HorseHage & Mollichaff Helpline – 01803 527274

December 2016 – Father Christmas is on his way!

Tam’s Latest Blog

December 2016 – Father Christmas is on his way!

BD National Veteran Dressage Championships

The first and most important thing I have to share this month is that my little sister, Tory, and the legendary Spotty Pony only went and WON the BD National Veteran Intro Championships!  They got a prize and a sash and got to do a lap of honour.  I am not sure who cried more, me or our Mum!  Sooooooo proud of Tory.  Spotty had three months off for a fractured splint this year and qualified at Intro as part of her rehab in just two tests.  Zero to hero!  They were even in the BD magazine.  Beau and I could only manage 12th in our section (average), but I was really pleased with how he went – and more importantly with how we worked as a team and finally trusted each other enough to combat scary judges’ tables (2), people opening the door into the gallery then letting it slam shut (1), and the swags on the walls (millions).  He was a very good boy and I was a very good girl :D .



BD National Draught Horse Dressage Championships

The final championship for us this year was the BD National Draught Horse Dressage Championships.  I figured Beau would be the smallest horse there and apart from a couple of lovely Fjords and a Haffy, he was.  The warm up went beautifully.  I can honestly say we have never gone better.  His back was lifted, he was soft in my hand and I wasn’t chucking the reins at him.  Then it went a little awry…  The most gorgeous Shire stallion came into the warm up just as we were called to do our test.  It was about 10 minutes before our time but the timings had gone wrong, and because I know what it’s like to be on the organiser side of the fence, I agreed to go early.  Just as we got to the door between the indoor warm up and the outdoor rings, all hell was let loose! The Shire (stood in the doorway) decided this was the best party ever, and let everyone know with a squeal and some arm waving.  This set off all the horses on the warm up, except Beau who just stood and gawped.  The rider was not pleased, and smacked her horse to get it’s attention, THIS set Beau off! It was a windy day, so seconds later when we rode outside with all the banners round the arena flapping in the wind, I lost his attention, and never quite got it back.  Not our finest hour.  We came last in our section (though not in the class, so others were clearly having a worse day).  The good that came out of that was twofold.  1 – I just smiled, I didn’t get stressed or upset and I wasn’t worried at any point.  A revelation.  2 – there were no more Championships to put ourselves through!!  Relaxez-vous.


Horse and Hound NAF Riding Club of the Year

The results are in……….. Congratulations to Crown RC who scooped it this year.  For me, Cherwell Valley RC most definitely deserved to win, because it really is the most supportive club.  We take on everything together, and help each other.  For example, we always send supporters and readers to dressage competitions, and we never pressure anyone, but at the same time push each other to be the best we can.  For CVRC it really is about the taking part more than the winning (though it’s nice when we do  ).


One side-saddle lesson is all I’ve managed!  After such an amazing season with three championships to go to (I have never qualified for a championship before this year) Beau and I are worn out mentally and physically.  Plus, work has been v. busy, and with attempting to plan for Christmas, nothing especially interesting has happened training-wise.  I do plan to get back out there in the New Year though and work on our way of going more.



Your Horse Live

It was so lovely to see Kate and Becky and the rest of the Mollichaff team at Your Horse Live.  Such a friendly bunch, although they did insist on taking photos.  We watched some marvellous talks and demos and shopped until we dropped.  It seemed as though most of Cherwell Valley RC was in attendance too which was great – a friendly face round every corner.


Gymkhana games hen party

That was so much fun!  We all toddled up to a riding school near Derby to play, and had a brilliant time with some character building moments, and a lovely meal afterwards.  A suitable send off to married life for my best buddy   Here we all are resplendent in purple wigs, jodhs, everything (Simon declined to don a wig) – with the lovely long suffering gymkhana ‘ponies’.




Feedback and suggestions for crazy stuff that we haven’t thought of yet for us to get up to over the winter @BeauBayou.  Interestingly I have picked up more followers since posting a pic of Outlander’s Jamie Fraser than I ever have through posting about horsey derring-do.


All Christmas presents.  I love Christmas, so exciting!  I can’t wait for everyone to open their gifts so I can see their faces.  Plus I have ordered some winter riding tights (not sure what that is all about – think they just mean jodhs with no zip) to try and encourage me to ride when it’s cold.  They’re navy so I’m hoping they go with my eBay special cut-away jacket so I can at least do some wonky dressage, even if I have yet to source a full habit.  The thing with that is, do I buy one that’s tight in the hope I lose some weight, or do I buy one that fits me now and then if I do lose weight take it in?  Quandary.

Christmas and New Year resolutions

I stay clear of New year resolutions, knowing full well that they will be forgotten by the second week of January.  Now is as good a time to make a change, why wait?

For Christmas, my list would be:

A good seat

Good hands

The ability to apply what I am hearing and improve more quickly

A happy horse!


A bespoke side saddle habit that makes me look hourglass shaped and skinny

Living installed in our lorry (currently 2 caravan mattresses on the floor)

A lottery win so I can play ponies instead of working, and build an indoor school!


Wishing everybody the merriest of merry Christmases, and a super successful 2017 with as much pony fun as possible.  Here’s to raising the level of average!


Goals: updated for December and for 2017 (NOT resolutions):

  • Dressage:  The main focus is STILL to get 70% in a prelim test unaffiliated !
  • Dressage again:  Having discovered that BD are allowing Team Quest members to compete affiliated at prelim – AND having coughed up for full membership for 2017, I am now aiming for regional festivals at novice – though I am not sure what’s involved in that yet.
  • Team Quest:  For 2017 it has to be regionals again for the Cherwell Valley Charlatans
  • Side saddle: An intro dressage test ridden wonky
  • Quadrille: Lots of theme ideas already bubbling away for 2017
  • Jumping: No progress this month apart from some bimbling about over tidgy XC fences and through water, over banks etc.  Beau is a legend at XC!
  • Posh dressage: Tracy to compete with Beau at Elementary – am looking for classes….

Much love for now and 2017, Tam and Beau x