It has been all steam ahead from the beginning of January. We are very fortunate to have Becca back with us for a second year, and then we have a new groom called Sophie Benger, who is lovely and settling into the King routine very well. My horses did 3 weeks roadwork, then I started to introduce a bit of schooling. lunging, pole work and then a little jumping at the end of Jan. We have their teeth done by Keith Evans, who is an excellent equine dentist who lives in the Westcountry. We also get Richard Stringer, our excellent vet, to get their ‘flu/tetanus boosters done. Gradually we get them clipped and tidy and looking like real event horses again. Emily and I do these things quite differently! I am old fashioned and like to do a hunter clip with their saddle patches and legs left on, whereas Emily likes hers to be clipped out completely, legs and all. She keeps her horses tails full, and trims her manes with scissors to give a straight square look (influenced by working in Germany in a show jumping yard!). I pull my horses manes and tails…although part of me thinks why on earth do I pull out their hair?…but in fact my 3 enjoy having their manes and tails pulled so I feel its okay!
It seems a while since my last blog, we have been very busy. We are also enjoying training in the lighter evenings as spring is fast approaching.
Just before Christmas we attended our first ever able bodied competition at a local unaffiliated competition but the classes were judged by a British Dressage listed judge. In the lead up to the competition I was a little worried with how I would cope doing a dressage test with canter in as I had only learnt to canter in October and I had never cantered Tidy away from home so I was a little apprehensive on how she would react in a strange place as she can be a little more forward away from home. I had no need to worry, Tidy was perfectly behaved throughout the day and I was very grateful to my friend Becky for taking Tidy for me. It was Christmas themed which was lovely so Tidy wore her reindeer fly veil and some tinsel around her neck. The venue and people of Oswestry Riding Club were very friendly and welcoming. I warmed up outside and Tidy was listening well to my aids and quite relaxed. For my first dressage test I entered the Intro C (walk and trot) which is similar to my para dressage test so Tidy had chance to look at the indoor competition arena as there was a car for the judge to sit in which is something Tidy hasn’t seen yet with her limited competition experience – as expected she had a little look at the car but soon settled to do a lovely relaxed test to be placed 1st with 74.56% which I was more than happy with. Our next test would be my first ever dressage test with canter in so my plan was to survive and come out together – I knew Tidy would be fine but it was more whether I would be able to get the canter in all the right places and keep my balance. Tidy looked after me and did a very pleasing test, listening the whole way through to be awarded 71.13% and 2nd place – I was so pleased with her, we lost the canter in one part of the test as Tidy was looking after me but we managed to recover the canter. I was so proud of her, she is a pleasure to take out and about, trying her hardest at all times even when she is unsure in a new environment.
After the competition our training was put on hold due to snow and ice, then before I knew it was Christmas so Tidy had her planned two week holiday. I think it important for her to have a holiday for some down time and time to be a horse.
January was spent focusing on training at home, having our regular lessons with our coach, Helen and also doing so pole work to keep Tidy’s schooling varied. I can’t believe Tidy will have been with me two years this year, she has come so far and helped me get my confidence back as well as achieving my ambition of learning to canter and compete able bodied.
Tidy came back from her holiday feeling rather well with a spring in her step so we have been focusing on maintaining a relaxed rhythm as she could sometimes get a little forward using half halts and also keeping her mind occupied in the school varying the exercises. She is always eager to please so sometime tries too hard.
It is now that time of year when everyone is frantically shopping around for presents for their friends and family. There is always a few which you get stuck on and wonder……what shall I get?! :S
If you have a horsey friend or family member who you are shopping for then look no further. Here at Snuggy Hoods there is something for everyone, we have Rider wear, Horse wear and even coats for the pampered pooch. Below is a little list of a few products available which could fit the bill…if you are still left wondering then the Snuggy Hoods Gift Vouchers are an ideal present.
Fleece Onesies – Childs & Adults
Comfy, cosy, cute Onesies from Snuggy Hoods.
Soft polar fleece with zipped front and chest pocket.
Great for those chilly nights in the lorry, lounging on the sofa or even mucking out!
The Snuggy Hoods pull on sports breeches / tights are a stylish, excellent value option for both adults and children,
offering a flattering and comfortable fit with eye catching Snuggy Hoods logo on the back pocket.
Horse 14.2hh – 18hh
Soft polar fleece exercise sheet.
£60 or £65 with a zip
The Snuggy Hoods Turn Out Hood is the ultimate time-saver for the busy rider when bringing wet, muddy horses in from the field.
It gives back hours spent grooming so that you have more time to ride and enjoy your horse or pony.
Keep Clean Weatherproof Dog Rug – £22
Dogs love mud, puddles and dirt – the Dogs’ Body is here to help!
Keep Warm Polar Fleece Dog Rug – £22
Snuggy Hoods have designed a lightweight, comfortable, practical and stylish dog rug to keep your dog warm or to wick away moisture when wet.
Snuggy Hoods are heading to Olympia !!
Please pop in to check out the fabulous range of products on offer, there shall be great offers across all products available. This year the Snuggy Hoods trade stand shall be in a NEW LOCATION, we can be found on stand E53, a bigger and better stand with more to offer for your christmas shopping.
We look forward to greeting all of our customers old and new.
A big thank you to all of our wonderful customers who came to visit the Snuggy Hoods Trade Stand at Your Horse Live 2017!
We had a fantastic show and look forward to seeing you all again next year!!! For anyone who is heading to Olympia do be sure to pop in and say hi!!
Thanks again from the Snuggy Hoods Team!
Beat the mud this Winter with a Snuggy Hoods Weatherproof Turn Out Hood….
– Once you have one…you will never be without it!
1. Saves valuable grooming time
2. Allows more time for riding
3. Great for sensitive horses who hate being groomed
4. Keeps the mane and coat in great condition and stops the mane from getting brittle.
5. Shines the coat and protects plaits
6. Stops ALL stable stains
7. Slows coat regrowth = less clipping
Allow yourself a little lie in before a show….all you need is a Turn out Hood!
Win 2 x Tickets to Olympia Horse Show !!!!
Thursday 14th December – Afternoon Performance!
12:30pm – The Santa Stakes Continued
1:50pm – The Kennel Club ABC Dog Jumping Grand Prix
2:10pm – The Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National
2:25pm – International Display – The Chilean Huasos
2:40pm – International Display – The Metropolitan Police Activity Ride
3:15pm – Dodson & Horrell Extreme Driving – Top Score
4:00pm – Christmas Finale supported by the Hilton, London Olympia
TO ENTER –
The winner shall be announced and tickets posted on Friday 8th December.
Blog for September and October 2017
During September we focused on our training ready for myself and Fulltide’s second competition together, working on areas that we think are our weak spots. As Fulltide has only been with me a short time we are still developing her strength and way of going, however she is a lot stronger and more established in her ways of going now. We practiced lots of centre lines making sure we are straight the whole way down with no noticeable wobbly parts, as well as our halts being straight. I have also been practicing my turns on and off the centre line making sure the flow smoothly with no handbrake turns or sharp corners, so we have been using the feeling of riding a half 10 meter circle which has really helped with my accuracy in turning onto the centreline. I have also been working on the position of my hands as I tend to carry my left hand a lot lower than the right so I have been working on carrying them in the same position to make sure the bit and contact is equal on both sides.
Our next area to work on has been the medium trot which is a working progress and Fulltide still needs to develop her strength and establish that medium trot means to take a bigger stride rather than just going quicker or cantering. To help with the medium trot we have been using two exercises. The first one is riding a square within the school and collecting the trot for the corners then asking for a few medium trot steps on the long side before collecting her back up for the corner, this has helped establish the ‘go’ and ‘back’ aids as well as encouraging her to sit more. The second exercise is to ride shoulder-in riding out of the corners and half way up the long side, then straightening her up and then asking for a few medium trot steps. Both this exercises have helped a great deal.
We have also been working on the leg yielding which we seem to be having a few technical difficulties with moving into my weakest side but with practice it is improving all the time, we just need to take our time and ride one step at a time.
At our second competition, Fulltide was a little more aware of where she was and she was a little excited to be out again, although saying that she was still very well behaved considering it was her second time at a competition. We warmed up indoors were Fulltide was feeling great, I gave her plenty of time to walk around and settle before picking her up, so I used lots of transitions to make sure she was listening and once she was warmed up practiced the test movements that we would be riding keeping in mind what Helen had taught me in my lessons. It was soon our turn to make our way to the outdoor arena where we would be competing. Fulltide was feeling a little on her toes as we entered the arena and was a little frightened of some sand bags which were just outside the arena – the judge very kindly led us past as I couldn’t get her going forwards as she froze on the spot – it is hard without a leg aid and it was the wrong time to back my voice up with a tickle of the whip but she was soon listening again and ready to compete in her first dressage test of the day. In our first dressage test she was a little tense but listened to everything I asked of her and worked very well. Before our second test we had a little time to go through the movements in our next test and to also take the opportunity for Fulltide to relax. It was soon our turn to ride our second test of the day, she was much more relaxed and happy. I was very pleased with her overall attitude and she tried her absolute hardest for me. We scored 69.13% and 69.85% to be placed first and second. I gave Fulltide a few days off after her competition as we had been really busy fitting in as much training as possible.
During October we have had our regular training lessons with Helen and Fulltide is improving all the time. I have also been working on our canter which we learnt last month, before that I had never cantered intentionally. The canter is improving all the time and we are now able to work on movements rather than just cantering down the long side. I have been using the canter work to encourage Fulltide to work from behind which has improved our trot a great deal.
As well as our training and schooling I have been keeping Fulltide’s work varied so she doesn’t get bored of doing the same thing – we have been doing some trotting poles and small jumps which she thoroughly enjoys.
We are now all back and unpacked from a fabulous HOYS 2017, thank you ever so much to all of our customers old and new for visiting us.
We had some superb results throughout the week from the Snuggy Hoods team, family, friends and sponsors.
A HUGE WELL DONE to Snuggy Hoods Managing Director Becky Godfrey-faussett and daughter Janey who rode the gorgeous Snuggy Sooty into 7th place in the Show Pony First Ridden, Cerys Holley took 5th with team Holders high tops dancing bee. Janey then went onto top her 7th place with a 3rd the gorgeous Lolli in the SHP 122cm Open.
Amelia Evans and Woodroyd Toy Boy looked gorgeous in the Show Pony Lead Rein however were sadly not placed, it is such an achievement in itself getting to to this fabulous show and they enjoyed every minute. Woodroyd Toy Boy has been beautifully produced this season by Team Holder and this was his first time at HOYS.
A WIN for Snuggy Hoods sponsored rider Lynn Russell in the Maxi Cob with Snuggy Hoods model Jovian, what a combination!
A WIN for Snuggy Hoods sponsored rider Lucy Eddis in the 153cm Plaited Working Hunter Pony of the Year and a 2nd in the M&M Working Hunter Pony of the Year on Cashel Bay JJ. Susie Eddis and Percy were absolutely incredible at their first HOYS together jumping clear to finish second on the same marks as the winner.
A WIN for Jo Bates and Elusive who regained their 2016 title in the Large Hacks and was reserve champion, Grandeur was 3rd in the racehorse to riding horse and Quintons Ernest was 8th in the lightweight cobs!!
Snuggy Hoods Rachel Perfect’s horses each had foot perfect rounds with Meg Thompson, So Sweet was 10th in the Coloured Non Native Horse of the Year and Inkwell Little Mark was not in the placings in the Coloured Non Native Pony of The Year, yet looked and rode beautifully.
Snuggy Hoods sponsored the West Hants Games Team with some onesies and saddle pads which were extremely handy!! They went onto WIN the stable cup and come 2nd in the Games.
We are so proud of you all….ROLL ON HOYS 2018 we say!!