So we have just finished..

..our first showjumping clinic.  It was great.  We had 15 riders split into two groups, horses and cob/ponies. The session started with a little lecture on what makes or doesn’t make a good show jumper and then we went out and warmed up with stirrups at jumping length. After taking our ponies through some small jumps to get them picking their feet up we set up a grid of three jumps designed to improve confidence in the rider and horse.

All the horses and riders got better at cantering through the grid and the heights went up accordingly. We finished off with a single spread and the rider picked the height they wanted to jump for a bit of fun. We were so successful at this the horse group were jumping 1m20 with ease.

Then on saturday we had a full teaching day. Once again with Mollie away Katie ran the yard brilliantly whilst I taught the lessons. With a set of jumps up I culdnt resist having a jumping lesson for the first session. However after that I stuck to my lesson plans that I had created for the groups.

The staff lesson at the end of the day convinced me to do more jumping so we did some gymnastic jumping by running through a grid of bounces and finished off for fun with a single spread…

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..a bit blurred but a very nice jump from one of our new horses. By the end of the session we had the our horse group popping over 1.2m.

So sunday was a polocrosse day. We had the Edinburgh University Polocrosse Club over for a session. 4 new players and 2 from last year. Everyone liked the idea of a University competition. If we can get the Stirling, Glasgow, and St Andrews equestrian clubs to take up the sport we could run an accumulator league.

Pony Club on Tuesday was team games. We had 3 junior teams and 5 senior teams. The electrician had been out on Monday and fixed the outdoor lights so we had no problem riding until 8pm.

posted by shaun

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So we have just finished..

We have two new..

..arrivals today..

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..Zimba (on the left) and Babyslider (Turbo on the right).  They arrived this afternoon and luckily I had just finished getting their stables ready for them and the stables had passed the inspection by the ladies..

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..the vet is coming tomorrow to take some blood samples to test and once they come back clear the ponies will be released into the pony field.  Turbo is Freyas new pony and Zimba is Robs.  They are both very excited.

My 4.30 lesson was in the indoor school today because just as we went out it started to rain. Inside we practiced cantering and trying to keep our ponies vertical around the corners. It was very hard work in the indoor school made harder by the fact that Polo didn’t want to go near the hay store and lucy didn’t want to leave the middle of the school and diamond wanted to gallop around as fast as she could.

posted by shaun

We have two new..

The showjumping on Friday. .

..is proving very popular.  With plenty of people already booked into it.  The next thing we will need to do is some form of dressage clinic!

We are actually trying to work out what we can do with a spare hour on monday from 4.30 to 5.30.  I guess we could make it an hour and a half if we started at 4.  Any suggestions!

The really exciting news is Garry and Hamish went off together today to collect two new ponies, Zimba and Babyslider (TurboPig).  Zimba played for Scotland in the Pony Club Four Nations Polocrosse Tournament this year.  Babyslider is an American quarter horse who is an all rounder that jumps and plays polocrosse and we guess must barrel race and rodeo.  Maybe hamish and Ru’s lassoing skills will be put to the test.  We will have photos tomorrow of the newbies.

Our lessons went on today as usual and polocrosse was outside at 6.30 and our brand new start lesson at 4.30 is going well with the riders working on their riding trot.  Pretty impressive for their second lesson.   The 5.30 lesson spent time trying to encourage their horses to go long and low as a precursor to collection.  We finished off for a bit of fun practicing spins and I have promised to teach them next week how to do the Merlin (see next weeks blog for details).

The weather started nice but the rain came on at about lunchtime and stayed until early afternoon.  It was the first day of autumn today and the leaves are starting to turn in the hedgerow, it’s getting dark earlier (at 7.45 tonight) mind you the horses don’t know that and when I turned them our tonight after polocrosse in the pitch black they all went crazy and galloped around the fields in a full on thundering herd!

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posted by shaun

The showjumping on Friday. .

And then there were four..

..working on the yard.  Which after last Friday and the weekend when Mollie and Hamish were away it felt very luxurious to have so many people around to bring in and feed horses.  Mind you Hamish is heading down south tomorrow to pick up two ponies. So it will be back to being just me and Katie for the rest of the week.

Tuesday morning was very quiet with no lessons.  But we did bring in and feed every horse and pony that was being used.  The afternoon saw us a little busier with a group from Strathallen School riding and then a 4pm lesson and then pony club. And while that was.gping on Hamish and Katie brought in all the horses and ponies that were being used for pony club and fed then too.

So at pony.club we played Waterloo. .

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..in the evening sunshine. It was a lovely evening but as the sun went down it got a little cooler but not yet cold enough for me to wear my thermal onesey.

posted by shaun

And then there were four..

Sunday was quite a busy..

..day. As well as the usual polocrosse training sessions at 3.30pm for minis and 5.15pm for the Maxis we had several lessons on during the day.

Freya helped with the first two and then rode her horse and Beki was down and helped me take two little girls out on a hack.

Mind you the yard was absolutely full of liveries today. Everyone came down to ride their horses and they all ended up playing a game of Waterloo together. It was great to see all the horses being ridden and enjoyed.

Kelsie looks almost completely recovered. Yesterday was her last day of steroid injections and they have worked like magic. Phew! We are going to just keep her in a box for a few more days to make sure that when the steroids have gone out of her system the lameness doesn’t come back.

We are about to start a new beginners lesson on Saturday and we have one on Wednesday that has some spaces.

And we are starting our showjumping evenings on Friday from 5.30 to 7pm. Here’s the flyer advertising it..

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posted by shaun

Sunday was quite a busy..

The view from my open..

..plan office was great this morning..

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..September is turning into a great month for sunny warm autumnal days.  Long may it last.

But it didn’t. By the end of the warm up in my second lesson a cloud had descended on us. Fortunately it didn’t last long and we are back in glorious sunshine and blue skies.

Today was the two year and 1 week anniversary of phoebe starting riding. How time has flown by. We would have celebrated the two year anniversary but the stables were closed last week because Blair Atholl Horse Trials were on. Phoebe even brought cake..

With Robyn back at Uni and Mollie visiting friends un Aberdeen, today was just like the old days with me teaching and katie running the yard. Katie had the yard running so smoothly. There was always enough helpers for the tacking up and untacking and there was always a place for a horse or pony to be tied up. At the same time that Katie was organising lessons she also had the helpers tidying the yard tack room and feed room and they even cleaned out the hay store. Get a look at this..

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..so i am sitting on the mounting block while the last of the horses are turned out with the sound of the birds tweeting in the trees and odd rogue hen trying to mug me for food, enjoyinh the September evening sun. Well done helpers and well done horses.

posted by shaun

The view from my open..

We have moved to a..

..new blog!

It’s has been getting harder to share the old blog on facebook and so we have decided to start a new one. It really shouldn’t make too much difference unless you want to go back in history and see what we were doing five years ago today. In which case you will need to go onto our website and look from there.

Anyway, we are looking forward to the October half term break and thinking of all the great things we could do. We will be popping a schedule out soon. We are also going to start Friday evening showjumping clinics. Probably from next Friday – today is too short notice.

Kelsie hasnt been too well. We went off to play polocrosse. Last Friday and Rebecca found her very lame in the field. The vet thinks she had a massive trauma in the field and has done muscle damage and has her on a course of steroids. After only two days there is a huge improvement in her ability to walk. Kelsie is staying in and enjoying every minute of it.

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..and if you are wondering – five years ago it’s was raining with a vengeance and no sign of the Indian Summer we had been promised and we were celebrating Willows successes at Hunter Trials.

posted by shaun

We have moved to a..