Lifestyle

The Evie Toombes Foundation.

This year I was thinking that I would love to use the blog to help people and have been thinking of ways to raise some money for charitable causes. I thought about which causes I would like to help within the equestrian world and immediately thought of The Evie Toombes Foundation. Being a nurse myself, I honestly have been blown away with Evie’s courage, determination and mind set despite her ongoing struggles with her health.

So I will be supporting The Evie Toombes Foundation as much as I possibly can and I urge you to as well. Incase you don’t know who Evie is, Evie is a British para rider, who was born with Spina bifida and also suffers from gastro paresis which effects her bowel/ bladder and leg function & her ability to feed, meaning she needs to use a tube to feed normally. I ‘met’ Evie when I interviewed her for an Inspo Interview for the blog a few months ago. I liked her straight away, she was a pleasure to work with and despite only being 18 years old she is definitely one of the most inspiring people I have met. Evie struggles with her own chronic health problems with an amazing outlook “find a way not an excuse.”

I had seen her on the BBC 3’s ‘Amazing people’ and wanted to find out more about her. To be honest I reached out to her because she seemed like a very inspiring and interesting person to feature on my blog, but I was blown away when I got to know her more. Evie is a just a lovely person. The way she handles herself and her attitude towards life is amazing. She uses her own ill health to help to educate people about medical conditions, procedures and equipment which people may not be aware of. So much so that she now works as a Hidden Disabilities Ambassador, which has led to her setting up The Evie Toombes Foundation. This work taken her to meet Prince Harry and Meghan last year and this year has led her to talk at the RDA’s 50th birthday celebrations in front of HRH Princess Anne.

Evie finds riding her horses an excellent release and a wonderful distraction from her illness, which affects her everyday. Over the past few months Evie has been an inpatient in hospital for 5 weeks receiving PRN feed as her weight dropped dangerously low and she also frequently visits the hospital to get potassium infusions as her potassium levels also frequently drop dangerously low . The Foundation was set up to help her fund, maintain and run a medical facility/horse box to allow Evie to continue competing her horses as Evie cannot manage her complex medical condition away from home very easily. Her condition effects her bowel, bladder and lower leg and her ability to feed. In order to raise money Evie is visiting schools to educate children about hidden disabilities, but not only this Evie has written a children’s book about the subject – ‘Lucy Goes To School’ which she hopes to be in every primary school in the U.K.

So why don’t you get a copy of Lucy Goes To School’ it would make the perfect read for young children and is engaging, light hearted and fun whilst enriching children’s knowledge and awareness of hidden disabilities and illnesses.

The link to purchase is below

https://foundation.evietoombespararider.com/?location=1#buy-my-book

Evie’s book seller

Finally I would just like to add I have not been asked to write this blog by Evie or profit at all from any books sold. I just want to support Evie as much as I can.

Also some of the words describing Evie’s conditions and her books have been taken from her website.

For more information about Evie head to her website www.evietoombespararider.com

 Follow Evie on Instagram @evietoombes or on Facebook @evietoombespararider

Louise and Mya

Set Goals Smash Them and Repeat! My Goals for 2020.

I have started January full of optimism and excitement, so I thought I would set some new goals for this year with Mya. I am just so pleased with the progress I have made with her in 2019. However things weren’t always looking this peachy.  At the beginning of the year things were looking a bit bleak to be honest. We had a bad winter, Mya reared a few times in hand with me which really frightened me and my confidence was shot. The trust I had in her vanished and because of that her trust in me vanished too. But we quietly trudged on, with a lot of support and help from Kate Mya’s owner we gradually got over our problems.

In fact we not only got over our problems we soared! We spent the summer hacking out along the sunflower fields and we even managed to go to the Perry Wood riding clinic, Mya’s first trip away from her yard in 6 years and she really enjoyed showing off in front of our new friends! We started doing our online dressage tests, which are proving to be such fun and such a good way to progress and now I am looking forward to what we can do next year.

I actually made a short vlog about this if you care to take a look here.

So, my first goal is to continue to enter an online dressage test every month. I would like to try different classes out. Last month we did the Xmas fancy dress class and a normal prelim class. Next month I plan to enter the either BE90/100 class just to jazz things up a bit. I would like to try to compete with different companies to find the one I love the most. I would also like to get to a level where I can participate in the league.

I would also like to find an instructor that I like. I wanted to take more riding lessons here in France and that is a goal from last year that I haven’t quite managed to do. I managed to go for one lesson, but as the lesson was in French I really had to summon up the courage to go as I was terrified I wouldn’t understand anything. It turned out it went brilliantly but the yard I went to isn’t open when I can go. So, this year I have a friend who show jumps with her horse and I am going to go have some lessons with her and her instructor at her yard. I am very excited as I think it will be a lot of fun with her and I am hopeful that it is somewhere I can continue to go to for extra lessons.

My other ultimate goal is to compete at novice level in dressage. This is an ambitious goal for me, a dressage newbie. However I am certain Mya is very capable of this level now. She knows how to do medium paces already with Katie. I just need to catch up with her! I am also very competitive and easily distracted, so I do find challenging myself a very effective in a way of improving my performance. We won our Limited class in November with E-riders at prelim level and that quite frankly has made me hungry to win more! I’m such a sucker for a rosette! But for the mean time I will continue at prelim level and try to get placed so I can participate in the league!

My other goal is go to another Perry Wood clinic and try attend more clinics nearby. I am trying to arrange to be able to go to a lesson with William Fox-Pitt who is holding a clinic nearby at the beginning of Feb and perhaps even start competing Mya in local dressage competitions.

My final goal with Mya is simple. To continue enjoying my time with Mya and riding as much as possible. I am so glad I found her and Katie and really enjoy my time at the stables so I want to continue to do that next year.

Lastly I have some small goals for the blog too. I love writing the blog and will continue to do so but I am going to work on a bit more structure as I worry that the blog is actually just a big mind dump for any ideas and posts that I think of with no real pattern or structure. So in 2020 there will be more organisation and themes to each month on In Due Horse. There will also be guest bloggers! Each month there will be a blog from a guest blogger about a topic that they have expertise in. So for example January is all about planning and goal setting and will feature a blog from Jenni Bush ‘The Equine Business Assistant’ to help you set achievable goals and targets for your equine business or with your horse, so keep an eye out for that.

I would just like to take this opportunity to say thanks so much for reading the blog and following In Due Horse. It really means a lot.

2019 you have been brilliant! Roll on 2020!

Louise & Mya xxx

Other blogs that may interest you are:

The Big Blog of Equestrian Goals for 2020.

The Perry Wood ‘Create Your Perfect Riding Horse’ Clinic

Louise and Mya Progress Report!

Be sure to follow @induehorse on Facebook and Instagram & did you know I have now have a Youtube channel?! You’ll find me on Youtube under Louise Dando-In Due Horse. Be sure to subscribe to see my new vlogs. xxx

Interviews

The Big Blog of Equestrian Goals for 2020.

Happy New Year everyone! I am so excited about 2020. I have been looking back at my goals for 2019 and am pleased to say I have smashed a few and am on my way to smashing the other ones that I haven’t quite achieved yet. So this has spurred me on to make some goals for this year too. But you will have to wait to hear them as I will grace you all with a whole blog of itself talking about that.

But in the meantime I was curious about what my fellow equestrians were planning for next year too. So I have put together one big blog of goals that features some of my blogging buddies and some new horsey friends.

First up is Daisy from How Very Horsey. I have really enjoyed following Daisy this year and am so pleased she shared her plans in this blog!

Daisy: My resolution for 2020 is to put the work in and be 100% consistent in my work. Jack and I had an amazing year last year and I would love to qualify for Hickstead/HOYS again this year but my goal is to perform better and hopefully then the results will follow. I would also like to launch my new coaching programme and finish at least one of the three books I am writing! Lots to do. Bring on 2020.

Follow what Daisy and Jack get up to at www.howveryhorsey.co.uk

Next up is Oonagh O’Brien.

Oonagh shares her story about Peanut. We finished 2019 on a huge high with my little rescue pony Peanut being crowned National Reserve Shetland Pony of Ireland 2019 and National Reserve Newcomer of Ireland 2019 -as well as doing absolutely brilliant in her shows throughout the year, so whilst I am not sure we can beat that in 2010 – we look forward to seeing how this little rescue progresses in her showing career. Peanut came to me just under 2 years ago, never having set foot in a showing ring – in fact being rather naughty and unhandled, but she took to the showing so well and thoroughly seems to enjoy it. Her main purpose in life is to be a companion to Cody, but we will continue to show her as she has a loyal following of fans and she uses her platform as a little social media star, on her page The Antics of Peanut the Rescue Pony, to raise awareness for other rescues and the centre she came from, Cobh Rescue Horses. We are so proud of this little lady who has overcome so much in a short period of time to be come the little superstar that she is and we hope that she continues to shine for the new year.

Follow Oonagh and Peanut at The Antics of Peanut The Rescue Pony 

Next up is the lovely Jane Brindley from Horse Riding with Confidence Scotland.

Jane: I’m feeling excited as I look forward to 2020 but also can’t believe how quickly time passes. Already twenty years since the millennium and it is the year I will celebrate my 60th birthday!

I have two retired horses and therefore have nothing of my own to ride. They will spend the rest of their lives with me and I love them both dearly. For a while I thought I had stopped riding but I missed it too much so now ride regularly at a nearby equestrian centre and take other opportunities as they arise. With 2020 being a big year for me I decided to set myself a riding challenge and have booked a holiday riding coast to coast across the North of Scotland. The challenge is being fit enough to ride long distances, over quite rough terrain, every day for seven days. So my plan is to work on my general physical fitness as well as riding fitness so that I can make the very most of the opportunity and thoroughly enjoy the experience. I’m super excited about it and can’t wait for May to arrive.

Follow Jane at www.horseridingwithconfidencescotland.co.uk

Here is what Shannon from Tales From The Country has planned…

Shannon: My goal for 2020 is simply to get back to enjoying riding again. I plan to stop stressing about the goals or the fact that I’m not schooling enough, or jumping high enough, or anything else. Instead I want to simply go back to enjoying riding each and everyday, even if it’s just for a short hack around the estate because the love of it is why I got into it in the first place.

Follow Shannon at www.talesfromthecountry.com (how beautiful is Shannon’s website?!)

Cara Drouin, who is based in the US shares her plans for next year with her driving ponies.
Cara: My ponies are rare breed Gotland Ponies. Pepper is 14, 12.1 hands, black dun, Registered as Kokovoko Pepper Lee. I’ve had her since she was 8. Nell is buckskin, half sister to Pepper, 12 hands, registered as Kokovoko Penelope. I’ve had her since November 2018. The third pony is Faye, 24 years, 11.3 hands, black dun. She was free and I brought her out from Kentucky to California with Nell, hoping that Nell would travel better over the 2400 miles if she were not alone. Registered as Kokovoko Firecracker, she is a retired broodmare. They are my 3rd, 4th, and 5th Gotlands.
Pepper and Nell are driving ponies. I bought Nell as a pairmate to Pepper after another pony mare passed in May. Both drive pairs and single. I’ve ridden Pepper a couple of times. She doesn’t like it. She’s not fun to ride. We don’t have to do that, so we don’t.
This spring, I found that the new pony, Nell, had a lot of tension about her bridle. A lot. We spent most of the summer working on just that. The bridle is nice, she got massages with her bridle and then finally she looked at her bridle and was happy and relaxed and opened her mouth by herself. So I drove her single and it was scary, she was confused without a road to follow or a pairmate to direct her. Back to long lines until she was less concerned and now she’s good single. But horribly out of shape.
I can trailer them down to Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World, but I really could only do this a couple times a week because its ALL DAY there and back. I don’t want to turn them into weekend warriors, so they are mothballed for the winter.
My goal this summer is to get them conditioned enough to pull the carriage up the first mile so I can drive next winter. I also hope to get in some lessons with someone who is about 3.5 hours away. That makes it an overnight trip. It’s too much of an investment in time and fuel to get just one lesson, and the mountain road makes it work for the ponies to stand in the trailer.
Do check out Cara’s Etsy shop Laughing Mare

Last but not least is my friend and co-host on Equestrian Pulse Andrea Parker from The Sand Arena Ballerina.

Andrea: While 2019 saw me land a job that enabled us to move back into the heart of the equestrian world (for South East Queensland at least), it has been far from smooth sailing. The move catapulted us into a huge learning curve with some major changes to my riding and Nonie’s way of going. It was initially frustrating as it meant that we weren’t as competitive as I might have liked, but ultimately I am hopeful that it will set us up for a great 2020 and more importantly for the step towards FEI. With that being said our goals for 2020 are to improve the quality of Nonie’s canter so that we can improve the flying changes and get to work on the canter pirouettes. If we can do this then we’ll be able to have our first start at advanced level.

Follow Andrea and Nonie at www.thesandarenaballerina.com

So, I hope that you have enjoyed hearing about everyone’s goals for 2020. Do you have any goals for you and your horse for this year? Let me know in the comments.

Be sure to follow @induehorse on Facebook and instagram.

 

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News

The Best Bits Of Equestrian News in 2019.

I am seeing a lot of round up posts and recaps of the year being published today and thought I would do the same. Mine is slightly different though, like normal! Mine is only the positive stuff. I know that you might say this is not a real look of the world if you only mention positive things, but you can watch the news, read a tweet from Donald Trump or think about Brexit for 2 minutes to feel pretty low and confused to balance it out if you like.

2019 has had a lot of positives, so here are my 12 favourites bits of horsey news that made me smile in 2019.

1) A pony and his boy. The story of a young boy in New Zealand with Downs Syndrome and his pony has been made into a documentary being shown around the world. Josh is eight years old and it shows how his pony Berry who is 28 years old has helped him. The documentary won a Winnie award at The Equus Film Festival this year.

2) Piggy French smashed British eventing results records this season. Piggy claimed 1768 British Eventing points this season after winning 38 events and achieving a further 74 top ten placings after 160 starts. Amazing!

3) Equestrian Pulse Podcast launched! Shameless plug alert! This year I was delighted to be asked to part of this amazing new podcast along side Heather Wallace of The Timid Rider and Andrea Parker of The Sand Arena Ballerina (fellow equestrian bloggers). It has been such fun to be part of this and we even managed to reach 500 downloads in November which was a real surprise since we only launched in September. Be sure to check it out we talk about everything in the equestrian world and features interviews with some really cool and interesting horsey people. You can listen on Spotify, Buzzsprout, Apple Podcasts and iHeartradio.

4) Mark Todd retired. The legend that is Mark Todd retired again this year but this time it is for good. He retired once before after the Sydney Olympics in 2000, but could not keep away and returned to Eventing for the Olympics in 2008. Todd is now 63 and has won 4 times at Badminton, 5 times at Burghley, 2 Olympic gold medals and many many more. He has had a phenomenal career and has now started training race horses. Todd announced his retirement this year at Camphire International Horse Trials in Ireland after finishing 5th.

5) Khadijah Mellah was the first British Muslim woman in the UK to compete and win in a horse race wearing a hijab. Mellah had ridden since she was 12 prior to winning the Magnolia Cup at the Ebony Riding Club in Brixton, an inner city stables consisting of 9 horses aimed at getting deprived youngsters in riding. Although, she had never sat on a racehorse until 2 months before the race.  She now aims to gain an amateur jockey license whilst she studies mechanical engineering at university.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

6) The Queen of England is still riding at the age of 93 years old. She was pictured in November riding one of her fell ponies. That is riding goals right there!

7) Pippa Funnel made an amazing comeback. Funnel won Burghley at age 50 after a massive 14 year gap since her last big win.

8) Burghley cross country course. This I thought needed a mention, not sure if everyone would class it as a ‘best bit’ of 2019 but it was certainly a big talking point! The cross country course was so difficult that only half of the participants finished the course and only 1 person (Piggy French of course) made it round inside the optimum time.

9) Jonty Evans returned to Badminton. After suffering from a serious head injury from a riding accident in 2018. Jonty Evans took part in a dressage demonstration held by Pammy Hutton in front of a crowd at Badminton. It turns out that he was going to Talland for lessons on Art and it was Pammy who helped him achieve his goal of jumping again this year. He even actually managed to compete on Art this year too. Way to go Jonty only 1 year after being in a coma for 6 weeks!

Photo Credit: Sarah Farnsworth

10) France banned trimming of horses whiskers for horses competing in FFE endorsed events. Citing that whiskers are essential in guiding a horse to food and away from other objects and aid their spacial awareness. This is something that many have praised.

11) British Soldier Ezphia Rennock, who served in the Household Cavalry managed to buy his old equine partner when he was retired from service.  Rennock described Agricola as a proper trouble maker, both new to the military when they started in the Queen’s Guard in 2000 but they eventually bonded well. Rennock retired in 2007 and his old colleagues informed him that Agricola his ex equine partner was being retired in 2019. So he placed a sealed bid for him. He later found out that someone had bid 4x times the price he had but because he enclosed a letter stating why he wanted to buy him he was chosen. Agricola now still lives in the Duchy stables in the Queen’s grounds at the palace but is owned by Rennock who visits him everyday.

12) Lastly is a little bit of good news for 2020. A film of Black Beauty is being remade and is set to star Kate Winslet! O.M.G!

So, I hope that your 2019 has been good and that you have enjoyed my round up of Equestrian News. I would like to wish you a very happy new year and let’s hope 2020 is even better!

 

Here are some of my other blogs that may interest you.

Burghley Cross Country 2019. Tough Course or Too Much?

What a Season It Has Been For Piggy French!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Louise and Mya

Merry Christmas from Louise and Mya!

Hey Everyone!

It’s fair to say that I have lost my blogging mojo recently. I’ve been ill for a while (just general colds/coughs, nothing more horrible don’t worry) so I have been functioning at the bare minimum to be honest. The last few days I have been stressing as I haven’t been posting regularly, no one is reading the blog and my Pinterest scheduler is not working. I also haven’t ridden Mya for 2 weeks either. But you know what I am not going to worry about that over Christmas! I am going to enjoy some time off with my friends and family and just chill out!

Normally I do a dressage results blog, but I will just quickly tell you that in November we came 3rd in Prelim 1 which was the Xmas fancy dress class with 64.14% ( 3% better than in Sept) and 12th in Prelim 7 with 61%. Two tests that we struggled with, as quite frankly Mya found them a bit boring! She just wanted to canter around the arena or do some medium paces down the centre line when I just wanted her to trot in a straight line!

In January I will get back to blogging, I have lined up some fabulous guest bloggers of which I hope to feature once a month to open up more horsey topics on In Due Horse. I will also relaunch the book club as we know have lots of lovely people in the group but I need to learn how to run the group well! But for now I am on my Xmas hols and all will resume in January & the blog will return bigger and better than before.

Thank you whole heartedly to everyone that reads the blog or follows me on social media. Your support is very much appreciated. We have built up a lovely little community of horsey people that I just love! Having you guys support me so well, actually lead me to approach a magazine to write for and I am very proud to say that I am now a published writer!!! In the winter edition of ´In The Country’ you will see an article written by me & a big picture of Mya & I ( she doesn’t realise how popular she is!) so THANK YOU as I never would of dreamt of that if it wasn’t for you guys saying lovely things to me after reading the blog!!

So that just leaves one thing to say. Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have lots of time to spend with your furry friends over the holidays and I wish you all the best for the new year!

See you on the other side and Bonne Fête my friends!

Lots of love

Louise and Mya xxx

Louise and Mya

November 2019 Dressage Results

This month I learnt a lot. We had great success last month winning our Limited Prelim 2 class with our personal best score of 66% so I was eager to keep the momentum going. This month we entered Prelim 7 and we also entered Prelim 1 as it was a special Christmas fancy dress class.

We had already done Prelim 1 as our first ever entry to online dressage in September, so the test was familiar. It is a straight forward test and I remembered the feedback that we received from the last test. But I must admit the tinsel and Santa hood made it a bit harder to see where I was going & hear Katie calling the test than I expected! Although despite that we managed to film a nice test. I knew it wouldn’t be a 66% scoring test but certainly not a bad one.

Then came Prelim 7. Now I had picked Prelim 7 as it looked very straight forward. All you really have to do is change the rein in trot and canter large. When I choose this test in my head I had visions of Mya and I doing a wonderful test as the movements were very simple. WRONG! In fact this test did not suit Mya at all! Mya quite frankly found the test very dull and when cantering large really didn’t want to stop. She tried to do some medium trot paces every time we came down the centre line and each walk to trot transition, she thought would be more fun to do walk to canter.  It was frustrating. It made me tense and that made her worse. I was feeling more and more aware of how much of Katie’s time we were taking up as she had kindly said she would film us. We actually filmed this test about 3 times on the Friday and were not happy with any of them. We reconvened on the Monday and filmed a nice Prelim 1 straight away. Then had exactly the same problems with Prelim 7. We filmed it another 4 times and I just could not hold her back from doing all of the same mistakes. I must admit it was tough as I sooo wanted to do a good test but just didn’t seem capable of it. I felt like I had ridden like a sack of potatoes on the Friday. I seemed to just become a passenger every time the camera came out, for fear of being marked down if I looked like I was having to ride her. I felt much more confident on the Monday, but even then I just couldn’t get her to not anticipate the movements. In the end the more wired Mya got, the more impossible a good test seemed and we had to settle with an OK test. It was really frustrating as I felt like I firstly had picked a test that really did not suit us and felt silly that I hadn’t thought of that and secondly felt like we had made such progress recently to then be incapable of doing a good dressage was flat out annoying!

Katie did remind me that we are doing this for fun and I realised that perhaps my competitive edge was getting the better of me. This did also make me think that we only did start doing online dressage in September only 3 months earlier so to expect brilliant results straight away may not be that realistic in a very strong field of competitors.

However we got our results on December 1st and to my utter surprise we came 3rd in Prelim 1 with a respectable 64.74%. For Prelim 7 we came 12th with a score of 61.14%. I was very pleased with that score as honestly I thought it would definitely be a sub 60% test. In fact the class was spilt into 2 groups and if I had been in the other group I would have come 10th with that score, which bizarrely made it the best we have come so far in the restricted Prelim classes.

So, a lot was learnt this month. On a positive note hard work pays off! The hours of riding paid off and in fact I may well have been being a bit hard on myself. However, I knew we could do better than the tests we did this month, but reality is with any horse they are not machines. I will not get an amazing test out of Mya every time particularly if I ride like a sack of potatoes!!

 

Inspo Interviews

Inspo Interview #9 Girl About The Yard

Today’s Inspo Interviewee is Verena or you may know her from instagram as ‘Girl About The Yard’. I ‘met’ Verena when she was a guest on The Equestrian Pulse Podcast (Stay tuned for that episode as it has not aired yet) and she was as fun in real life as she is in her very entertaining instagram stories. I hope that you enjoy reading her responses as much as I did!

HI SKI-040819-1530-1800S_3702

What inspired you to do what you do? 
It all happened quite simply by accident! No word of a lie, one day I started doing IG stories and someone with a big following gave me a shoutout on their stories after watching me dance to Mathilda’s soundtrack and it took off from there! I have a passion for people to not be undermined in the equestrian world, it is hard enough trying to keep a horse/wild animal alive without people telling you what you should and shouldn’t be doing all the time!!  

Who do you look to for inspiration and why? 
There isn’t someone or something that inspires me exterior to me, it is mainly that I hope when I am sitting in a chair reading endless thrillers or watching my or other people’s grandchildren play around, that I can think – yes… I allowed myself to be myself during my life and kept generally positive vibes throughout! 
Oscar

What would you say has been your biggest horsey achievement to date? 
Oh gosh, that completely depends on the day – most days it is keeping Oscar’s (the bay in the photos) shoes on or mucking out with a straight edge to my bed. I am proud of achieving my British Horse Society qualifications, they are notoriously difficult for a reason. I am proud of myself for going ahead and making something out of the horse I had before Oscar who everyone said was a bit of a dud and he kept trying to get me off at every opportunity (the grey horse in the photos!)  I am proud of myself for getting my HGV test and for confidently driving the trailer! It really does depend on the day! I am proud of competing last season.
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What would be the best piece of advice you could give someone who is feeling a bit uninspired at the moment? 
Relax, take the pressure off yourself. Your horse loves you whatever you decide to do with them, give them a massage in the form of grooming, or plan something for the future for you both to do, or clean your tack, whatever helps you gets back to the inspired stage. My advice for mindset would be let yourself off. It won’t matter in 3 months time that you had a break, so have a break. 
 
Enjoy not having hat hair for a bit, allow your boots to grow some mould and when the pressure is off and you’ve completely rested – you’ll be ready to jump back into the saddle! Once you have got back in the saddle – HAVE FUN!! 


What are you plans for this year and what do you hope to achieve? 

I hope to compete, dressage, show jumping and/or eventing more regularly, to have some good outings – go the beach, a fun ride, or the likes with Oscar and to maybe get another British Horse Society exam under my belt! 
Louise and Mya, Uncategorised

October 2019 Dressage – Results

Hi everyone sorry I have been quiet on here for a few weeks. I lost my blogging mojo a little bit as I have been travelling nearly every weekend since July and then I had the most horrible cold for weeks on end. But now I am back and ready to get blogging again!

We recorded dressage 2 tests in October the week after we returned from the Perry Wood clinic. The weather was awful but Mya went beautifully. She actually seemed very content after the clinic, like she was really enjoying her job. I got the impression she felt like she was doing something for the first time in a few years and was loving it. Her normal  fed up looking selfie face was replaced with a horse happy to stand and have her photo taken with her ears forward. It was a real delight to see her this happy!

We recorded two tests this month. I entered the restricted Prelim 12 first of all. To be able to enter the restricted class you must not have scored over 65% more than 3 times at prelim level. We managed a 63.7% which I was pleased with, which put us in 15th place out of 20 competitors. Out of the two videos I submitted I thought this had not been the better one, but was still very pleased with it. It also showed a 2% mark increase from last month’s score of 60% and I had managed to creep up the score board very slightly this month.

However honestly it was just like last month. Me and Mya are doing tests that for us are better than we have ever ridden. The mark we received we were really pleased with and the improvements were vast after the clinic with Perry Wood this month however we are still not competitive in these large prelim classes. I am so happy with my score and can’t help but think I would be getting better placings than I am now if I was going out to competitions?

Which is what lead me to do my second test this month. E-riders announced a new class called “Limited’. Limited is exactly how it sounds it is limited to people that have not ever scored 64% in a prelim test. Perfect for us! It was limited to 10 competitors only (I’d say more like my actual experience of dressage comps I have ridden in). I jumped at the chance to enter this class as I felt it was prefect for prelim newbies like us. So we recorded prelim 2 for that. Mya loved prelim 2, she loves that there are lots of diagonal lines and transitions on those lines. I don’t know why – but it was obvious she liked it when we rode it. I was SO pleased with the test we recorded for this entry. It just felt amazing from beginning to end. I was pleased with the Prelim 12 we had recorded but knew this one was better. When the scores came out it confirmed it too. We had won the class!!! We got 66.2% by far my best mark ever! I was over the moon! I was so pleased I took the chance to do this class, as I knew I may not be able to do this class in the months coming up if our scores kept improving. It’s true as we scored 66% in it so we no longer fit the criteria to do the class again.

So I have been delighted with both of my marks and especially delighted that we came away with a rosette this month. I had held off writing this blog so I could post a pic of us with our rosette, but it hasn’t arrived yet. It has really fuelled me on to continue doing a class every month as I can feel massive improvements already after only 2 months.

For November we have entered Prelim 7 and we are doing the christmas fancy dress class doing Prelim 1. I’ll keep you posted on how we get on!

 

Louise and Mya

Louise and Mya’s October

Hi everyone! So this blog is going out a little later than I planned due to illness and going away. So please bear with me if you have seen my results from this month’s online dressage competition already! I just didn’t get round to posting this blog in time. So there will be another blog focussing on those results at the end of this week. Then we will be all up to date!

October has really been a month of horsey fun! Of which I am going to try and recreate more often. It was a busy month I traveled to Madrid, Bristol and Dublin in October too. But in between was spent horsing around. (I’m not even sorry for the pun!)

First up Mya was clipped and trimmed by Katie so she was ready to go to The Perry Wood Riding clinic. This was absolutely amazing. Mya behaved far far better than we hoped she would and we met new friends and a new instructor that we really liked. I have written a full blog on the experience that you can click here to read.

Mya sporting her new browband kindly gifted to us by Dragonfly Browbands

Next up was the second month of competing in the E-Riders online dressage competition. I entered Prelim 12 in the restricted class. But then they announced that they had an even more restricted class called the Limited class that had just launched this month, so I entered the Prelim 2 limited class too. I am really enjoying the online dressage competitions but I must admit I was shocked at the calibre of the competition! In the class I entered there was 25 entries last month and the winner won with 75%! I’ve never seen anyone gain that mark – that is a very high mark! So with that in mind and the fact that I am very novice at dressage I jumped at the chance to enter a class that was reserved for newbies or novices like me. For the limited class you cannot of scored more than 64% and I scored 61.5% last month. So I am going to use this opportunity while I can!

Katie and I planned to video the test this week but then Mya ended up having an osteopath appointment this Saturday which meant she would need a few days off after that. So we decided to video last Wednesday. It was the only day we could do it and I was determined to film the tests but the weather was apocalyptic! The arena fence blew down just before I mounted and it was just generally rainy, miserable and grey. However for the second week in a row following the Perry Wood clinic, Mya amazed us and went like a complete dream! No spooking, no being silly in the wind. Two beautiful dressage tests that were filmed and entered into the competition! We were delighted! When I submitted the tests online, I watched them both through and the difference from last month was incredible. Mya is going beautifully, yes she is a little over bent in her head position but we are working on that. My contact needs some improvement. I am still trying to figure out how much rein she needs as both Perry and my feedback from the my dressage test last months says I need to give her more rein but I struggle to keep contact if I do that. The tests are by no means perfect but our circles are rounder and I am riding far more accurately than last month. I am very excited to get our results to see if the results reflect my feelings about the tests. From doing these competitions for just two months, I am already seeing the benefits of having something to work on and the desire to improve. I also feel the benefits of our lessons with Perry made a tremendous difference too.

Next up was Pau! We had a fabulous day watching the cross country at Pau 5*. The weather was amazing and if anything we were a little too warm as the temperatures soared to 26 degrees. The course was challenging! The angles of some of the jumps did not even seem possible. We managed to walk most of the course and see some of the top riders go round. I made a vlog about our day so if you fancy a watch just click here I have gotten into vlogging a bit lately so if you do watch do let me know what you think. As I just had a really lovely day with my friends, which I felt was better captured on video rather than in a blog post. The only thing that has haunted me slightly since that day was witnessing Felix Vogg and Archie Rocks stumble in the water which led to the horse falling and knocking into the jump in front of him. Vogg fell off and led Archie Rocks out of the water and to me it was obvious by the way the horse was limping and the way his leg was not moving at all that he had broken his leg. The vet attended immediately and screens were put up around the horse. They then loaded him and took him away for veterinary attention and I have since read that he did in fact break his shoulder bone and was put to sleep. A very sad reminder of how dangerous eventing can be.

Now, onto the goals that I didn’t achieve. I had planned and had actually booked a riding lesson at a french riding school close to where Mya is kept. But unfortunately they cancelled my lesson. Now this is the second time I have booked a lesson there and they have done this. They said its because of the school holidays and lack of child care. Actually the only time I did go the instructor had her daughter on the lead rein whilst she was teaching me which wasn’t ideal as quite frankly she was distracted and they only offer lessons between 14-17.30 in the afternoon, which doesn’t suit me at all as I child mind during that time everyday during school term. So unfortunately I have given up with that riding school and will look for another. In the mean time Katie has heard of an instructor that she likes the sound of that we are going to try a lesson with at our yard with Mya. So I will keep you posted if that happens.

Lastly, I had planned to participate in Horstober, a instagram challenge run by a french blogger chevaletmoi. But it just didn’t happen. I had a bad cold for most of October so when I wasn’t away or riding I spent watching telly on the sofa to be honest. I ran out of steam and barely blogged. I also run my own instagram account for In Due Horse and run my podcast Equestrian Pulse’s instagram account too which quite frankly is enough so the challenge turned out to be a bit much. But I am so pleased with all the things that I did achieve this month. For goals moving forward, next month I will enter at least one online dressage test and will continue to look for a riding school where I can take more lessons.

So October you were wonderful! Let’s hope next month will be as fun and as horsey filled. Winter seems to have hit Toulouse this weekend, so a rain coat may well be necessary but I am British and will not be deterred by a little rain!

Louise & Mya xxx

 

News

What a Season It Has Been For Piggy French!

As the Eventing season is coming to an end I would like to take a moment to celebrate the success of Piggy French this season. What a season she has had! Wow!

Last weekend saw Piggy smash the record of international wins in a season. After winning two classes at Osberton Horse Trials, then winning the 6 year old World Championship Piggy has now won 15 international events this season alone! Michael Jung previously held this record at 13 international wins in a season in 2009, 2014 and 2015. Woohoo! Piggy has won at Badminton, Blenheim and Chatsworth to name a few.

Photo: piggy french.co.uk

 

I thought celebrating this with Piggy is so good for women in the sport (I do love it when a girl wins!) but also for perseverance too. I remember watching Piggy when I was younger at events as someone that I noticed because of her name and now she has had the most successful season of eventing in history!

With that in mind I wanted to find out more about Piggy and how she got to be so successful, as although she has had some great success she certainly has had a more than her fair share of disappointment too. Piggy has been competing for over 25 years and started her international career in 2001 in the Young Rider European Championships in Belgium, where she won team gold and individually came 4th. Since then her career has flourished, competing in several European and World Equestrian games successfully. Most recently in 2018 where she was part of the team that won gold at The World Equestrian Games in Tyron, USA. Piggy is not just a one hit wonder either, she has had success with several different horses too including Vamir Kamira, Jakata and Cooley Lancer to name a few.

Did you know that not only did she win badminton this year, she beat her ex Oliver Townend of whom she dated for 7 years to the title leaving him in second place! Yeah! She is happily married now to Tom March and they have a three year old little boy but still that had to feel good!!

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Photo credit: Piggyfrench.co.uk

Those are just the hi-lights though, as we probably all know even the best laid plans involving horses never go quite right. Well this has been the case for Piggy over the last few years and that maybe an understatement. Piggy qualified for the London Olympics in 2012 with two horses Jakata and Topper W and dedicated her life to getting these two horses ready for the Olympic games.  But it wasn’t meant to be as both horses picked up injuries just before the event. Meaning that Piggy never made it there. But not only that she lost a lot at that very ‘gloomy time’ as she describes. She lost owners, funding and sponsorship. Luckily a few months later she won an international event on Tinka’s Time and she could see a light again at the end of the tunnel. The pair were shortlisted for the European Championships in 2013, but the day after she received the phone call to tell her that Tinka’s Time was lame as well! Piggy describes this time as a time where she ‘had an anger inside her that she couldn’t overtake’ the harder she tried the less seemed to happen for her. She dreaded headlines of her missing out on another season due to injury, people criticising the way she looks after her horses and really couldn’t see a path forwards. It was rock bottom for her.

Fast forward to the beginning of 2016 and Piggy discovered that she was pregnant. ‘An  emotional bombshell’ for her as of course this would dramatically affect this season too, actually feeling like she was letting her owners down again. She dished out the horses that she had to other riders and took a step back. Now, without any rides of her own she went to visit other riders and observe what they do, she learnt a lot and started feeling more positive again. After taking a step back and remembering why she got into the sport to begin with, the love she has for bringing on horses not just winning titles and once she had her baby, she started to get the competitive spirit back again and managed to secure some new owners including comedian Jennifer Saunders and one year later came second at Burghley in 2017. From there she has not looked back. Back with a renewed passion she just kept winning!

No longer just the girl with the funny name, whose real name is actually Georgina. Piggy actually thought about changing her records back to Georgina, but now finds it quite funny that they will have to write Piggy in the record books!

We are now very close to the end of the 2019 season and its fair to say it has not just been the year of the pig in Chinese calendars but in Eventing too and long may it continue! Well done Piggy I am so glad the years of hard work are finally paying off for you!

 

Copyright of Louise Dando and In Due Horse 2019.