Blog Archives

Elementary my dear horse

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Why the national championships?

Goals are personal and what matters to each rider really does depend on their own experiences. For me, competing successfully at the National Dressage Championships has meaning because when I first started proper dressage training a few years ago it seemed ridiculously unlikely that I would ever be good enough to be able to do it.

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20 Things I Learned From Starting Eventing Ireland

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Photo purchased from Annaharvey Photos

  1. Always watch the 1 and 2* riders XC. No one gets it right every time but their ability to handle what comes up is what counts and gets them around. There was me having an asthma attack in case I got the wrong stride at a log when I saw someone get no stride at a massive combination, sit up, ride it with one stirrup and school a horse through clear – lesson learned!

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People You Will Meet When Using an Arena

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When you are riding by yourself with other people in the arena….

These are the other riders you can often meet…..

The Magnet

It doesn’t matter how big the arena is or how much you try to ride exercises and movements in your own space – the magnet will gravitate towards you and stick to you for the entire time making it impossible to practice anything except escape. If you try to hide, they will find you. Magnets are usually completely oblivious to the fact that they are essentially following you around the arena as they have no concept of herd instinct or of asking their horse to ride independently.

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If Horses could text us – travelling in the horsebox

I’ve been having great fun with the TextingStory app – here is a video I made earlier based on what I reckon it would be like if Sammy could text me en route 🙂

 

Things you should know before having dressage lessons

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Competing at dressage

  1. Get used to being on a circle. You won’t be moving sideways at the greatest of ease any time soon. The circle is your friend, embrace the circle. Don’t go large around the arena – this does not go down well. If you have enough grasp of spatial relations to be able to ride a circle that is circle shaped (unlike me) this is a bonus.

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Horse Related Injuries that are Practically a Rite of Passage

Having a horse stand on you either being a delinquent brat or jumping on you terrified when expecting you to save them. Injuries will range from the standard ‘oh my f**king god it hurts’ bruised foot to broken toes.

 

Losing a toe nail thanks to the above and spending at least one season unable to wear open toed shoes.

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This Is Me When…..

photo by Lorna Keogh

photo by Lorna Keogh

Photo by Lorna Keogh

Photo by Lorna Keogh

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A Ladies Guide to Preparing To Hunt Side Saddle in Ireland

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The first step is to prepare to ride side saddle in general and you can find a guide to this here. Once you have mastered the bar stool and ridden side saddle on an actual horse without face planting it is time to start preparation for hunting side saddle in Ireland. Once Autumn hits everyone will start talking about hounds, meets and hip flasks so if you plan to participate, get some practice in.  Read the rest of this entry

A Ladies Guide to Preparing to Ride Side Saddle

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I was asked earlier today by a rider if there were any exercises she could to prepare for riding in a side saddle lesson. Having only recently converted to the sideways side I thought it was only fair to share my experience and what I learned in those valuable first few weeks.

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A Week of Firsts

 

Our first side saddle hack

Our first side saddle hack

“Feel the fear and do it anyway” isn’t that what they say? Well I can safely say I managed to accomplish that this week. My arms might be two inches longer than they were before (unfortunately not my legs!) but I am still in one piece and haven’t sprained my Jennifer muscle too badly.

Has anyone else ever watched the movie ‘Minis First Time’ it’s a rather odd but awesome film about a rebellious teenager who decided to embark on a series of ‘firsts’. While the main characters ‘firsts’ included getting high and joining an escort agency my own were slightly less exotic or illegal. Still the concepts of ‘firsts’ is not bad one all the same and once I started to embrace with a side saddle theme last week.

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