By Sarah Houlden
By the time you read this, the children will be back to school, the miracle summer heat wave over. The Summer shows are drawing to a close and we will be looking forward to the hunter trials season and of course cubing with the young hounds in September.
Horses are still enjoying being out at night and we welcome a new livery to the yard – Catherine and Ziggy. A school girl from Morrison’s and her skewbald gelding hope to learn the ways of bringing on a youngster with a view to competing over the winter. Living within fifteen minutes from the yard she spends some hours watching lessons and helping in the yard along with younger sister Charlotte. Mathew Thompson and Tilly, his new pony have come on leaps and bounds and are now venturing out on hacks, attending pony club rallies and this week have progressed onto jumping from canter. Meanwhile sons James and Rory have been sharing Sidan at the shows with Rory and granny Hazel England in the lead rein obtaining a win at Braco Show under the experienced eye of show pony breeder and producer Jill Cousens. Sidan takes it all in her stride from one ring to the other, change of jockey, trot slowly for Rory and look pretty to jumping neatly round her cradle and nursery stakes. At Perth Show she had a long day starting with Rory, second in the Perthshire Pony lead rein and finishing at 5pm reserve M&M open WHP after winning her 122cm class. Sidan now has a small rest before heading to Arena UK with James for the BSPS Championships. The Cooks, Phillipa, Mathew and Emma are enjoying a family holiday after many successful BS shows and proud winnings for Emma in her first season with Kaiser winning many 1m -1.10m classes.
David Gatherer has had some monthly clinics with riders polishing up on their skills, his return due on the 3rd September. In the meantime I will teaching all disciplines dressage, showjumping and cross country for all abilities. The course is open until end of October with the main focus now on the hunter trials on Sunday 22 September. It is with regret that we have stopped running Jumpcross. This was due to lack of continuous demand and the nature of the sport requiring so many volunteers on competition days. I had warned riders earlier that without support we could no longer continue with jumpcross on a viable basis. However the cross country does cater with the smallest of logs and these are included for the last two classes at the hunter trials.
Good Luck to all pupils who are riding at Blair and at the BSPS Champs and the Pony Club Champs in the same week. It’s been a very busy two weeks build up here with final polishing up of movements for dressage, improving showjumping techniques and trying all sorts of interesting and testing lines for the working hunter courses. Two days of my job are never the same! From coaching half pass to angled lines over scarecrows and scary bags, I never have a dull moment. Exciting reports to follow in next edition, watch this space. Good luck James and Sidan in our first venture to the “big Country” for his first Championship Show.
Four nights sleeping in the horsebox en famille, character building!