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Mollichaff Complete Sponsors Class At The Mane Show

The Mane ShowFrom this month we are sponsoring a monthly ‘fun’ class called ‘Make Us Smile’ at The Mane Show with our Mollichaff Complete brand.

The Mane Show is a fun way to compete your horses or ponies in showing and dressage classes online via photographs and video.

The winner  of the ‘Make Us Smile’ class each month will receive a voucher for a bag of Mollichaff Complete and can choose which variety they prefer.

With this type of online show there is no need to travel anywhere and there are a huge variety of classes each month, from traditional showing to some with fun themes – something for everyone – with gorgeous rosettes and prizes.

The Everyday Dressage Series has relaxed rules that allow you to compete in your everyday tack and clothes without the bit restrictions of affiliated dressage. Tests are judged using the traditional dressage format and full feedback sheets are posted to all entrants.

The schedule varies a little each month and entries open on the 1st of every month and close at 10pm on the last day of every month. All classes are judged by professional equestrian experts and rosettes are awarded from 1st to 6th place in most classes plus a winner’s prize for each class. There are also some ‘Special’ rosettes on offer too.

We realise how popular online shows like this are becoming and want to support those horse and pony owners and riders that are not able to travel to shows or are perhaps a little too nervous.

The Mollichaff Complete range offers three fibre-based complete feeds – Mollichaff HoofKind Complete for horses and ponies prone to laminitis; Mollichaff Condition Complete for encouraging weight gain, and Mollichaff Calmer Complete for horses and ponies prone to nervousness or excitement.

Posted in HorseHage by admin.

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!


Side-saddle

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!

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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!

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The link is here:  http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/archives/horse-hound-awards-2016-vote-riding-club-year-582963


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…

Training

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.


Twitter

@BeauBayou for news and random thoughts


Quadrille

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 ;)

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Every year we make a promo video to get the rest of CVRC in the mood – this year’s is here:  https://www.facebook.com/tory.dobb/videos/10154618240984009/

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

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Shopping

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

Posted in HorseHage by admin.

Spencer Roe’s Latest Blog

There have been some changes for me and my horses, the biggest of which was moving back to Lincolnshire after having moved to West Sussex. In my last post I mentioned we had moved to a new yard, and after working there for six months I decided the situation wasn’t going to work for us and made the move back to Lincolnshire in May. I also mentioned that due to unforeseen circumstances we didn’t have the best end to the season and were working on improving that, but things are turning around for us now…

Geesteren and Zuidwolde…

After spending a few weeks getting settled back in at home, we headed to the Netherlands for three weeks, competing in Geesteren and Zuidwolde. We took Wonder Why and Chaccomo Agostini, who are both now back on top form. The first day at Geesteren started with a bang… a bang to the head that is! During the trot-up Chacco got a little too excited and reared up, hitting my head with his on the way down. It looked worse than it was and the show doctor stitched me up fine. It seems that having a bandage under my hat all week made no difference to my riding as we had a great show with multiple placings and Wonder Why and I won the Grand Prix.

5th in the Grand Prix at Zuidwolde

From Geesteren we went on to Zuidwolde which was another great show. The first week I was placed 4th in the ranking class with Wonder Why, but we unfortunately had four faults in that weekend’s Grand Prix, with the last part of the triple combination catching us out. The second week we were 9th in the Friday’s ranking class, just jumping a bit too slow and having a time fault. The Grand Prix also went well with us jumping clear in the first round but having an unlucky fence in the jump off, we finished 5th in the end.

Weston Lawns…

Once back in the UK we spent some time with our younger horses, taking them out to a couple of shows at Weston Lawns. My four-year-old, Hero vd Akkerhoeve, went especially well, coming equal first in the four-year-old final with a double clear.

Roosendaal and Verbier…

In August we packed up the lorry again and caught the ferry from Harwich to the Hook of Holland, heading for Roosendaal. Having never been before, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I had heard good things. The facilities were all quality and the new arena they had just put in was excellent. It was another great show for us with a 6th in the Friday’s ranking class, as well as a 3rd in the Grand Prix. I was really pleased with how Wonder Why went in the Grand Prix as there were only three clears through to the jump off due to the time being really tight.

Wonder Why at Verbier

The spectacular setting at Verbier

From there we headed on to Verbier in Switzerland. What an amazing place to host a show, the setting was astonishing. The drive was a little scary – we had to drive up the mountain to the ski resort and at one point I thought we were going to roll back down! Wonder Why jumped amazingly in the ranking class coming 4th. I was worried because he can sometimes get worked up in smaller collecting rings with all the other horses and it’s difficult to keep him relaxed. Unfortunately that was the case on Sunday when the Grand Prix came round, but we only had four faults so I was still pleased as tight arenas aren’t his strong suit.

Next time…

I’m now back in the UK again having a bit of down time and working with the youngsters again. We haven’t got another international show now until October when we head to Oliva Nova for their Autumn Tour. I’ve also got a training session with the European Young Riders Academy in Stockholm and a friend’s wedding in Italy to attend. Don’t forget to check out my social media pages to see what I’m up to.

Until next time,

Spencer

Robbie the Rescued Shetland Joins The Bryndafydd Team

“A small pony is led into the nursing home bedroom of a lady who is partially sighted. Her carer quietly explains that she has a visitor…within seconds her face lights up and she reaches out to touch the velvety, soft nose and fuzzy mane that belong to Robbie, one special little miniature Shetland. The lady is overwhelmed with joy at being able to touch and, most importantly, smell the tiny pony who stands calmly beside her bed and clearly enjoying all the attention and fuss. Robbie’s presence instantly reminds her of the time that she and her husband kept their own much- loved horses on their farm in Wales.  In a world that has started to close in on her and become ever more confusing, we all see it suddenly expand with long forgotten memories and experiences that have shaped her whole life. Memories and feelings of warmth, love, laughter, sadness and hardship fill the room…we are all affected by it.”

Pony Visit

This is the scene witnessed just a couple of weeks ago by Rhiannon Pugh, a Volunteer Trustee for the Lluest Horse and Pony Trust and it moved her to tears. The experience serves to remind us why animal assisted therapy matters so much and the importance of the small charity that rehabilitated Robbie and the therapy group he is now a big part of.

Robbie the pony’s life story is a great example of how truly transforming the charity’s work can be. He was found in 2012, collapsed and starving by the side of a busy Welsh city road. He was close to death when his rescuer, Lucy, drove past, initially mistaking him for a pile of rags. A slight movement made her turn around and go back and what she found was a tiny, emaciated pony barely able to stand and in desperate need of emergency care. Robbie was so small that she was able to lift him onto the back seat of her vehicle to keep him warm while she waited for help.  Robbie’s first few hours were critical as he was regularly collapsing and Lucy slept all night with him in the stable, willing him to pull through.

She said “He gave the best kisses and we felt he wanted to be with us.”

Thanks to her amazing care in those first 24 hours, Robbie did pull through and was able to be transported to the Lluest  Horse and Pony Trust which is based near Llangadog in Carmarthenshire.

He soon moved into his first ‘guardian’ home with Barbara who took over his care and was quick to spot his capacity to be calm and comfortable around adults and children.

Barbara brought Robbie back to full health and also nurtured his talent for working with people, taking him along to community events and schools to promote the work of Lluest and highlight the importance of equine welfare.  When Barbara’s circumstances sadly changed, she asked if the charity could find another suitable home for Robbie and so he moved to a new home at Bryndafydd Animal Assisted Therapy, which is owned by another Lluest trustee, Ann Slater, and is also based in Carmarthenshire, near Llansawel.

MolliChaff Donkey

Bryndafydd Animal Assisted Therapy is supported by Mollichaff Donkey and, although a miniature Shetland pony and not a donkey, Robbie is also fed on this high fibre feed as it is perfect for maintaining his weight.

Pony visit

Said Ann: “As a typical miniature Shetland, Robbie is a good doer and I need to watch his weight. Mollichaff Donkey is perfect as it is so low in calories, starch and sugar but high in fibre and Robbie loves it!”

Ann has gone on to develop Robbie’s talents further and he is now part of the Bryndafydd  team of ‘therapy animals’ working alongside youngsters as part of a youth development project and has recently started his work in nursing homes,  already making an impact on many residents. He will share some of his nursing home visits with his best buddy, Enoch the donkey.

Without the Lluest Pony Trust, Robbie would not be alive today and without Bryndafydd Animal Assisted Therapy, this important work would not be possible.

Lluest Horse and Pony Trust is a charity (Reg. Charity No.1150948) and relies on regular donations to continue to transform the lives of horses and ponies in need.

For further information please visit  www.lluesthorseandponytrust.co.uk

For further information on Bryndafydd Animal Assisted Therapy please visit www.animalassistedtherapywales.wordpress.com

Posted in MolliChaff MolliChaff Donkey by admin.

Tam’s Latest Blog – Hot, hot, hot!

August 2016

It’s lovely to be able to write about how hot July was!  There were a few days mid-month when Beau was sweating in the field, so I just made sure the water was topped up and left him to it.  He owes me nothing and would not have thanked me for schooling session in 38 degrees.  One day I did decide to bathe him and cool him down a little – it’s the only bath he has not strongly objected to!

Side-saddle

We have done a little practice, though not as much as I’d have liked because I seem to be trying to learn how to do everything all at the same time.  We did go for an early morning hack at the height of the heatwave, so I chose to go ‘wonky’ (side-saddle) as there would be few cyclists and little traffic on the roads should I experience wobbles or loss of steering.  Actually, that particular day a large cycling event was advertised on the internet, with the route going past the end of Mrs Whipcracker’s drive so we planned to be back before they set off.  In the end we saw about 10 cyclists over the whole day!  Maybe not as successful as they’d hoped – or lots of them got lost!

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In other news – even when they reach their forties, sisters should probably not be allowed to play out together, especially when one of them has a very long pokey-stick and the other is ticklish…

‘Jumpies’

I am still in search of my brave pants, BUT I am getting better through practice by using the jumps set out in Mrs Whipcracker’s field.  I have to surprise myself into it though by deciding as I walk past them (on Beau, obviously) that we’re going to jump round.  Feeling brave (and having been persuaded by my friend to enter), in early August we went to Rugby Riding Club show and I entered the working hunter class to test myself…

 ‘Showing’

My nerves the night before were quite bad, but I was also a little excited at the prospect of more ‘jumpies’.  Thing is, Beau does like it more than I do and, boy oh boy, did he show it!  Batmananna, Tory and Simon came with me for a day out, and we all had a lovely time.  We got there far too early, so to start the day we did the In-hand Veteran class.  I do not envy the judge because you would never know that the horses in the ring were veterans!  It was such a friendly class with some gorgeous horses and ponies, and a very cute mule.  We came a creditable 4th in that class, though the spectators told me that had I put pedal to the metal a bit more in the trot away, we’d have done better.  I don’t do running so was quite pleased that I’d managed to go fast enough for Beau to trot at all!

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Next we entered the Small Working Hunter class and he warmed up beautifully.  Nice and steady into fence 1, then confusion into fence 2 because he had locked onto a cross-country fence in the tree line, and not (2ft) fence 2 which had not come into view yet.  When it did appear he dropped a shoulder, and I almost fell off . A couple of years back (when all I wanted to do was get on a horse again, but even the thought terrified me) I went on a rider confidence course with the Centre of Horseback Combat, and their words rang in my ears as the last bit of my knee slipped over the saddle – ‘Grab ANYTHING but stay on!’.  So I did, and we completed the course

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Because of our mis-communication we got a stop.  I did pull him up in front of the fence so I could climb back on so completely fair (though unbelievable because if there’s one thing Beau doesn’t do, it’s stop at jumpies!)  By the time we got to the go-round Beau was being a very naughty boy and our individual show was appalling!  But as luck would have it for me, only one rider went clear so despite our 0 individual show score we came 3rd!

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Training

Dressage judges may disagree, but I feel that we have started to make some real progress now.  Alison has such an encouraging style and just seems to get Beau and me.  In fact her coaching was assessed by an Olympic synchronised swimming coach during our last session.  A lovely lady who must have been a bit bemused by all the horsey gobbledegook that we all forget we talk!

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Team Quest

By my calculations, Cherwell Valley Charlatans will move up to 5th on the leaderboard because the last two goes out we have won!  Sadly no pics from the first one, as Tory and I travelled together and met up with Ruth travelling alone, hence there was no one to take pics.  But here’s the super-team at the Vale View competition in early August.  I am very proud of them all, but especially Tory – second time out after 12 weeks’ box rest for her pony; and Mrs Whipcracker who had to manage a very distracted and excitable pony for her test!:  I won’t be troubling the leaders in my Quest though, having done one (rubbish) test and currently in 56th (equal last) place on the leaderboard

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Twitter

@BeauBayou has been picking up followers over the weeks, which is fun!  I must try and think of something interesting to say!

Quadrille

Getting excited now.  I have checked and entries are full for the competition at Bury Farm on the 1st October.  There has been no loss of interest with the final not being at Olympia.  In fact I see it as an advantage for several reasons.  Off the top of my head:  no need to travel into London, a bigger warm-up arena, the same big riders and big names in the competition, we will have been there before, it’s not actually that far from us in Northampton, it’s a very nice venue with good stabling, the café food is delish.  That about covers it!  Last practice we swapped ponies, Tor and Beau had a nice sleep, whilst Seamus and I stopped off for coffee . We have some good moves in the routine now, and the costume ideas are finalised, so we can start to build.

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Royal International Horse Show

As mentioned in my last blog, I was given two tickets to the RIHS by British Riding Clubs as an award for volunteering over the years at many Championship competitions.  I took Tory with me and we had a truly wonderful day!  The BRC team were as friendly and welcoming as ever, and the staff in the British Horse Society box couldn’t have been nicer – and the same can be said of the food which was marvellous.  Even the four hour journey to Hickstead with a fallen over tipper on the M25 and a burned out car on the M23 didn’t spoil it.  We had a fantastic view of the main arena, which is smaller than it looks on TV!  We saw some beautiful show horses, miniatures, top class show jumping and scurry driving and wandered round the shops whilst they changed the course between classes.

I would like to publicly and sincerely thank BRC for taking us, particularly Rachael who it was lovely to meet, and Jennie who missed out herself in the end!  I would also like to sincerely encourage anyone to volunteer as much as you can.  As I have said, you will be very well looked after, and our sport could not survive without volunteers – we simply wouldn’t be able to run competitions.

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Shopping

None.  My overdraft (and probably my bank manager) has gone off for therapy!

Goals: Updated for August:

  • Dressage:  The main focus is now to get 70% in a prelim test unaffiliated.  Wishing I’d never written that down!
  • Team Quest:  This goal now has to be updated to be qualify for the regionals.  *have run out of fingernails to bite*
  • Side saddle: Lots of hacking to be done I think.  It’s surprisingly comfortable on hacks
  • Quadrille: Costume building and routine tweaking is the order of the day now
  • Jumping: I jumped half a course in canter.  Progress is gradual but definitely there
  • Posh dressage: Tracy to compete with Beau at Elementary (and maybe me next year if I ever understand the movements)
  • New goal:  To not make an idiot of myself at Team Quest Regionals!

Much love, Tam and Beau x

Posted in Team HorseHage by admin.