Well what a stressfull time November has been. Due to the miles I do I swap my car every 2 or 3 years. So in July made the swap to the next car only to have major grief. The upshot of it is that the car has now gone and I am now pleased to say that last night I picked up my new car, second hand as I believe you lose too much in value driving a new car off the forecourt. I am now back in a Ford Focus and love it.
Clinics have been booking in like crazy for next year so I will get my 2014 diary soon and see when the Bank Holidays are and add them as free dates for next year.
Bury Farm have their High Profile dressage show this weekend, started yesterday with a super PSG class with over 30 starters!! It has also just been announced that British Dressage are running a new competition for 2014, a team event, with the finals being held at Bury Farm, I believe the first weekend in November 2014, very exciting.
I am pleased to announce the clinic dates for Bury Farm, which, in the new year, will run on Tuesdays and have been booked through till August next year. Check the Clinics page for those dates.
I watched Gill ride Rosieb yesterday and the progress is fab. Now she has speed control, acceptance of the contact and the ability to stretch her down the looseness through RosieB's body is lovely. I know I am biased but it is a joy to see a horse loveing that loosely with a rider on board. She is active yet in a soft lovely rhythm and the straightness, which will obviously go hand in hand with the ability to release over the topline is much improved. In the walk yesterday the crest was flipping easily to the side Gill was flexing her to.
The first DressageConvention, with Carl Hester, Richard Davison, Sylvia Loch, Miguel Ralao and Charlotte DuJardin, held at Bury Farm was a great success. With around 1500 people for each day the format and weekend was a hit. Bury Farm did a great job hosting the event and we are all looking forward to next years.
Bury Farm are having a busy time! The are looking forward to holding their first Petplan Area Festival this weekend and numbers of entries have been huge. This should be a really good event.
I have been booking in clinics for next year and have updated the Clinics page. Next year the Bury Farm clinics will be moving to a Tuesday to tie in with the 20m x 60m arena being up from their dressage show the day before. Dates for these are in the pipeline. The Avon Dassett clinic has moved to a new venue, namely Lazy Acre Stables, Stretton on Dunsmore, Rugby. Contact me if you would like a slot.
RosieB is very well although Gill has been struggling with her back so thats why there has not been a RosieB blog update for a while but one will come soon. The key though here is that she is still only 5 years old and so there is no rush. It is all too easy to put pressure on thinking I must crack on with her training but she is still growing, still maturing and her progress is there. RosieB did enjoy meeting some of her fans who came to the Convention and popped around to see her. As long as you have polos she is your friend!!
I have had a really enjoyable day today at Bury Farm. I helped Gill with RosieB first thing and that was fab. Seasons do affect RosieB and afterwards she takes a little loosening and straightening which Gill worked on today with good success. RosieB is always on "go mode", which is why after 15 months of having her Gill has never needed the whip or spurs! Speed control is the first key and then the looseness and straightness is workable on. RosieB even had some lovely comments from an onlooker, "stunning" was mentioned at one point!!
Then, as there was a BD show on, I had some clients competing so helped some work in. Some good progress and scores so all in all a good day. I would like to give one word of warning - the food at Bury Farm is lovely so be strong willed when going into the cafe!!!!
I have updated the clinics page with the first half of next year filling up quickly. Further dates are in the pipeline so will keep that page as up to date as I can.
RosieB is at last back on top form. She has had a bug for a little while so has been enjoying time off and some tlc. Gill is now bringing her back into work slowly and the ride she had yesterday was absolutely fab! She is only doing short sessions but the quality is now really starting to come through.
As you can see on the right, even when being turned out she expects her piece of apple or carrot!
The last three weeks have been great but hectic to say the least. I did my first two day clinic at Cockshot Dressage which went very well and I am thankful to Nikki for the venue and warm welcome and to Rebecca for getting me up there. We have organised the next one for November which was full within 3 days of my last visit!
The Ireland trip went well with the lecture demo on in-hand on the Friday evening and then two full days teaching over the weekend. The next trip is being planned, probably late March.
Some notes regarding the clinics. Firstly the December Kings Lodge clinic has moved from Sunday 15th to Saturday 14th December.
Due to scheduling and trying to fit everyone in I will no longer be doing the Wednesday Waterstock clinics but will continue these at the weekends.
I am in the process of sorting out dates for 2014 and will get the first part of the together and get the dates on line. If anyone wishes to organise or book a clinic then please do not hesitate to contact me as dates will book up quickly.
RosieB seems to be on the mend and Gill will be sitting on her tomorrow for the first time so fingers crossed. She looks lovely at the moment and as they say the coat is the mirror of the health and on that basis RosieB is as fit as a fiddle!!
Just had a very enjoyable two day clinic at Cockshot Dressage in Warrington. I was made to feel very welcome and even though my voice is now a little croaky after dealing with the wind the sessions were great and we have added another date for this year, that being Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd November.
Please note that there has been a change to the clinics at the end of September. I am now going to Queach Stables on the Saturday 28th and then Abington, Cambs on Sunday 29th.
Poorly RosieB!! She has a low grade cough and splutter and is now off work for the moment. Nothing major but taking our time to have her in full health before continuing. She is still looking fab, eating and drinking well and still as nosey as to what is happening around her so it should not take long to get her back into shape.
I have added a new 'app' to Gill's i-phone and its a great help towards starting to get some music for her to work to. Its called 'Tempo Lite', from the Apple App store, its free, and its an electronic metronome. Its very easy to use and a great way of getting RosieB's beats per minute for the walk, trot and canter. Then we can look on line at various sites which group songs under beats per minute and away we go!!
I have just booked my B&B for my new clinic venue, at Cockshot Dressage, Croft near Warrington. I am doing a 2 day clinic there on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th September and am looking forward to meeting new horse and rider combinations and seeing what lightbulb moments I can impart.
I have been going to the gym since April of this year and I am really starting to feel the benfits. I know its the old cliche but I feel better in both mind and body and I do actually enjoy it.
RosieB is now back into work after her break and we both feel she has come back better - the break as intended has done her good. Gill schooled her yesterday which was super then she rode her around the new outdoor school at Bury Farm where the two 20m x 60m arenas were still laid out after Bury's dressage champs. RosieB strolled in, looked around and was more interested in watching another horse being schooled - not phased at all!
Onwards and upwards for them both. I am very proud.
Well we have been having the hottest weather for a long, long time. In fact yesterday was the hottest day since 2006 which I remember as Gill and I moved into our new home. Its been about 30-33degrees and almost too hot to ride. In the lessons we have been still working the horses but focusing more on the rider, on the walk lateral work and riding according to the heat.
RosieB has worked really well since we moved her to Bury Farm EC at the beginning of February so this was an ideal time to give her a week off. No human athlete trains 52 weeks a year and so we should all remember that muscles are muscles, be they human or equine and everyone needs to rest from time to time. RosieB is no actually looking like she wants to get back into work so farrier Wednesday and time to crack on.
I have updated the clinics page and am glad to announce a new venue and up north from me. Details on the Clinics page.
Hopefully sorted RosieB out with a saddle now. Managed to find an Ideal Jessica from the company Ride Away and have bought on line. I am quite happy with the fit but am having RB Equestrian out on Friday to double check as it may need a little flocking the front. Apart from that all is good in RosieB's world although the grass has shot through and so we are keeping an eye on her weight!
I have added a new article in the Articles section, another schooling plan, this one aiming towards flying changes. These are seeming to be proving popular so if you have any topics that you would like a schooling plan for then just drop me a line.
The shortest day of the year!! Well, still wishing for a summer but ho hum, still time.
Bury Farm have announced a great scoop. They have landed The Dressage Convention and this is not the British Dressage one! It will be hosted by Carl Hester and Richard Davison, with Charlotte Dujardin riding, with other guest speakers. Here is a link to the website for more information:
I have added another couple of schooling plans to the Articles section, one on transitions and another on improving the half pass. I hope they are helpful.
RosieB and Gill never cease to amaze me. They are getting better and better day by day and so will get some video footage soon.
Where is this year going? June already, shortest day of the year soon and we are still waiting for summer to start in earnest!! Gill and RosieB are ticking along well. Gill has got her riding fitness back and the both are going from strength to strength. I am sure that Gill will do a RosieB update soon.
I am also keeping up with the fitness regime. We expect the horse to do the job for us yet not enough riders look to their own physical state. That could be as simple as trying to do things evenly in both directions or general fitness. I also enjoy the gym and the fitness is starting to come back. I have been spending so much time teaching that I had lost a degree of riding fitness.
Teaching is going really well and I love the diverse range of horse and riders that I am privaledged to work with. The older horses are showing that with due care, patience and correct schooling horses can work well into their later years.
Have just updated RosieB's Blog with Gills next installment. I am so proud of their progress with lots more to come!!
A client of mine is moving their horses to Bury Farm tomorrow, two lovely Spanish horses, which I am really looking forward to working with on a more regular basis. Hopefully at some point I shall get some photos.
I have re-joined the gym and have been going 3 times a week for just over a month now and I think, hopefully, the benefit is starting to show. I have always enjoyed exercise its just trying to fit everything in!!
After a request to try and show this I have made a short video of the flip of the nuchal liagment when the correct relaxation through the jaw and throatlash area have been achieved. The flip itself is not to be aimed for per sae; it occurs when the rider has used the right co-ordination of the aids and achieved the softness of the jaw and acceptance of the contact with the correct alignment through the throatlash area. The horse should be stretching out to the hand and seeking the contact. Gill was filming from on board RosieB and I was using the reins to ask for the flexion. The neck is lower than a normal position due to getting the flip in focus on the camera, however she is certainly not behind the vertical.
Here is the clip: The Nuchal Ligament Flip
At last Gill has started her RosieB Blog, which she will keep up to date, and she will let you know how she is getting on with RosieB. The training is going well with some super progress but I will let you read about that in the Blog.
This year is flying past. At least we seem to be out of the cold weather although we had a couple of sharp frosts this weekend just gone. We do actually need some rain now for the grass but hopefully it will rain at night and be sunshine through the day.
We are checking and altering RosieB's saddle at the moment as she is filling nicely into her frame. She is really looking the part and her coat is gleaming. She is very chilled and happy at Bury Farm and its almost the noisier the better!!
The winter rolls on. I am sure that most of us by now are really looking forward to feeling warm when working our horses and if the weather reports are anything to go by then we are heading towards the better weather.
My trip to Ireland went really well. I gave a lecture demo on the Friday evening on lungeing, double lungeing and in-hand work. The weather was really foul with rain and strong winds resulting in flooding, road closures and power cables down so I thank the folk that braved the elements to come out. This was followed by two super days teaching with some good continuity now with the regulars that I now have.
Gill is working with Rosie balancing her stretching work with the ridden work and her freshness as she is feeling really well. We are still wondering whether she will go grey as although she is still dark brown almost black she is definately a roan colour but with more grey hairs coming through!
Clinics for this year have been booking in thick and fast and am now in the situation where I only have a handful of free weekend days this side of Christmas. Its going to be a busy year but I look forward to helping my clients with their horses and hopefully we will see many 'lightbulb' moments.
I know February only is a short month but where did it go! Into March already and looking forward to Spring.
RosieB is coming along very nicely. Gill and Rosie have well and truly settled into Bury Farm and we are both amazed at how she has simply taken to everything. She seems to be thriving on the hussle and bustle of the yard. What is good for the young horse is to be able to see all the aspects of the competitions and a busy yard but then have the quiet days to chill and relax - so it's neither full on all of the time or really quiet all of the time. Gill is riding her in types of situations and the progress is really coming along - will try and get some more photos soon.
Have updated the clinic page today and am booking through to the end of the year to make sure I can fit everyone in.
We have moved RosieB to Bury Farm Equestrian Centre. The decision was made for various reasons and we moved her last Friday. She has settled in really well and I want to thank everyone at Bury for making us feel so welcome; it felt like coming home!!
RosieB never ceases to amaze me. As with any new livery arriving at Bury they stay in for the first five days following worming. So on Saturday Gill led RosieB out in hand and I would lunge her when I got there after work. There was a big showing show on and she took it all in her stride. So at 5pm ish late afternoon, with the light fading and the show still going on I lunged her in the outdoor school and she was absolutely fab!. Worked the whole arena, dealing with the various potential distractions and had a lovely trot stretch with forward activity in both directions.
Gill rode RosieB for the first time at Bury today, in the indoor school and she was a star. Obviously a little tentative but took everything in her stride. There was a dressage show going on and she just looked and then settled to her mooching. Then Gill took her round to the otudoor school and in the breeze everything was flapping but not a problem!! I will long rein her soon and we shall get some photos / video of her as soon as we can.
With the improvement in the weather the teaching is now back in full swing which is a relief. Hopefully that was the worst of it but time will tell!!
The snowy conditions continue with lessons and clinics being cancelled and some shows, including the 3 day High Profile Show at Addington Manor having to be cancelled. This was a pity as it was to be a chance to see Carl Hester debuting yet another horse at GP and to see Charlotte Dujardin ride Uthopia at GP.
A have added a new article in the Articles section giving a few thoughts on Consistency in training. I do feel that over and above the general training theories a rider uses they should also pay attention to the other factors that all contribute to the steady but consistent improvement in the dressage training of both horse and rider.
Well the bad weather had to come at some point. Its not so much that we have had a lot of snow, we have had a sprinkling since Sunday afternoon but its the really low (for us..) temperatures and freezing surfaces etc. At midday today we had minus 5 degrees and with the forecast tonight showing that we may get to minus 10. RosieB is having either hand walks where we can or a couple of hours out at a time to at least stretch her legs. Feed cut down, good forage and grooms!
The weather is therefore having an effect on clinics: The Saturday clinic in Chobham is, at present, still on but am monitoring the weather. Sundays clinic in Abington is unfortunately now cancelled. The ground is frozen and with the forecast nothings really going to change.
Gill has had two good workman like ridden sessions with RosieB the last two days but is struggling with this bug so I had a super long reining session with RosieB today. She was a little fresh on the single rein warm up lunge but nothing ott. Then started with the two reins. I worked on two issues - the relaxation of the jaw (achieved with walk-halt-walks and subtle lateral flexions) and good old straightness. RosieB is a left banana, so she bulges the right shoulder towards the fence on the left rein and falls in on this when the right shoulder is on the inside going direction right. Nothing dramatic but when I had established a better contact, a soft, relaxed jaw and a straighter body she became loose, elastic and free flowing with some super half halts and full halts from trot.
The weather feels like its turning and I hope we dont have any of that white stuff as Gill is just getting going with RosieB and I want her to have a good run at it without any weather / snow / freezing to get in the way!
Happy New Year to everyone. I hope that 2013 brings you the super rides and progress that you aim and wish for. Today is bright and sunny although crisp but I would much prefer it like this than the dark wet days that we have been having. I am sure also the nights are starting to draw out a little, before we know it Spring will be here.
Christmas is fast approaching and I feel quite lucky to only have lost 2 days work due to the weather so far. Its absolutely pouring down today so no joy for the last Surrey clinic of the year! Avon Dassett tomorrow weather permitting and then allowing myself the luxury of 5 days off over Xmas and then back into work with a bang with a very busy 2 day clinic at Bury Farm next weekend.
I would just like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and I hope you all have many good rides in 2013.
Gill and RosieB have been progressing together nicely. The school was frozen for a period which limited the work but they are now back in action. Gill wanted to learn to work RosieB in-hand and the photo on the right was taken in their first ever in-hand session. Gill walked her to start with just holding the inside rein loosely, then took the reins independantly and worked her to a contact and worked some walk-halt-walk transitions. This was done in both directions.
Then Gill tried her hand at the giravolta and considering this was her first attempt they both did really, really well.
Well the winter is here with a bang. Its minus 6 degrees outside and the white frosty morning looks lovely even though it means that outdoor schools will be frozen, troughs will need de-icing and the like.
RosieB is really showing her lovely true character. She lets Gill lead her to and from the field nice and steadily with the slippery conditions. None of this young horse barging or pulling and when the others canter up from the bottom of the field as Gill brings her in she does not react in any way - just walks alongside Gill. Her work is on hold with the school frozen but that will not hurt - we have plenty of time.
Gill has now retired from Chiltern Rider, the magazine she was worked for over the past 15 years. She now has plenty of time to spend with RosieB and her other work.
Talking of work, the diary for clinics next year is rapidly filling up. The two day clinic this Xmas at Bury Farm has only a few spaces left on the Saturday and some on the Sunday so book now to avoid missing out!
I hope to have a little more time to update the website with some articles and pieces, teaching has been so busy recently that I have not had the time.
The Bury Farm wo day clinic at the end of December is starting to book up. This is essentially my normal clinic structure but over two days. In other words riders can have either a single session on either of the two days, or they can have two sessions back to back. There is the option to have overnight stabling at Bury Farm and also the Swan Hotel, in Leighton Buzzard, I believe, offers a discount to Bury Farm users. As usual please book with Bury Farm themselves for the clinic and stabling if required, and overnight arrangements to be made independantly.
The clinics are booking in thick and fast for 2013. The Bury Farm clinics are swapping to a mid week date, usually a Wednesday and will run from 2ish through to 8ish, depending on numbers.
RosieB was fab tonight with a combination session of lunging and in-hand. This was only her 3rd in-hand play and is already showing a softness and ease to the work.
Well at last we have managed some video footage of RosieB on the lunge, double lunge and under saddle. This clip is to show the start and is by no means meant to show the finished work. It does, however, show a horse relaxed in her work and the starts of some work that will flourish:
I am glad to say that RosieB is sound and back in work. Thanks to Barry Wiles, our farrier for his help. She is so sweet and is settling more and more. I have compiled a video clip of her on the lunge / double lunge and with Gill on board and as soon as YouTube lets me upload it will give the link here.
The clinics are booking in thick and fast for next year. One change to the usual is that the Bury Farm clinics are probably going to swap to a mid-week day, with an afternoon / evening theme. Dates will be announced asap.
RosieB is progressing really well, that is until she pulled a shoe off in the field and managed to get some puss in the foot! Anyway, on the mend, with Gills wonderful poulticing and the loan of Fliss's shoe boot.
The following two photos show RosieB, the 'before and after' so far! The photo on the left was one of the sale photos and the one on the right was taken last week.
The weather is turning, the clippers are out and the winter is on its way. Where did the summer, if thats what we would call it, go?
The clinic in Ireland went really well and thanks to Kate for her organisation and hospitality, to David for the use of the school which he prepared marvelously! The sessions went well and its really interesting seeing the horse and rider combinations over 2 days and seeing them almost pick up on the Sunday where we left off on the Saturday. One of the horses is actually a cousin, albeit distant, to our very own RosieB!!
Gill is now riding RosieB. We are still taking our time, working her a couple of days, then day off and keeping the sessions relaxed and progressive. The mare is just taking everything in her stride and is starting to blossom.
I have updated the Clinic page and there is a new addition, Hurst Riding Club have booked a date in December.
RosieB is coming along very well indeed. As we said, being only four with very low mileage we are really taking our time. We now have the lungeing going well with the stretch work really draping and relaxing. I have now done 3 long reining sessions and Gill is sitting on inbetween, as per the last comments photos!
The two photos above show the second long reining session. Above left shows a lovely draped stretch on the long reins and then above right the pick up to the walk contact. Below left shows the young horse working up through to a soft trot contact and then below right working through a 'baby' corner.
On the training side the work is really busy at the present. The Thames Valley Riding Club weekend went very well. Thanks heaps to Natalie and her team for the organisation and to Quainton Stud for their hospitality.
What a scorching weekend that was. About 30 degrees both days and 2 full days clinics! All good fun and of course we worked the horses responsibly. Not everything has to be at full intensity to make improvement.
RosieB has settled in very well and is now starting to flourish. Below you can see her having a chill in her stable giving the mood shot opportunity and then on the right Gill's first proper schooling session under saddle. She has been assessed by a feed company and she scored a perect 5 in their range of 1-9 (1 being poor and 9 being obese) as in super condition. She takes after me and loves her food!!
Well, what an Olympics!!! Not only for our Team GB Dressage riders but for the eventers and show jumpers too. The first ever medals in Olympic Dressage and then we get 3: Team Gold and Individual Gold and Bronze, what a fantastic result. I take my hat off to the Team as they stayed cool under pressure, delivered what they knew they could and brought home the medals. The only slight disappointment from my side is that Carl did not get an individual medal. As a rider, trainer and owner the pressure was fully on him and not only did he produce the work but helped Charlotte to win 2 gold medals in her first ever Olympics. Crumbs she only started GP with Valegro January of last years!!! Well done Team GB Equestrian!
From a personal point of view RosieB has settled in very well. She had a few dramas with the turn out as she got settled into the rankings and as the mares were fully in season it was interesting to say the least. She is now settled and enjoying the time out. As she is very green and not that fit we are taking our time with her so last week has been starting the lunge work - almost as if starting from scratch. RosieB is being encouraged to stretch down, move loosely and easily and to start the process of getting fit and supple. She is showing herself to have a very trainable attitude. Gill is totally in love!!
Clinics are booking in through to December and I cannot believe how this year is flying past. Apart from a couple of weekend days in December I am now fully booked for weekend clinics. However I am now also starting to do mid-week clinics at various venues - I shall post more information as and when it becomes confirmed.
RosieB arrived on Monday as cool as a cucumber!! Had a long trip in the trailer but came out relaxed and chilled. We let her settle for a little then hand walked her to stretch her legs and when the other horses galloped up to either side of the drive she showed her passage quite nicely but stayed relaxed with me, she simply was showing off to her new friends!
She has really got a sweet relaxed personality and is loving the attention from Gill. RosieB is going to be an exciting project.
The BD Summer Regionals are almost upon us and I am looking forward to helping various clients in. I will be at Addington on Friday 27th July and at The College on Wednesday 15th August. There was a clinic planned at Waterstock on the Wednesday in August so I am re-arranging this for hopefully the Friday 17th August.
Exciting news on many fronts!! New horse for Gill and news of a two day Xmas Clinic!!
Meet RosieB, a lovely and sweet 15.2hh 4 year old mare that I bought for Gill today. She is very green in her work but seems to be a really genuine horse that Gill should have loads of fun with. She hopefully will be with us early next week and I will post more info and piccies as things progress!!
I have updated the Clinics page and have arranged a 2 day clinic in December at Bury Farm. There will be over night stabling available and so this should be a fun and informative weekend. Its the weekend of the 29th and 30th December. To book please contact: Bury Farm.
The Summer Regionals are fast approaching, having had the cut off date earlier this year due to the Olympics. I will be helping clients work in at both Addington (26th & 27th July) and at The College (14th & 15th August) so busy times ahead.
A lady called Karen is arranging a training day with myself and Sylva Bedding. It has come about through interest on the BD Forum and we will be organising the format hopefully later this week. I believe it will be open to folk with their horses and on foot so to speak. Details will be forthcoming as soon as I have them. This is looking to take place in the Bedfordshire region. We are aiming at an informative day, probably basically clinic style lessons with some other bits and pieces thrown in!
In September I have been asked to work with the Haflinger Society on a training day. It should be an interesting day and more details will follow when arranged.
This year is flying past!
I have just updated the Clinic page as the rest of the year is getting booked up very quickly.
Gill and I are now starting to look for a horse for Gill again. The dilema is whether to go Iberian or not. I think Gill would have a lot of fun with a PRE or a Lusitano but we shall have to see what is out there.
Well, what can I say about this weather!! This has been the wetest drought we have ever had!! For readers who are not familiar with our peculiar situation here in the South East of England we have had a dry spell for about 18 months, which has led to water shortages, drought and hose pipe bans. We have now had the wetest April on record for a long time and into May its still raining - but we are still playing catch up to the time without rain. So we are still having hose pipe bans even though we have flood warnings!!!
Gill has started writing for a new website called isporthorse.com. The site talks about breeding of sport horses with articles, show reports and details of stallions with a stallion directory. It's well worth a look.
I have updated the clinic page as the rest of the year is getting quite busy!
I attended the BD Judges Convention, very kindly sponsored by the British Dressage Supporters Club, earlier this month, at Bury Farm. The day was run well and the two speakers, Stephen Clarke and Wim Ernes, went through a range of horses. The morning sessions were single horse and rider combinations from 4 to 6 years old looking at the general way of going and the necessity to keep the engagement from behind through the use of transitions. The afternoon was based looking at movements with two horse and rider combinations per session. They covered pirouettes, half pass's and then piaffe and passage. I have written a report with some photos for the Chiltern & Thames Rider magazine which will be out in a couple of weeks time.
This weekend I taught at the Thames Valley R.C. training weekend held at Quainton Stud. Thank you to Natalie and the team for their organisation and looking after me. We did a mixture of ridden sessions and in-hand sessions and it all seemed to go well. The next one is now planned for September this year.
The Winter Championships with the PetPlan Finals are running this week at Hartpury so best of luck to all those who are competing.
What an exciting year we have in store with the Olympics in our own back yard. I really do believe that Team GB will be in with a chance of a medal which will be fantastic for British Dressage.
I have updated the clinics page as am taking bookings for the rest of the year.
The Step Into Dressage Convention that was to be held on the 27th May has now been postponed until later in the year. I do still plan to run this as the interest has been very good but timings and other factors have influenced the decision to re-schedule. Instead the 27th May is now a clinic day at Bury Farm E.C.
For all those dressage to music lovers, Bury Farm are now also running an unaffiliated Summer Dressage series, from May through to September with a PYO music class included. The series culminates in the Bury Farm Dressage Championships in September. Some of the classes, (not the DTM), also double as qualifiers for the Chiltern & Thames Winter Dressage Championships so well worth entering.
A note to those attending the Bury Farm clinic this Saturday 31st March. The clinic will be being held in 'Arena 3', one of the 20m x 40m schools, not the main arena. The rest of the dates will return to the large indoor school.
Next Thursday, 5th April, is the Judges Convention at Bury Farm. This should be really interesting and informative. I shall take some notes and hopefully some photos of the day.
It truly feels like Spring is here although I should not be tempting fate. Its a glorious day with some lovely sunshine.
The clinic in Ireland went really well so thank you to Kate for her hard work with the organisation and we are planning the next one which should be towards the end of September this year. The clinic had a nice mix of horses and people which makes for a good learning experience for both riders and onlookers. I did work with one horse which for once made me look small!! I could not see over the withers and seeing that I am quite tall, at 6ft 1in, this horse was huge. Saying that he was a super horse and destined for good things to come and had a super rider.
It does indeed go to show that good work with a sound gymnastic structure pays off. Kate's horse is now 22 years old and I had a sit on him on the second day. He felt really good and we worked on still improving things. He is a credit to Kate and long may he continue.
I have some really exciting news to announce about Gills new venture, Reflections of Equus. Below is an example of her work, which shows how she creates collages which capture both the spirit of the horse and the rider with a stunning effect.
Hew new website is to be found at:
On the site are more exciting examples of her work and if you feel you would like one done of you and your horse or pet, or as a gift for a friend, the website has all of the information you need.
From my works point of view I am looking forward, maybe tempting fate here, to Spring coming and the warmer weather. It is lovely today but still has the crispness over night. I am off to Ireland next week for a clinic which should be fun. I have some new folk to work with as well as those from last time.
The details for the CTR Step into Dressage Convention should soon be able to be released. This will be held at Bury Farm E.C. on Sunday 27th May so make sure that date is free in your diary!
Well it had to happen at some point!! Todays clinic at Waterstock had to be cancelled due to snow and icy roads. I should not really complain as this is the first days work lost so far this Winter, and to get through to February before saying that is not bad at all.
Gill and I took Jack for a walk in the snow this morning which was lovely and at last I have had time to update the website. A few additions, a couple of tweaks and the changing of Cookie's Corner to the Tribute to Cookie. She is still very sorely missed and although we are now looking we are realising she will be a tough act to follow!
I am planning to do update the website more fully over the next week or so and so this is just a quick note on this cold, fresh morning!!
Due to issues with the organiser I have had to withdraw from teaching the Aspley Guise R.C. group sessions and these dates have now been removed from my Clinic list.
We are now starting to look for a horse on loan for Gill. We are still grieving the loss of our beloved Cookie but as we know the process of finding the next horse to come into our care could be long, we are starting now and, as I always advise anyone that goes out looking, we will take our time.
10th January 2011:
After the sad news about Cookie I have thrown myself into work which has kept my mind off things. It has been a particularly hard time, especially for Gill and I, and is still quite raw. We would both very much like to thank all of the people that have messages and thoughts at this difficult time.
On a more positive note, Step Into Dressage is pleased to announce a date for a lecture demo has been provisionally arranged for Sunday 27th May; the venue to be Bury Farm. Full details to follow but it will be a days event covering various aspects of dressage training.
Clinic dates are being booked in for the main part of the year so check the Clinics page for new dates.
5th January 2012:
I have some very sad news about Cookie to report. Please go to her Training Blog to read the full story.
3rd January 2012:
Christmas has come and gone and I hope everyone had a lovely festive time. I wish everyone a happy New Year and I hope it brings many good riding times.
The Xmas clinics at Bury Farm were both full and went really well. We have dates for Bury in January, February and March for the usual weekend clinics. In addition I am pleased to announce that, in conjunction with Aspley Guise Riding Club, I am running some group training sessions. Priority will be given to Aspley Guise R.C. members and for more information go to: Aspley Guise R.C.
18th December 2011:
STOP PRESS: Due to the popular demand for the Xmas clinic at Bury Farm we have added a second day. The original clinic was on Thursday 29th December and now we have added Friday 30th December. The clinic is in the new large indoor school and is a fab chance to ride in the super arena and get used to the surrounds ready for riding in there competitively in 2012!!
I am now also able to take in schooling lveries, basing them at Bury Farm. For more details see the Prices page.
12th December 2011:
This year has flown past. I am relieved though to be this close to Christmas and still able to get and about to teach. For the last two years by this point we were well and truly under the snow and although having time off was relaxing it did not help the bank balance!!!
Cookie has come into our lives and we have had her almost a year already! This has been an eventful journey as owning horses can often be. She has starred in two articles, one in 'Your Horse' and the other in the 'Chiltern & Thames Rider'.
Clinics are booking in well for the first part of 2012. Another Ireland date has been added in mid-March. I am also seeing what I can do with respect of some weekend training camps. Any ideas as to what folk would like then please feel free to e-mail me.
3rd November 2011:
Cookie and I are in print in two magazines this month! In the December issue, no. 354, of 'Your Horse' magazine is the lunging article that the editor Julie Brown did with me. I am really pleased with the 6 page feature which has come out really well. We are also in the November issue of the 'Chiltern & Thames Rider' in an article on the 'Rules of Engagement' that I wrote with Gill. Gill took the photos for this and, although I am obviously biased, am very proud of how they have come out.
Bury Farm had their official opening of their new indoor school last week. This was combined with a 3 day show jumping show that had superb entries. The center is certainly now a force to be reckoned with. The Gala evening was a sell out with entertainment from the Devils Horsemen, a film stunt team, which had the crowd going and a heel work to music with Mary Ray and her dogs. The GP class was great with a very exciting jump off.
17th October 2011:
Have just finished proof reading the Lunging article that I am doing with Your Horse magazine. They have laid it out very well. They have just included lunging with a single rein and may well do a second article with the double lunging. Cookie was the model for the photo shoot and she was a star and looks fab in the photos.
The clinic at Bury Farm went very well and was a full day. Most of the horses took really well to working in the new indoor school - just took some of the riders some time to adjust! Its great for horse and rider combinations that are aiming to compete at Bury Farm to get a feel for the indoor school without the added pressure of the actual competition.
Congratulations to Sara with her lovely horse Ty. Gaining over 73% advanced medium to music and then winning A100 with over 66%. A super combination that has worked really hard to get to this point and the exciting news is that there is still more to come!
On Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th October are the Chiltern & Thames Rider dressage champs at Patchetts. I will be there for the day on the Saturday helping Gill and some clients.
28th September 2011: Just come back from a lovely trip to Ireland. This was my first time visiting Ireland and it certainly was an adventure. Thank you very much to Kate Peatling for organising everything and taking splendid care of me. The weekend was really busy with a full days teaching on the Saturday, a Tapas evening in the cafe next to the Hook lighthouse and then a really early start on the Sunday. In order to fit everyone in and catch my flight home we started the first lesson at 7am!!
Cookie is now going from strength to strength - catch up with the latest on her Training Blog.
My first clinic at Bury Farm is Saturday week and I am really looking forward to it. There are limited spaces which are filling up quickly so if you would like a slot contact Bury Farm.
Congratulations go to Bernadette and Ollie for winning the Petplan medium at Patchetts on Monday and to Annie for coming 2nd and also qualifying for the Winters at PSG.
21st September 2011:
Well what an eventful couple of weeks.
As with any training of horses you will encounter some blips along the way. We have been going through that stage with Cookie recently. To find out more check out Cookies Training Blog
Some exciting news: Your Horse magazine contacted me last week as the editor Julie Brown wanted to do a feature article on lungeing. She came down to Bury Farm last Friday with her photographer and Cookie was the demo horse for the photoshoot. Cookie was excellent and we also included double lunging which may well now come out as a separate article. I will let you know when the article is due to come out in print.
I am off for my first clinic in Ireland this weekend which I am really looking forward to. I have never been to the Emerald Isle and I hear the part I am going to is beautiful.
13th September 2011:
Where has this year gone? It seems to have flown by. Booking dates ahead for clinics is always good but to be booking in dates for 2012 has made me think where 2011 went! This has not really been helped by me thinks that we really did not get a good summer at all. Ho hum.
Another proof of the onset of Winter is we put Cookie's winter rugs in for cleaning and the clippers will soon have to be coming out.
The National Championships are upon us this week so good luck to all competing there. I hope the weather holds off for a good week of competition.
25th August 2011:
Bury Farm is a livery and competition centre complimented with fabulous facilities. These include 4 indoor schools, outdoor school, x-country course, cafe, tack shop and Chiltern Equine Vets on site.
The clinics will be held in their brand new indoor school. The cost of a session is £45.00 for 45 minutes which includes the school hire. Please contact Bury Farm to book a space on the clinic. The sessions can be aimed at ridden dressage, in-hand work / long reining or test riding.
An ideal way to not only have a dressage session but get to ride in their super indoor school where they hold their dressage competitions!
18th August 2011: A day to remember for British Dressage. Team Gold at the European Dressage Championships in Rotterdam. The first day saw Emile Faurie give us a good start with a 70% plus test and then Charlotte Dujardin with Valegro scoring a massive 78.8%. At the end of day 1 we were in the lead. Day 2 saw Carl Hester, with Uthopia score a personal best with 82.568% and hopes for a gold medal were high. Laura B came in with a 77.280 with a very exuberant Alf then we had the Team gold in the bag. Carl was top of the pile - highest score and a well deserved medal.
On a teachingl front the Regionals saw some riders gain some new highs and some well deserved polos for some really good performances.
Plans for a lecture demo in Spring next year are well under way so watch this space for more information.
I can now also announce that I have a few limited spaces for taking schooling liveries in. If anyone is interested then please e-mail me here: Contact Simon.
Step Into Dressage