So we are in the midst of a hosepipe ban, which of course means it hasn't stopped raining since it was announced! Fortunately I have timed Mally's mid-season break rather well, so haven't had any of my events cancelled (yet!) so hopefully everywhere will have dried out before we return to Eventing!

Tonight we were supposed to be having a XC lesson with Jeanette - Jeanette makes monthly visits to our yard, visit www.longlane.jejik.co.uk   for more info - However due to the rain, all our local XC courses were closed. Luckily we have Willoughby Lodge Farm (http://www.wlf-eq.co.uk/) and their fabulous All Weather XC Arena, so we carried on regardless, the weather was onside for once and we had an evening of glorious sunshine!

Our group was a bit of a mishmash of experience, but as there was such a huge variety of fences and most of the adjustable, we managed fine. Jeanette's biggest tip was to stay near the Instructor whilst others are having their turn, as although the advice might not be relevant to you or your horse at that point, it's all knowledge!

Mally was, as ever, wonderful! However I have to re-balance much earlier than I have been, so that I can sit and support on the way into the fence, rather than trying to do too much on the way in and ending up having a battle of 'who knows best' with Mally. When I stop getting into an argument with her, she knows exactly what her job is and gets on with it! 
Jeanette was impressed with how bold she was, she manages to assess and deal with any question really quickly, although this can cause her to be a little cocky. When I do less on the approach to a fence it puts more responsibility on her and she becomes less cocky and waits a little bit more!

So all in all, we had a super lesson in the sunshine! I also had a quick chat with Jeanette about our plans to do Buckminster Novice in July and she was quite happy that it wasn't out of the realms of our ability. So hopefully all systems are geared towards that run now, fingers crossed everything goes to plan! We are perhaps off Show Jumping on Saturday to give a 1m10 class a shot... eeek!

 
 
Mally managed to give me heart failure after Eland Lodge, as when I did my evening check on her, she had a swollen fetlock that extended up the back of her leg. So I went for aggressive cold hosing, bandaging, arnica and box rest. It spent the next three days going up and down, so I decided to play it safe and call the Vet out to scan it and let me know either way,
The Vet did lots of poking and prodding, trotted her up and did flexion tests before scanning, so all bases were covered. Thankfully the scan showed nothing of note, so we managed to geta nice set of base scans should we ever need something to compare them too.
We came to the conclusion that her boot had slipped around slightly and the protective strike guard had rubbed and caused her leg to inflame. 

So now comes the Spoilt Mally part! I decided to get her some new boots, as I didn't want a repeat performance. After some recommendations from friends, I ordered a full set of Ecogold boots, as they have a Memory Foam lining and are designed to mould to the leg. I also decided to bite the bullet and order a Ecogold XC Pad, something I have coveted for a while! The boots are lovely and the pad may well have jumped to the top of my 'things I would save in a fire' list (along with the dog and the boyfriend obviously!) Mally certainly seems to like it and has suddenly become far softer though her back - maybe a coincidence, but as they performed so well in pressure tests I think there is a link!

www.horsesinsport.co.uk are the only UK stockists of Ecogold (www.ecogold.ca) and provide a super speedy delievery service as well as being present at lots of BE events throughout t
 
 
Well we are well into our season, Mally is having a short break to have a think about what she's learnt after having 4 runs fairly close together. I'll bring her back into proper work next week and hopefully she will be firing on all cylinders in time for our next run at Aston Le Walls on the 12th of May.

So we started off with a reletively easy run at Oasby in the BE90, Mally did a super double clear and made the whole thing feel very easy. We finished on our Dressage (which is still a work in progress!) to come 8th.

Then we made the step up to BE100 at Draycott. Considering I had planned this to be our ultimate goal in a couple of years, I was feeling a tad nervous! Again our Dressage wasn't it's best (not helped by Mally being able to see over the hedge to the XC!), we had one down in the Show Jumping but Mally stormed around the XC and I finished in floods of tears! A very proud moment as it was exactly one year to the day that she first saw XC fences! We finished a respectable 12th in a very Pro heavy section!

Next up was Stafford BE100. I absolutely love Stafford, however I never seem to ride very well there! Mally did what I thought was an ok Dressage (could have been worse anyway!) but I was disheartened by our score of 45. Then whilst warming up for the SJ, Mally stood on the back of her shoe and loosened it very slightly. I didn't realise until afterwards, but she can be rather fussy about her feet so it explained whilst she didn't feel as 'up for it' as usual and we came out with 8 to add to our Dressage. The xc was clear, but I wasn't totally over the moon with how I rode it, Mally was still being a bit backwards and I didn't do anything about it.

Then our most recent run was at Eland Lodge BE100. Again an Event I love (in fact it is probably my favourite!) Mally knows the course well from her baby unaff ODE days, so I hoped we would finish on a good positive note. It didn't start well with her trying to buck me off as I got on and then again in the Dressage warm up and I finished the test feeling relieved to have got through it rather than happy with how it felt, so was over the moon to find I had managed a 35.5! Went to the Show Jumping feeling hopeful as Mally usually jumps brilliantly on their surface, however I rode like a total moron and never got the right canter, so we managed to get another 8 faults!
I rode down the the XC hoping I would remember how to ride before we started, warmed up and went down to the start. As I was being counted down someone fell off on course and they couldn't catch her horse, so I was held for 3 minutes. Luckily Mally didn't over boil or switched off and when we finally got underway, I had remembered how to ride and she was firing on all cylinders! She flew the XC, making it feel ridiculously easy, and we both finished with huge smiles on our face.

Have a look in the gallery to see the pictures from these events, and also visit www.shoestringeventing.co.uk to see the course photos - if anyone is walking BE courses in future, please take photos of the fences and send the to Sarah-Jane


 
First Post! 03/12/2012
 
I've had a hectic winter and been a bit lax with my old blog (http://mallymusings.blogspot.com/) so I decided to make a fresh start and a whole new website! I shall endevour to keep this one far more up to date and hopefully will have a comprehensive history of our progress to look back on at the end of the season.

Mally has been busy this winter, mainly hunting with the Quorn and having monthly lessons with Jeanette Brakewell in an attempt to improve my jumping and Mally's Dressage! My plans to spend the winter doing Dressage failed, but we did manage to get out to the British Eventing Jumping and Style at Vale View, I was so chuffed with Mally and our style marks, so totally over the moon to find out that I had come 5th in the BE100 and qualified for the final. We didn't get placed at the final, but Mally proved how grown up she has become by coping with a huge atmosphere and jumping a lovely round, with just one pole down.

So that is a quick round up. This weekend we had our first run at Oasby, but I shall create a seperate post for that.