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Tam’s Latest Blog September 2016

My brain only has room for Quadrille and Team Quest

It’s interesting how much I am learning just from the act of writing this blog every month.  Its effects run wider too:  Several people have told me that they are keeping a record of what they have achieved and setting goals for themselves, inspired by the blog.  Not that this blog is super-inspirational – it’s more that the act of keeping a record reminds us that although we may feel like things are just the same, actually we have moved on, improved, learned, and are hopefully now just that little bit better than we were for the sake of our horses

Thank you Mollichaff for helping me, and everyone else inspired by what we’ve been up to, to be better riders and have more fun!


I have been focusing on making the costumes for quadrille, so haven’t got round to making myself a habit yet.  But – I did get a smart navy cutaway jacket off eBay so all I need is the apron.  I have that partially covered, because I bought a hi-viz apron from a side-saddle contact and will use that as a pattern when I get fabric to match the navy jacket.  I also have yet to get the saddle fitter out to adjust the saddle for Grumps and that needs doing before I can make proper progress in the school

We’ve been hacking out, me in my ace new hi-viz apron.  Sadly dismounting elegantly still evades me.  Lucky Beau is so good!

Image1-My-hi-viz-apron Image-2-A-not-so-elegant-dismount

Horse and Hound NAF Riding Club of the Year

SO EXCITING! Cherwell Valley Riding Club has reached the final five of the 2016 Horse and Hound NAF Riding Club of the Year Award!  Everybody vote CVRC!  CVRC ROCKS!


The link is here:

Team Quest

Cherwell Valley Charlatans have qualified for regionals!  We won’t be going to the Nationals because although Beau has a fab test in him, my nerves are a bit of a barrier!  Maybe I need some neuro-linguistic programming…. or gin!  The team is very excited and we have a plan for the team selfie :D

I write this whilst reflecting on a test in mid-August where most of our marks were 6.5 and 7, yet we managed a 4.5 for submission.  It’s my own fault, I told Beau before we left that I’d like a good score for submission today please ;)   and his answer was very clear!  We came last in the class, deservedly so.  However, the test was far more consistent overall and our left canter demon is disappearing.  4.5 was also given for the trot (left canter) serpentine, and the right trot (left canter) 20m circle, but those spectators who happened to have turned away during those little (!) errors said it looked like a really nice test.  Sadly the judge was watching…


Coach Alison to the rescue after the rather forward test mentioned above.  I messaged her and she was straight back with advice and support.  It’s FAB working with a coach who doesn’t mind me contacting her with questions between lessons!  I am very conscious to not text/message/call her too often though in case she gets annoyed with me ;)   I save it up for lessons mostly.

I also had a brilliant session on classical dressage schooling with Jules La Garde.  It was a real eye opener.  The approach she takes makes logical sense to me and hopefully I will be able to apply it.

At this point in our training it feels like I’m tidying my room:  All the clothes and make-up and trinkets are on the floor and on the bed, and I have almost sorted out what to keep and what to bin before putting it all away again!

Dressage scores tracker

I have updated it – but I want the final score to be from Team Quest (hopefully not too shameful) so I will post that in October.


@BeauBayou for news and random thoughts


The costumes are now well underway for the big day.  We are later this year than we have been – life seems to have got in the way!  We have also been quite adventurous with glitter and stick-on items so we won’t be able to have a dress rehearsal for fear of damaging the horses’ outfits.  Alison has been drilling us in spacing and making circles circular instead of riding our usual ‘rectircles’ or ‘squovals’, so if we can do it on the night we will look quite organised!  I am still excited about our music choice – I hope the speakers at Bury Farm are man enough ;)



Every year we make a promo video to get the rest of CVRC in the mood – this year’s is here:

We’ve been working on flag desensitisation too – I think we’re OK with that one.




MORE glitter, paint and metallic felt for quadrille costumes.  Stopped adding it up now, far too scary.  Bank card melted.
Goals: Updated for September:

  • Dressage:  The main focus is STILL to get 70% in a prelim test unaffiliated !
  • Team Quest:  WE DID IT – WE QUALIFIED FOR REGIONALS!!!  24th September at Quainton Stud.  Eek!
  • Side saddle: Lots of hacking being done.  Even though it’s comfy my hips still hurt for a few days after each one.  Maybe after all the quadrille and championships are done I should step up the intensity a bit
  • Quadrille: Not long now!  By my next blog we will have done it.  1st October at Bury Farm EC from 6.30pm if anyone wants to come and see the annual ritual public humiliation ;)
  • Jumping: No progress this month :/
  • Posh dressage: Tracy to compete with Beau at Elementary (and maybe me next year if I ever understand the movements)
  • Strict goal:  To not make an idiot of myself at Team Quest Regionals and to not let the team down.  What a fabulous team it’s been.  We’ve had a really fun summer supporting each other and trying to qualify!  Placing will not be an issue, we are happy just to be going

Much love, Tam and Beau x