there were a few of us there from South Woolley today which was really lovely.

4.00pm – Horses are un-tacked and in the lorry and we head off to go and get our test sheets. I am so proud of Caspar today, he really has done me proud. We got a 4th and a 6th!! Some really helpful feedback to work at for next time was given. Needless to say I have got the bug and can’t wait for the next one!!

5.30pm ish? – We are back and the stables, I’m taking Caspars plaits out and my brilliant husband is taking out all of our stuff from the lorry. I’m at this point wobbling around the yard where I am so out of it. Time to go home for a roast dinner and some Prosecco.

Thank you so much to everyone who has believed in us and supported us and all of your good luck wishes. I’ve also achieved a goal I gave myself around a year ago. I have never won any kind of prize for anything in my life, so I had vowed by the time I turn 30 I need to come home from an event with a rosette. Doesn’t matter what one. So a 4th and a 6th I am thrilled with.

Next goal – maybe a first place?! I still have 11 months until I am 30!

A huge well done to everyone else who had their tests today – you were brilliant! Special thanks to Jo for safely transporting my lovely Caspar and being a fab groom for the day. Sam Parker (My wonderful husband) for looking after me all day! Katy Malone, for you never ending support, Amy for coming to support us and for taking off Caspars tack and getting his boots on whilst I had a coughing fit, and of course Samberwill Equestrian for always keeping my spirits high and keeping me comfy when I am training!! Emily Barker for Caspars massage (I think he is looking forward to his next one) and everyone else who has been behind us!!

Jen & Caspar xx

Practice & Procrastination

This blog post started out just being titled ‘Practice’ and since I wrote the large bulk of it at least a week ago I decided to add the latter to the title. In between cutting my own fringe, working, toddler wrangling and making an attempt to get into a healthier lifestyle. I had come to a decision.

So, it has gotten to the point where I really can make no more excuses about not going to do our first tests. Caspar and I have been working hard. Not as hard as I would have liked but hey ho. We have gotten to know each other some more, I have been brave and pushed myself out of my comfort zone more often and more willingly. So what’s a couple of little Intro tests right? Well, the thought is enough to bring me out in a cold sweat. There will be people watching me – in my slightly too tight show jacket no less. But people that aren’t my very kind instructor! That in itself is scary.

Then there is the prep. Loading practice, I had no idea how he loads.. that needs to be practiced, turns out that’s fine. Just he rushes a little getting out. Plaits – great at plaiting people, but the horse? That needs practice. Actually trying to remember the tests. That also needs practice. As soon as I remember one completely it squeezes out the first one. It’s an endless circle. Keeping a coloured clean before a show? I’m not sure that all the help or product in the world will ensure his white bits stay white.

Oh God. What have I done? Wish us luck for Sunday!!

TBC

Jen, Caspar & Sam xx