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January 2015

Firstly Happy New Year to anyone reading this – although I’m a little late!

January, as usual, has been filled with revision and exams and I hate to say it, not much riding! Unfortunately as this is my final year, the studying had to take priority, but the fact that the weather has just been dreadful meant it worked out quite well!

The exams went ok. Since changing courses, although the exams and subjects are pretty much the same as the vet course, I’ve found it a great deal easier and a lot less stress! Now that semester one has finished I’ve started a couple of new modules and also my final research project. Most people assume it will be horse- related but in fact it’s all about fish! I’m going to be spending time in the university aquarium looking at behaviour patterns in zebrafish! So it will be very different and although I feel a little bit out of my horsey comfort zone, I’m excited to be trying something different.

Poppy       

Poppy in the field

Poppy pretty much had most of January off apart from the odd hack. She somehow  manages to stay fairly fit (must be the hills!). I can’t believe that she is going to be 19 this year- wow! So as much as I hate to admit it, she is now certainly a veteran! When I first started writing these diaries, Poppy was in her prime, and we were feeding our old horse, Henry, on Mollichaff Veteran. It’s amazing how quickly things have changed! Poppy is still fed on the cherry-flavoured Mollichaff Showshine. I haven’t changed her to Mollichaff Veteran yet, just because she really enjoys her current feed and is a very fussy eater and Showshine has been one of the only feeds that’s kept her looking fantastic, doesn’t make her ‘fizzy’ and most importantly seems to be to her liking!

Poppy in the fog

Patch 

Patch

Patch, like Poppy, had a quiet January. At the end of the month I started his fitness work and he’s doing a lot of trotting. I also started to implement some jumping exercises to his work such as raised poles and cavaletti to help build up his topline. These types of exercises are also good for a keen horse like Patch to help with rhythm and control. As I said in my last diary, I was very fortunate to take Rupert for a couple of lessons with Geoff Billington and he really inspired me to get going with both horses now. Patch is feeling great after his time off. Now he’s regained some fitness (thanks again to the Shropshire hills!) my next plan is to get his dressage up to scratch before the event season starts.

Rupert 

Showjumping

Rupert has been kept in work over winter- just ticking over to keep him going.  As he had most of the summer off due to injury, I decided that I had enough time to keep one horse in full work and it was to be him. We’ve done some more showjumping and also arena eventing! We had a slightly embarrassing moment at BE jump training when he did a huge spook at someone opening a door whilst we were cantering past, which resulted in me hitting the deck! I did however get straight back on and complete the course! However I can confirm it officially hurts more to fall off once you are 30! But as it was so cold I didn’t quite realise how sore I was until defrosting on the way home!

Cassie and Rupert

Rupert

 

We did get some great feedback from the judges that day. It was unfortunate that after I fell he was quite tense which meant he didn’t score as well as he really should have.

We also did an arena one-day-event and the change in Rupert from the same event last year was quite something. He did a nice dressage (only one spook!), a perfect jumping round (until I missed out a fence taking us out of the placings!) and then a very excitable arena XC!

So overall 2015 has started off to be very inspiring,  both with uni and all things horsey.

In the snow

Good Luck for 2015

Cassie, Rupert, Poppy and Patch