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  1. Lateral Work Checklist..


    When you are riding lateral movements, do you have a checklist?

    1) Plan ahead; It may sound silly, but I have witnessed on many occasions a rider suddenly deciding to ride a movement on the spur of the moment with no planning, therefore resulting in the horse not understanding the aid.

    2) Prepare the movement; this goes hand in hand with the planning ahead, you have planned where to ride your movement, now you need to prepare the movement you plan to ride, so half-halt, prepare your position, prepare your approach..

    3) Execute the movement; if you have planned and prepared, now your movement should be ridden..

    4) FINISH the movement; this section is very, very often forgotten, if you have ridden into a movement, you MUST ride OUT of it too! It may feel natural to let your horse straighten itself after a few steps of your movement, BUT this is a bad habit to allow your horse to get in to, your horse should stay in the movement until YOU change it!

    Of all the above pointers, number 4 is most often overlooked, FINISH your movement, and by that I don't mean get to your marker and let your horse carry on as if the movement had never happened, you MUST FINISH what you started, so if you are riding shoulder in for example, you set your horse up, you ride the movement, but what happens at the end? Well a variety of answers can be given, but the correct one would be you apply the aids for the following movement, lets say it is a transition to canter, so you half halt, straighten your horse and then apply your canter aid, this enables your horse to remain on your aids and ready to complete the next task asked of him. This is just one example, but it could just as easily be a trot leg-yield to a walk transition, or a half pass to a flying change, the principles are the same, know where you are going to ride, prepare how you are going to ride, ride the movement then ride OUT of that movement, various levels of knowledge (horse and rider!) will determine what exercise is appropriate, but no matter what level, the 4 pointers on the checklist are compulsory.

    Next time you school, have this in mind and notice if there are any pointers missing from your training!


  2. 2021 review, a year which held some surprises …


    For most of 2021 I didn’t think I’d have much to write about to be honest, but here I am 6.30pm on New Years eve thinking, which bits do I want to leave out?!

    It’s funny isn’t it how you coast through life, year after year doing pretty much the same stuff, but then at the end of each year you think back and realise your “normal” coasting had some pretty awesome moments, you just don’t realise until you look back.


    For example, back in January a very cold month up here in the Dales, we went to the yard, and managed to accidentally break the internet! How? Well you see our yard turned into an ice rink and my poor husband tried to fetch the wheelbarrow to start mucking out, ended up impersonating Michael Jacksons moonwalk on the ice, totally unplanned, and obviously I had to grab the camera and film it didn’t I, so the short clip ended up on my Facebook page, quickly shared all over the Net and then Horse & Hound got hold of it ad made us Social Media Post of the week! With over 10K views and hundreds of shares! Haven’t seen it? Check it out here 

    Not much of anything worth reporting happened between then and May to be fair, just usual stuff, however during May a big change occurred, we moved Jasper and Malachite home. Now I know a lot of people keep their horses at home, but for me this is a game changer. Our landlord of our lovely home, which is on his farm, gave us permission to convert an old cow barn into stables and pretty much gave me more grazing than I could use, its 20yrds from my front door and I can see them from my back door eating their hay. Perfect. 186464330_3977436948982805_3712285126070118692_n

    Between May and July was just normal stuff, as usual, but then August came and so did a Local Show, the Wensleydale Agricultural Show to be precise, and Jasper was entered! Its one of the local “Big” shows round here so there was plenty going on, even MP Rishi Sunak was there, only noticed as I walked by reporters taking pictures and so on of him! We were very out of practice, well I say we, but I mean I, yes, I was out of practice, Jasper forever the reliable pro just did it, I don’t think I even needed to be there to be honest, and he came away with a very respectable 2nd place in good company. Happy!



    Then a LOT happened after that, while searching for a horse for a lovely client, I “accidentally” clicked on a link to a mare, well, you know the rest, Corrie arrived!


    So, from an Internet breaking start to 2021, surviving Covid, moving the boys (and corrie) home, to having a horse to ride who I absolutely love to pieces, and making competition plans for the future, 2021 has certainly threw some surprises my way!!


    Now when I look back over this year, I don’t think of it the same way, “not a lot happened” has turned into “What a year!”

    I wonder what 2022 holds….

    Happy New Year everyone!