Fun Ideas, Top Tips

My 6 Top Tips For Remembering Your Dressage Test

The Eventing season is just around the corner. Your horse is clipped, fit and ready to go. You have mentally prepared yourself for the season ahead. Half scared half excited. You have carefully selected your events, you have maxed out your time and your money to be able to compete this season so you want to do the best you can.

But I don’t know about you I really struggle to remember my dressage tests. I am historically a show jumper, however as I have grown older I have liked the challenge of being an all-rounder. I have now done a few riding club dressage tests and even a couple of one day events, with varying success. I can for some reason remember my jumping courses easily, however with dressage I am useless at remembering my tests. At my first one day event with my pony Cassie I forgot my dressage test twice and the horror of that Judge’s car horn beeping twice haunts me to this day. Since that day I must have a caller every time and that is just not possible sometimes. Even with a caller you still need to be able to remember what move is next to make sure you can do the test the best you possibly can.

So, You want to be the next Charlotte Dujardin? Here are my 6 top tips for remembering your dressage test. I have found best results need patience and a good sense of humour too!

Mya please remember the test for me! 

1. Walking your test on foot. This is a very effective way of making you look like a complete nut case! But I have found it to be very effective. The best way to do this is take the ‘Dance like no one is watching’ approach and pretend you are riding but do the test on foot. I mean walk, trot and canter on your own two feet as if you are your horse. Practical Horseman Mag suggest this way is particularly good for kids!   This also is a good way to repeat the movements of the test without your clever pony getting bored or thinking they know a better way. It can be done in the actual arena or any made up arena in your lounge/ car park/ office etc.

2.  Drawing your test on paper or on a white board. Dressage4All suggest another personal favourite of mine. Just draw out an arena with the markers in the correct place on a washable white board or a piece of paper and draw the route of your test on the sheet. This method works best if you have practiced the test and are familiar with it already. You can get as detailed as you want and use different colours for each gait or keep it simple. Just imagine that you are doing the test and draw it on the paper. I found this method very helpful as it is easy to repeat over and over again.

3. Listening to your test being called. Another method which could be helpful is calling your own test out and recording it on your phone. You can then replay it to yourself when you are riding it or repeat it whenever you want to revise the test. Alternatively Equivisions offer a service that plays all dressage tests from intro to advanced medium at 3 different speeds as MP3 downloads.

4. Watching others do your test online or in real life. This one maybe controversial. People seem to have differing views on whether it is helpful to watch others do their test. However the FEI have recommended it as a good way for you to visualise what your test looks like when it is ridden.

5. Dressage Today suggest reciting the test for a friend so he/she can follow your instructions to see if you can remember it properly. If he/she can do the test with you reciting it – well done! If they can’t you need to memorize it better!

6. Use an app. Of course there is an app for EVERYTHING. There are many dressage apps that incorporate the above techniques to help your learn your tests. The British Dressage app Testpro British Dressage is free. There are other ones to purchase available such as Equi Sketch Dressage and FEI Equi Tests to name a few.

So good luck for the season ahead. I hope that my top tips will be useful and give you some new ideas to help you memorize your tests. Let’s just hope this lovely weather stays around for a bit now!

Incase you missed it check out Keep Cool and Carry on! My Summer Tips for You and Your Horse.

Copyright 2019 http://www.induehorse.com

Equestrian Events, Fun Ideas

All the Queen’s Horses in the New Years Day Parade.

Photo by Getty images

It’s January 2019 – how did that happen?! I don’t know about you but after the festivities of Christmas and the new year are over I find January a bit miserable. However this year I am determined to change my frame of mind about that and how better to do that? By learning about a parade of horses walking through London! I know that would cure my post New Year’s Eve hangover for sure!

The first New Year’s Day parade was in 1987 and it has run every year since. It features marching bands, cheer leaders and street performers. It was intended to bring joy to an otherwise dull day in London as traditionally all the shops and restaurants are shut on New Year’s Day. All the Queen’s horses are a small part of this big parade but obviously they are my favourite bit. The horses have been included in the parade since 2012, when they were first invited to join the parade because of the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the olympics that year. The horses proved to be so popular they have been invited back each year since.

Photo by lnydp.com

Each year there is a different theme and on average each rider spends around £1000 on their costume for themselves and their horse!! The theme this year was ‘London welcomes the world’ which was a little ray of light in the time of brexit negotiations (or lack of) bringing the country down. The parade features 60 horses and their 200 handlers and helpers and were lead by a 32″ tall Falabella stallion called Azlan, who is an old pro as this year was his 3rd parade. The parade marches through central London from Piccadilly to Parliament Square with around 500,000 spectators. The parade includes horses and riders from all over the world including the USA, Spain, Norway, Holland and Germany. All different breed of horses are included Clydesdales, shetlands, ex racehorses and Dales to name a few. The youngest rider was 3 years old and the oldest 74 years old.

Photo from http://www.allthequeenshorses.co.uk

So, when it comes to horsey festive fun it seems London is the place to be. Following shortly after Olympia it seems London knows how to throw a horsey party! I have yet to see this for myself but I definitely want to now! You can contact the organisers of ‘All the Queen’s Horses’ part of the parade and ask to take part if you and your horse want to get involved, via http://www.allthequeenshorses.co.uk and you can spread a little joy yourself. Personally I’m not sure Mya would be too keen though!

Photo from http://www.allthequeenshorses.co.uk

So when you are feeling down this January forget your January blues and just think of horses parading around London dressed up in silly costumes! I know I will. Happy New Year everyone and I hope that 2019 brings you everything you hope for.

Fashion, Fun Ideas

The In Due Horse Christmas Gift Guide

Or AKA Louise’s wish list!

With Christmas rapidly approaching, here are the list of things that have caught my eye as presents that I think any equestrian would like. Since entering the world of equestrian blogging I have discovered so many new companies that just seem to be offering really cool stuff. Here is my present wish list, which I hope will introduce you to these companies if you don’t know them already.

1) Dreamers & Schemers boot socks

(Photo taken from Dreamers & Schemers instagram page)

Boot socks but not your average boot socks, with designs such as Avocado Fam Jam, Sushi Love and Pony Ninja to name a few. These socks are totally unique & very funny. They even have booby socks & ones with cat butts on! I personally have my eye on Goat PJ Party ones. What a great stocking filler & I would say you wouldn’t even need to be a rider to like these. Go to http://www.dreamersnschemers.com/ to order.

2) Diary of a Wimpy Eventer book series.

(Photo taken from Wimpy Eventer instagram page)

Now since entering the wonderful world of equestrian blogging it quickly became apparent that I should read Victoria Brant aka The Wimpy Eventer’s books. I cannot count the amount of people I have seen on social media recommending them. I started following the Wimpy Eventer on social media a few months ago & I can honestly say that I find her to be funny, relatable and very inspiring. So I cannot wait to read her books. Available online at http://www.wimpyeventer.com/shop

3) Ariat riding boots

(Photo taken Ariateurope instagram page)

My riding boots broke recently and luckily for me Katie keeps her boots at the yard. I knew she wouldn’t mind if I borrowed her boots as she is great like that. So I rode in her Ariat Grasmere boots and wow I was so impressed! They are warm, comfortable and I could actually feel Mya’s sides when I rode (which I didn’t realise I couldn’t in my old boots until then). I was so impressed that they have ruined all other boots for me & I feel that I now need some Ariat country boots in my life! P.S. Confession – I haven’t just ridden in Katie’s boots once as I loved them so much!

To see the full range visit http://www.ariat.com.

4) Black Heart Equestrian Breeches.

(Photo taken from Black Heart Equestrian instagram page)

Now I am a major fan of this new brand of riding clothes. I have a hoody & a pair of their flex riding leggings already and would love a pair of their breeches. To be honest I would wear all of their clothes as they all look great. I have previously written a review of the flex riding leggings on the blog so if the breeches are as comfy and practical as the leggings, as I am sure they are then they would look & feel great.

To check out all of their awesome clothes go to http://www.blackheartequestrian.com.

5) Gray & Co Horses & day drinking tee.

(Photo taken from http://www.graycodesigns.com)

Funny and it looks good. This tee from Gray & Co is on my list as well it’s just a bit of fun! I also have my eye on their baddest bay on the block saddle pad too for Mya. This company just seems to have cool fun stuff which I really like the look of. Check out their website for more fun clothes and accessories http://www.graycodesigns.com.

I hope you have been inspired for some present ideas now or perhaps have more things to add to your own Christmas list. Either way I hope you have a great Christmas (I know it’s a bit early but we all need a bit of time to start shopping don’t we?!) Be sure to come back to check out more festive themed blogs on In Due Horse a bit closer to chrimbo.

Fun Ideas

10 Facts About The Queen and Her Horses

After seeing that the Queen is still riding at the age of 92, I thought I would write about her and her horses this week and once I started researching I found out all sorts of interesting things that I feel like I should share with everyone!

1) Queen Elizabeth II has been riding since she was 4 years old, when her father King George VI gave her a Shetland pony named Peggy.

2) Actually if you think about it the Royals are quite a horsey bunch. The Queen Mother was an avid National Hunt Racing fan, Princess Anne and her daughter Zara Phillips both became top event riders and the Princes William and Harry both play polo.

3) All the horses that you see in the royal parades are kept at the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, “one of the finest working stables in existence.” The Queen names each horse that lives there.

4) The Royal Mews is where they keep all the carriages, coaches and cars used by the Queen. It is also where the palace staff and their families live. However you will only find only 2 types of horse there, Windsor Greys and Cleveland Bays, the Windsor Greys draw the carriages for the Queen and the royal family and are called Windsor Greys because in Victorian times they were kept at Windsor. The Cleveland Bays are used to pick up high commissioners and ambassadors visiting the Queen.

Picture- Horse and Hound

5) The Queen is famous for always riding without a helmet. Not something I would ever recommend by the way. Apparently the staff at Windsor Castle joke that “the only thing that comes between the Queen and her heir is her Hermes scarf”.

6) The Queen owns many racehorses, having initially inherited the breeding and racing stock from her father King George VI.

Picture credit: ITV

7) As of 2013, horses owned by the Queen have won over 1600 races. She has had winners in all of the British Classics except the Epsom Derby.

8) USA Today reported that the Queen has actually made $9.3 million from her race winnings.

9) Monty Roberts AKA The Horse Whisperer has trained the Queens horses since 1989. He has been honoured by the Queen and is a honorary member of the Royal Victorian Order. They have shared a close friendship since he began training her horses. She even named a Corgi after him.

10) The Queen breeds Throughbreds, fell ponies, Shetland ponies and Highland ponies.

Do you know any other facts about the Queen and her horses I haven’t mentioned? Get in touch if you do!

Just click on the links below to get shopping on Amazon.com

Check out my other lists here.

16 Facts You Didn’t know about The Horses in Game of Thrones

My 5 Favourite Disney Horses

7 Celebrities you didn’t know could ride!

Did you know that Amazon stocks really cool horse stuff?

Click here to shop for your horse!

***Putting it out there – This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase I will make a tiny bit of commission. ***

 

Copyright 2018 http://www.induehorse.com

Fun Ideas

My Ideal Winter Horsey Day

My ideal winter horsey day… well this is fun to think about!

Well, for someone that feels cold all the time. I still love riding even in the winter. My mum actually could never understand how I cope being outside all day with the horses because I am so cold all the time! But I honestly do enjoy wrapping up warm & going for a nice hack on a crisp winters day.

So the first thing I would do on my ideal horsey day would be to have a nice cup of coffee & a pancake with chocolate sauce. (Why not eh?!) After that I would head to yard and walk Ziggy my little jack Russell around the fields. He loves coming to the stables with me, however he weirdly likes to come get Mya in with me but when I put on my riding stuff he asks to get into the car where he likes to stay until we go home again. Alone. Even when it’s 35 degrees in the summer in Toulouse!

The next thing I would do would be to go on a nice long hack with a friend. I love hacking early on Sunday morning. I love feeling like I’m the only one awake. The roads are empty and it’s still chilly. We are lucky at our yard, as there are lots of routes we can take that just involve riding through fields, so they are beautiful!

After I have finished riding. I would go home to spend time with my hubby James. I would love to go to the pub for lunch and have lovely roast dinner. Ideally chicken or lamb! I really miss Sunday roast dinners so much! The food in France is obviously amazing but I do miss the traditional roast on a Sunday.

Then I would curl up on the sofa and watch a film and have a glass of wine with James and Zig in front of the fire. So actually my ideal horsey day would involve a lot of food too! Haha! What would be your ideal horsey winters day?

To check out other cool equestrian blogs check out our blog hop at https://www.timidrider.com/blog/equestrian-blog-hop/

Fun Ideas, Lifestyle

6 Reasons I Love Having a Horse In Autumn

Autumn is actually a great season for riding. It’s not too hot or too cold. I didn’t realise how much I like this season until I wrote this blog for Blogtober last year. So here are my favourite things about autumn…

1) Hacking – I love hacking and it is even better in Autumn because everywhere looks particularly beautiful because of the crunchy orangey brown leaves!

2) Cosy fires – it’s not freezing in autumn but I always looked forward to getting my fire going. It’s so cosy sitting watching TV in front of the fire.

3) Rugby – OK not a horsey one! But my hubby is a rugby fan so I’ve become one too. I really like going to watch the rugby in autumn before it gets too cold. Toulouse is a big rugby city so we really enjoy going to watch Toulouse play.

4) Horses coming in – Even though it meant more mucking out, when I owned my own horses I used to love when they were clipped & came in for winter. Stanley my thoroughbred used to come in on 1st September before the other horses as he was a bit delicate. There’s something about putting down their beds and making their stables all cosy for them!

5) Clipping – I love getting my horses clipped. They always look so smart. I just love the feel of a newly clipped pony!

6) Halloween – as you get to know me you’ll know I love any excuse for a party and Halloween is no exception! I love getting dressed up, the trick or treating, the pumpkins and of course the punch!

What are your favourite things about autumn?

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Blogtober, Fun Ideas

Challenge Accepted! Welcome to Blogtober.

Can you believe it is October already?! This year has gone so quickly. As I am new to blogging I am going to challenge myself to blog everyday for the month of October ‘Blogtober’ if you will. The blog entries for this will be more personal than my normal blogging style and I hope this will enable people to get to know me better. I will participating in a equestrian blog hop which enables readers to hop from one equestrian blog to another. So it is a brilliant way for me to ‘meet’ other equestrian bloggers and get In Due Horse to a wider audience & you may find another blog that you enjoy too. So check out as many as you can from all around the world. I know I will be. As I will be posting a lot I will try & keep the the blogs short & fun to keep things interesting each day. So I really hope you enjoy Blogtober – let the challenge commence!

For those of you that don’t know us – I am Louise & welcome to In Due Horse! I am English but live in Toulouse, France. I share a gorgeous bay named Mya and have only recently started blogging. In Due Horse is an online equestrian lifestyle magazine that covers everything horsey including news, reviews, lifestyle and travel, a fresh fun take on the equestrian world.

We have a Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/induehorse/ and instagram @induehorse so please start following us!

To visit the blog hop check out- https://www.timidrider.com/blog/equestrian-blog-hop/