Have you missed me? Mum said I was writing too much and not concentrating on my lessons, so I had to cut down a bit. Mind you, I didn’t mean to leave it this long.
Well as I am sure you can guess there is such a lot to catch up on, I’m not sure where to start.
Before I get on to talking about myself and the goings on down at our yard, let me tell you something rather exciting.
As much as I love talking about myself, this is about a young lady called Kat Smith, who is a friend of ours along with her mum Barbara. Kat is a Para Dressage Rider Level 4 Note 1, although she does ride in able-bodied dressage competitions as well.
They became our friends when Barbara came across mum and dad’s de Boiz Correct Contact Reins.
The Correct Contact Reins were designed for showjumping riders, so that they could adjust the reins to the perfect (i.e. correct) length for them individually. This ensures that riders are able to maintain a correct contact with the horse’s mouth all the time they are jumping, without having to keep adjusting coz the reins have slipped. As you can see in the photo, there is an adjustable loop to prevent the hands slipping/moving.
Anyway the really big news is that Kat despite all her medical and physical problems she has done incredibly well using the Correct Contact Reins. She has been invited to join the BEF Note 2 Excel Talent Squad, one of only 12 riders to do so, this will undoubtedly help her to achieve her ambition of competing at the Tokyo Para Olympics in 2020.
The Correct Contact Reins have proved incredibly popular with lots Para Riders because their grip isn’t always strong as it could be, so they help them too.
CATHY BURRELL B.H.S.I.I. (Reg’d) (who is Kat’s Trainer) endorses and recommends the Correct Contact Reins.
She is an International Dressage rider at both Young Rider and Senior level, having competed at all levels including Grand Prix.
Daisy’s Diary, September /October 2015
Right then, more importantly, back to me and my diary.
The diary has been rather full recently with my lessons for dressage, Riding Club and competitions. Although I say it myself, I am doing rather well. I have been entered in four dressage tests so far.
The first one was a bit of a shock. I had never played out before, although I had been to Northallerton for a lesson.
Dad was supposed to ride me for this first test ever, but I got rather over excited in the big indoor arena. Well I had never seen so many horses rushing here there and everywhere, some of them not even plaited up! Disgraceful in my opinion, and I do have a few, opinions that is.
It is like you girls going out on the town with no ‘slap’ on. Not done my dears, not done.
I might excuse those cuddly ‘fell’ type ponies, with their long mains and stuff, they do look rather cute.
As ever I digress.
We got there a bit later than planned, so dad did not really have enough time to get me organised, warmed up and used to the hustle and bustle of a big competition.
I did a few pirouettes in the indoor school, just to show how good I am, but Dad didn’t seem very impressed and kept asking me to go forward. I did try to explain by going around both ways that I was showing off to demoralise the opposition, but that just made him even more cross and I was taken back to the trailer, apparently in disgrace.
I was booked in to another prelim test with Francesca, so back we went in to the indoor school ‘to warm up’. I promised to be good, but you can’t always keep to promises can you?
Time came to go in and I walked calmly through the doorway to the outside arena, there were lots of flowers in pots, but no chance of tasting them.
It was all going quite well until it came to the canter bits. I was feeling a bit stiff so in order to let Francesca know I did some bucking going into the canter parts.
Apparently bucking does not score very well.
How was I to know?
I am new at this dressage lark and thought the judge would be impressed with my artistic freestyle expression. Apparently not!
Not to worry, my score was still in the sixties, so mum and Francesca forgave me, coz I got a yellow rosette for 3rd place, 1st time out, not bad eh?
Because I haven’t been allowed to write for a month, I missed telling you about Minnie’s appearance in The Yorkshire Vet TV programme.
The Yorkshire Vet Episode 3 has been on Channel 5. Minnie is wearing her Liberty Print designer collar very smart.
She got an ulcer in her right eye, and as if that was not enough, she got Glaucoma in her left eye.
Doggy Doctor Julian, said it would have to be taken out coz it would be causing her a lot of pain.
Well the film people from Channel 5 came to the house to film her, before the operation. I did my best to get in shot, leaning nonchalantly over the fence, but beautiful as I am, I could not attract their attention it was all Minnie this Minnie that!
You just must download the programme and watch, Minnie does super well, super brave and dad looks OK too, for a human.
You can see all the gory details of her operation, so don’t watch if you are squeamish.
One of my blogs would not be complete without mention of Be’elzebub and Useless (Red).
Well, Be’el had a nasty kick from one of the racehorses. She was riding back into the yard whee she works, when the horse in front let go with both barrels (it should have had a red ribbon in its tail like mine, so fetching) anyway it caught her on the shin and left a very nasty gash.
Doctor at casualty said, she was lucky, it missed her bone by a couple of millimetres. Well I don’t know what his definition of lucky is, but it is not the same as mine!
So she is ‘hors de combat’ at the moment, has ended up on crutches with eight stitches in her leg and off work. That does not sound very lucky to me.
As for Useless he has been trying out showjumping, early days yet, but he seems to be quite good at it, I might have to rename him, Francesca is very pleased with his progress.
This is him at our local show he's not going to play tippy toes with that is he?
He went up to Bishop Auckland on Saturday and came 5th out of 44 horses in the British Show-Jumping 90 cm class. That was only his second try at show-jumping as well!
Last week I went back to the scene of my first ever dressage test at Northallerton Equestrian Centre I was booked in for two tests, an Intro and another Prelim. It would not be me without a little show, would it.
I pretended to be really frightened on my way to the arena for the Intro test. So much so that mum had to walk beside me to make me be brave ha ha lol!
The horse in the next arena was trying to show off more than I was. Well I couldn’t be out done could I? So I did a bit of reversing, bucking and spinning as well. Then we both settled down and I was ready to start the test.
The judge blew the horn on her car for me to start when I had my back to her. That made me jump, so I pretended to be looking at the fence in case anyone noticed.
Then it was back to the trailer for a rest before the next test.
This time, ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ my manners were impeccable, I thought I am going to strut my stuff this time.
I did, result 68%, 1st Place and a Red Rosette in only my 3rd ever test.
I am going to have to work hard to keep up this level of performance and there is still lots to learn.
Toodle pip, I won’t take so long again.
P.S. Trying out a new trainer soon, will let you know how it goes.
Note 1;- Level 4 Para Dressage rider
"Grade 4: Ambulant athletes (those able to walk independently) with either impaired vision or impaired arm or leg function"
Note 2;- BEF British Equestrian Federation - Is the governing body for Olympic Equestrian Sports in the UK