Counting down the days…

Only 3 days until our first event of the season for the Intermediate at Isleham on Sunday, times are up and I am pleased to have middle of the day dressage as it’s rather a long way up to Cambridgeshire!!  Last weekend I had a fantastic stay with Ali at Nick Gauntlett’s yard and was lucky to sit on a extra few horses to get some more riding in myself.  We had a dressage lesson on Saturday with Nick, Ali felt very fresh at the beginning with a few head tosses and leaps but she settled and worked really well.  We worked on getting more energy in the more collected work and using her hind legs to push – by riding a forward canter and bringing the circle smaller whilst still riding forward so she has to sit herself.  This improved the canter no end and the trot we had afterwards was wow!

Early on Sunday morning we jumped a full course including a double and treble combination plus tricky turns and dog legs.  We warmed up over a couple of fences then she jumped round the whole course really quite well.  Then we worked on me riding on after landing and trying not to shorten my reins, this meant on a fairly tight turn from an upright to the treble Ali stayed much more powerful and pinged through the combination even better!  I was grateful that Nick squeezed us in before a full days teaching elsewhere.

We’ve been on a few trips to the gallops too for some canter work.  I use a 6 furlong gallop at Hanley Swan, which has furlong markers that is really helpful to judge the speed that we’re going and get used to speeds required for the different levels.  And so far we’ve been lucky with the weather extremely chilly but the sun has shone!!

Ali gallops

So here’s to starting the 2015 season!!

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