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31 October 2008 – World Class

Today we were warming up on our own outside and then coming inside to test ride with Mrs Verbeek judging. Again I watched as many of the others as I could, to learn and pick up tips and exercises. Aristo warmed up well but when we went into the indoor to do the Inter 1 he really tensed up! I managed him as best I could and we got through the test without any huge mistakes though I was a little dissappointed as I know he can go a lot better! We watched it straight back on the computer for video analysis and I was a bit surprised as even though he didn't feel great, he still looked good on the screen! I then jumped back on board and we worked a bit on the walk and walk pirrouettes, canter half pass zig-zag and trot half pass. I can't wait to have another go at this test next week at the World Class Selection Trials!

We then did a group session with the younger horses so I was training Feine Dame with another two riders at the same time. It was good for her to work amongst other strange horses in preparation for warm ups at competitions where she can be a bit tricky! She was a super duper star and really let go today! We even managed to do some spectacular flying changes and awesome trot work. Very happy all round!

30 October 2008 – World Class

First up for training after a very cold night in the lorry was Aristo. After giving some background about him and his training I started to work as I would in a normal session at home, instructions coming thick and fast, I had lots to think about! In the warm up I have to go a little slower and get Aristo to take more weight on the hindlegs and not get too flashy in front! I also have to get him stronger through the back and really ride him up into the contact, especially in the changes. I came out of my session feeling very positive and clear about what I have to work on!

It was really useful to watch everybody else's sessions throughout the day and learn what works for each different type of horse and rider. Also very useful were the psychology sessions and nutritional advice (note to self - must cut down on ketchup and Diet Coke!). And also physio' with Andy Thomas!

Feine Dame was the last session and to be honest, it had been playing a bit on my mind all day as she can be a tad sharp! She is so athletic that she has the ability to catapault me out of the top and this was the first time she has been presented to such company. As it turned out, I needn't have worried as she behaved beautifully! Although she didn't quite let go as much as I would have liked, she went well and Mrs Verbek gave me some really usefull tips.

As we settled them for the night I was feeling very pleased with the two of them though they are most definately in love with each other, most of the time Aristo just gazing into Feine Dame's eyes! Tea time and some well deserved wine for us!

29 October 2008 – World Class Training

Today we travelled to Vale View Equestrian Centre for World Class training. Absolute bliss to have the training only two and a half hours away from home instead of the usual five hours to Stow... or so we thought! It turned out that almost every motorway in England was shut! The M1, M25 (both ways) M62, M6 and the list goes on! So we ended up travelling for 5 hours anyway, very disappointing! When we eventually arrived, Feine Dame and Aristo settled in very well and I am looking forward to training with Olympic judge, Frances Verbek tomorrow.

13 October 2008 – Girls on form!

Today I took the young mares Feine Dame and Royale Alliance out to a local competition. They were both entered in the novice classes. Early to go with Feine Dame, the first test was indoors and I felt that she did a lovely consistent test that was nowhere near as green as the last time out! Then we went outside and I worked her in the outdoor warm up before doing the second test outside. She floated round the second novice and I couldn't have been happier with her temperament and way of going. She even coped perfectly well with a just backed young horse being lunged outside her arena and behind the wall of the warm up! Something I would DEFINATELY have struggled with a few months ago!

Feine Dame finished for the day, we rushed back to the lorry to get Royale as we only had twenty minutes to change over - in the end I got about 15 minutes warm up before they called me into the indoor to compete! She was a star considering, though she did feel a bit wobbly. We then went back indoors and had a proper warm up before the second test which was outside. She was definitely more relaxed outside, I think she likes having more space. I think it also helped that I wasn't feeling rushed and that we could have a full warm up, resulting in a lovely, fluent second test.

All done for the day we scuttled sheepishly over to the scoreboards to see what the damage was...! Looking at the first test's results We were a little dissapointed to see Feine Dame had come second with 68%. That was, until we looked further dowm and saw that Royale had beaten her with 69%, a definate turn up for the books! Looking across at the second novice results sheet I was pleasantly relieved to see the form book the other way up with Feine Dame on 77% and Royale second this time with 75%. A very good day for the girls!

News Archive

Latest results

  • Feine Dame: 1st / 69.45
  • Divine: 1st / 72%
  • Aristo: 4th, 6th, 4th / 70.4% (music Final)
  • Aristo: 2nd overall / 72.9 + 70%
  • Show Boy: 1st / 68.92%
  • Feine Dame: 1st / 68.88%
  • Feine Dame: 1st / 72.07%
  • Show Boy: 1st / 71.47%
  • Aristo: 1st / 70.38%
  • Show Boy: 1st / 72.8%

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