I was asked by my Endurance Group, Offas Dyke, to give a talk about my time and experience at Perseverance Stud. I was more than happy to do this, so equipped with my laptop and a powerpoint presentation I drove off to Bicknor.
There was a good turn out by all of Offas Dyke which was great to see. Chris Wray gave me a great introduction of "Abbi, whom I'm sure needs no introduction" followed by the high points of my endurance career from Junior to Young Rider and now Senior.
I had roughly just over 30 slides of photos to show and talk about. I introduced the Perseverance Team, talked about every day life, their training method of using the Kikkuli Test, the rides I competed in, how endurance there was different to Britain, and the hazards their horses face such as snake bites. Think I covered practically everything including showing the terrain PSV train over and photos of Samrah and Liberty's feet. Lots to talk about and share and I enjoyed reminiscing about my 6 months.
The photo of me sat on a Kudo from when Lucy, Donalyn, Beyers, Carol and I had to pull the carcass across Tokkie's land got a lot of laughs.
Following me was Lindsay Cotterell a barefoot trimmer from in the area. My touch on barefoot in SA gave a good introduction to her topic. Lindsay also reads the PSV blog and happened to have an article by Laura Seegers with her, so it was excellent to find she had heard of the stud.
I had a few members chat to me after about my time there and it was great to hear how interested they were. I think the phrase used best was by Chris "Sounds like Africa really got under your skin", it most certainly did!! And many asked when I would be back.......as soon as I can afford the flight fees was my reply!
All in all an excellent time spent and I enjoyed sharing my adventure with them all.
I first rode in some MacWet gloves when they sponsored the GB Young Rider Team a pair each for the European Championships in Spain, 2008. Since then MacWet are the only gloves I use and love them so much so I now have multiple pairs.
Pleased to announce that MacWet will be sponsoring me for this coming year with their gloves :D Very exciting
Well its people like you who read my blog, have me on facebook and follow me on twitter that make things like this happen. Not only is it great to have the support but knowing you have it to is a bonus.
Massive thank you to all of you that voted just before Christmas. I can say that I made it into the Top Ten of the Amateur Rider Category of the ESMAs 2012.
The awards are based upon strict engagement criteria such as how quickly they respond to comments, post original content and demonstrate good online etiquette. Everyone who has one vote makes it through the first round, those that make it through to the second are based on the personal statements you all put whilst voting. So thanks a lot :D
During the 9 day run up to Christmas Eve 2,629 individuals submitted a total of 8,137 nominations via ESMA's facebook app!
The final results will now be based upon 70% on scores from the Expert Panel ( made up of equestrian marketers, digital professionals, social media guru's and branding experts from across the globe. The remaining 30% is based upon the votes from the public.
So this is where I ask you if you can vote again, if you think I'm worthy enough. The other 9 individuals within my category do very much similar with their blogging and websites but the difference being I am the ONLY endurance rider! So lets show the equestrian lot that there is a large following in Endurance! This will also provide some great PR for the sport of Endurance.
Voting closes at 12 midday on the 10th February. Don't forget to check out the other categories as well!
Happy Voting!!!!! All is much appreciated.
After speaking with others from my OD endurance group, I found many of them went to Cotswold Farm Park rides to do their training as its not too far and its 12 miles of nothing but grass so excellent for training the fast work on. The plus side is that you can pay once and go round as many times as you like as long as you leave before 1pm and are back by 4pm. There are also optional cross country jumps en route.
I decided to take Barik to see what it was like. I chose possibly one of the coldest weekends we have had this winter to go. Luckily the frost/ice and thawed out and most of the route, where not under trees, was nice and soft.
I started out with the intention of taking him round quietly and not jumping anything as I haven't jumped cross country properly since I was at Pony Club, however that changed! (although I had hitched up my stirrups a little so that I could canter on.)
We started out nice and quietly to warm up. Two other riders left at the same time as me and we all three got chatting, so much so that we ended up riding together. I am useless with names but remember their horse's names; Monty and Patrick. Us three ended up completing the ride together and it was lovely to have company and new people to talk to.
Once warmed up a bit Monty and Patrick sped off with their riders to pop over a wall. It wasn't too high and I figured the worst that could happen is I'd fall off so we went straight after them both. Barik jumped clean over and landed well even with a slight slope the otherside and that was the start of our cross country jumping,
Barik seemed to be especially enjoying himself when it came to cantering/galloping across open fields in a group and proving the point that he is an ex-race horse. Although we still had breaks and steering. I got asked by several people if he was an Arab and they were stunned to find out he was an ex-racehorse and yet would behave so well. So Barik has bonus points for being versatile and a looker!
Barik and I were having a wonderful time flying over a few logs as we went. I had said I wouldn't attempt tyres but that was soon forgotten as we went flying over a tyre jump. Barik was more concerned by the large tractor tyre being a wing then jumping over the smaller tyres.
There was a very nice bank to canter up with three jumps along the way. Monty and Patrick's riders said the best jump was in the middle as it was not as big as the other two. From a distance I figured I'd just miss it and canter past. Monty dashed off first, followed by us and then Patrick. Monty decided he did not like the look of that jump and veered off, somehow Barik and I had lined ourselves up perfectly at this jump so although I had my doubts I kept my leg on and over we flew. On approach I had thought it not to be as big as I had envisioned, however, it was mid air when I realised that it was actually a SPREAD!! Where was the camera when you needed one!
For an Arab who doesn't jump and has not had any real training he sure can pick his fit up. Towards the end Barik was very hyper and eyeing up pretty much all the jumps. We came bouncing in (literally) to the trailer, when he's fitter I think I'll go round more than once.
I had such a great ride with my racehorse, turned endurance and apparently turning cross country jumper that I was beaming despite how cold it was! Will I be going again, MOST DEFINITELY!!!!! Excellent place to train for endurance and even have a bit of fun with jumps as well.
There was a photographer along the way and he may of possibly got Barik and I flying over a log. I look forward to hopefully finding this photo!!
So Chador (aka Shandy) has been off the endurance circuit for about two years after an injury and then becoming a broodmare. However, now Djelanza is weaned I have started exercising her out doing long and slow work to strengthen her up.
Due to two years being off and not having a shoe on during that time I made the decision to give barefoot riding with my own horses a go, much to my Nan's skepticism. Yes this is probably a huge task to take on and will be a long hard road to go down but we are making small progresses daily.
Shandy is kept out 24/7 apart from currently being stabled in at night due to the weather, so she is at least constantly moving. I am varying the work done from soft headlands to walking up the road. Yesterday we made a lot of progress. A few km's up the road completely bare foot with Shandy power walking and even having our first trot together since being in work. Our trots were only short but she felt so good and so sound! So little by little we are riding out and have been reunited together as a rider and horse pair, something I thought may not happen after her tendon injury in 2009. No doubt when we eventually progress to canter (which will be a while till she has strengthened up more) it will be an emotional moment for me.
We shall see how we go and will invest in some barefoot boots to help us along our way!
Britain is soooooo cold and soooo wet!!! Ever since landing back into Britain and back to reality I have lost all motivation to train my horses. I must be sick!
So the first ride of the season for most of us in my area was the Christmas Cracker ride held at Staunton. This ride is a known as a Pleasure Ride (PR) to give us the social and a chance to exercise the horses out quietly without it being competitive. I took Barik along for this "gentle" stroll out of 18km. Despite it being cold (well at least I thought so) it was dry which was such a bonus.
I had clipped Barik the day before, so he was cleaned up and plaited ready for the off on Sunday. The route had changed from last year with some of the not so nice parts taken out. The route took us along forest tracks twisting our way through the forest. Baz was all too keen for this ride and we were motoring around at a striding trot.
The track along the river side was kept in, so with it being flat Barik and I galloped along happily together enjoying the blur of the scenery. And then casual jogged into the venue with me readying myself for the "What the hell are you doing back so soon!" from my Nan. Luckily there was no telling off from Nan, phew!
Barik and I enjoyed being reunited together and starting the season. He was his forward going little self which gave me the motivation I needed.
The organiser, Suzanne Garlick, provided the riders with mince pies and mulled wine on finish. Although Barik and I were fighing over the mince pie when he tried to steal it.
I saw many familiar faces at this ride and had many "How are you?", "Glad to see your back", "You must be finding it so cold here", "Congrats on all your results etc" So nice to be welcomed back into the fold of things.
So my endurance season has started and already my plan for this season has been drawn up
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