Dressage Skillz

I nearly forgot, I absolutely can’t go any further without posting this video… I think this is going to become the theme song of my trip over here. Everyone back home is sharing it on Facebook, and everyone here is talking about it – it was played a number of times in the barn aisle today. It’s lighthearted, hilarious, and something that most of us can relate to. A very fun song to have stuck in your head while mucking out 😉

Dom and Jimmie Schramm, the masterminds behind EventionTV, are only a short drive up the road from here, so I’m hoping I’ll get to meet them while I’m here.

If you haven’t come across them before, you absolutely need to check them out on facebook and youtube. They’ve got some fantastic, informative videos, as well as lots of fun ones like this.

Berrima Spring ODE – My last Australian Event

Being my last weekend in Australia, I was relieved of volunteer duties at Berrima so I could get myself organised for my big trip. Of course, that meant socialising all day,and waiting til midnight before panicking and packing my suitcase.

The weather was absolutely beautiful and I got to catch up with lots of good friends – the perfect way to spend my last day here.

A few happy snaps from yesterday –

Being a backseat dressage judge with a couple of good friends

Showjumping about to get underway

Our recently renovated water jump ready for action

Freddy’s Fence – dressed and ready for its debut in the 1*

I just want to say a big thank you to all those who have supported me over the past 12 months. It’s been a bit of a rough year, but I’m so excited for the things to come.

I board my plane to LA in just over 6 hours – and on that note, I had better finish packing!

x

The Final Countdown!

Apologies for the complete lack of updates lately – life has just been soo busy.

I’ve finished uni for the year, made it through exams, and have been flat out packing and planning for my USA trip. I’ve also been doing as much riding as possible on a few lovely horses belonging to friends.. I’m a bit rusty after so much time out of the saddle!

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Riding my friend’s lovely WB gelding, Luke

 

I fly to LA this Sunday, and then onto New York, where I’m planning on spending a few touristy days before heading down to True Prospect Farm in PA. After the beautiful early summer weather we’ve been having, the snow is going to come as a bit of a shock! Looking forward to doing some serious shopping in NYC, it’s been pretty tricky trying to find decent winter clothes here.

 

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The packing begins!

 

The rest of this week will be spent trying to catch up with as many friends as possible before I leave. It’s all getting very exciting!

The Joys of Jump Judging

I’ve done a lot of volunteering at events over the years, either before or after my own ride times, or on those disappointing weekends where you’re not in the saddle for one reason or another… you know the ones, where Darling Horse has managed to appear slightly off-colour or sore in the lead-up, just enough to make you question their health and withdraw from the event. Of course, they then end up 110% sound and happy on dressage morning after you’ve scratched. Sigh.

This year though, I’ve tried to fit in a lot more so that I can keep up with all the eventing news and give back to the sport a bit whilst I don’t have a horse to ride. I really miss being out there riding, but helping out is definitely the next best thing. I spent this past weekend jump-judging at Eventing Equestriad in Camden – one of my favourite events on the calendar. The courses are always beautifully built and a bit challenging, and even though they receive masses of entries, they manage to fit everyone in and keep the weekend running with military precision. The VIP tent is always well patronised at Camden – it’s great to see Australian eventing trying to encourage more spectators and supporter involvement.  I’d thoroughly recommend to anyone who is thinking about volunteering to check out this event, because you are always very well looked after… I think I needed to run the cross country course myself to burn off all the snacks and food that was provided to the jump judges!

Cross country jump judging is my favourite volunteering past-time – I certainly can’t complain about soaking up some sunshine and watching all my friends gallop round! You get to see the best and the worst of eventing, from the perfectly ridden lines where horse and rider don’t seem to exert any extra effort at all, to the near misses and catastrophes from those less-than-stellar approaches, horse & rider arguments, or just plain bad luck. You can definitely learn a lot about what not to do!

I was fortunate enough to only have to deal with a couple of minor falls this weekend, with both riders up on their feet immediately and needing no assistance. The serious crashes are certainly the worst part of the job. There’s nothing more chilling than trying to keep a rider conscious while waiting for the ambulance… the dangerous nature of our sport really hits home at times like that. Fortunately, those moments are few and far between, and every event committee does their best to get riders home as safely as possible.

All in all, it was a great weekend, with a number of my friends bringing home ribbons. Huge props must go to Shane Rose who flew back in from England in time to win the 3* and both 1* classes, as well as being an instrumental part of the organising committee!

Check out the wrap-up from An Eventful Life here – http://www.an-eventful-life.com.au/eventing-news/eventing-equestriad-camden-nsw/shane-rose-human-dynamo …

…and the full results here – http://www.nominate.com.au/equest/results/Equestriad_Sept.html .

Unfortunately only a couple of photos from this event – I managed to leave the camera battery sitting on its charger at home, so had to make do with crummy phone photos.

My friend Ali, jumping her way to 1st in her Pre-Novice class with Throsby Park Sonnet

And my friend Bella flying around the 3* on Star Vision

My Horses

For my first real post, I thought it would be a good idea to give a quick background to the special horses I’ve had in my life over the years.

I got my first pony, Muffin, when I was 11 years old. He was a 13.2h Australian Saddle Pony, and the very best pony a girl could hope to learn to ride on. After about two years, when I could no longer deny that I had outgrown him, I moved onto Shem, a 14.3h arab gelding. Shem was one of those wonderful jack-of-all-trades types, who could win one day in the show ring and the next at an ODE, or spend hours trail riding with nothing but a string around his neck.

An old, old photo. Dear Shem on the left, and Muffin on the right.

My next horse was Solo, a 16hh 5yo OTTB. He was my first green horse, and taught me so much (mostly what not to do!). He was a very willing and forgiving horse though, and we had a lot of fun doing a bit of pony club, showing and eventing, until he was sold on to a lovely new home a couple of years later.

Solo – my favourite redhead!

Next in line was Dex, a 16.2hh OTTB who had a very successful career on the track, and was a little more of a typical TB than Solo was. He was an exceptionally talented horse, with beautiful movement and a freakish jump. He was bought by a professional rider who spotted that talent and took him quickly up the levels where he became a successful 2* horse. He is now based with a young rider in WA.

Dex – his very first time XC schooling.

And all grown up!

And last but certainly not least, is Freddy, a 16.1h TB. Fred had competed successfully up to Pre-Novice with a professional rider, and I was lucky enough to have 5 fun-filled years with him. He had a mind of his own and liked to spend quite a bit of time playing on his back legs, but we still had a lot of success in eventing, dressage, SJ and a bit of showing on the side.

Unforunately I lost Freddy in a traffic accident at Christmas time, 2012, and he has so far been irreplaceable. He was a very special boy and took up a huge part of my heart. Life has been quite dull without his cheeky antics keeping me busy!

Freddy winning the 2012 NSW Equitation Championships

Eventing at Goulburn

In the lead after dressage at Wallaby Hill Horse Trials

An Introduction

A blog has always been one of those things I thought I should eventually get around to doing, and now an upcoming overseas trip has given me the perfect excuse to finally start one!

Follow my adventures as I cross the globe to experience the American eventing scene firsthand. Expect equestrian news from Australia, the USA and beyond, with more than a little emphasis on equine fashion and style.