Wednesday, 18 February 2009
The weather was good enough for our thoroughbred mares to go out without their rugs for once and a wonderful time was had by all..............scratching rolling and then rolling and rolling again. it took an hour or so to restore their glossy bay coats but they had a wonderful day out in the winter sunshine.
Friday, 13 February 2009
Before long, a new tiny advert caught my eye in the Western morning news, this time for a thoroughbred brood mare in foal to Respendant Cee.
We approached West Down stud again this Autumn and secured Joyces Hope (Belle) again in foal to Resplendant Cee. Belle is a half sister to the good Grand National horse Nil Desperandum (Nil Desparandum ran forth and fifth and was due to start anti poste favourite but broke a leg prior to the race) out of the same dam Still Hoping. Again, Belle was bred in Ireland for chasing but for us the attraction was that she had been graded Elite by the Hanovarian society after producing a cracking foal by a Hanovarian . And so the neat mare with a massive raking walk came to join us but alas she had already slipped her foal and arrived in season. She is a really charming mare with delightful manners and an optimistic outlook.
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
We brought the TB mares in at lunch time yesterday just as the snow started to fall in earnest so it was with slight trepidation that we turned them out this morning. The two sensible veteran of many a race course and days hunting carefully escorted the young filly away to the top fields to search for the grass and stretch their legs for the day.
Monday, 2 February 2009
We had ordered a new El Cabollo de Espania continental saddle for Danni from Peter's new range and it was especially measured to fit him by Master Saddler, Jill Thomas who produced an accurate template. The Template, supported by extensive photographs Danni's back were then e-mailed up to Peter. And then all we had to do was wait.........would it come for our course - well yes it did Peter drove up to Walsall to collect our order and brought it along ready for us to present ourselves on the first morning!
We had booked two sessions with Peter and thank you Val for letting us use your sessions to give Danni an hour and twenty minutes under Peter's watchful gaze each day. Charles and Pete always have a lengthy conference about progress as I work in and once I had moved up into canter Peter judged it time to start work. My personal idiosyncrasy is to ride everywhere with an inward bend Peter again reminded me to keep Danni absolutely straight on the line of the circle and not over flex him to the inside. Whilst Peter liked Danni's relaxed, rhythmic canter, he wanted much more engagement and sit, pointing out that the energy would never truly travel through the horse if he was lateral flexed, leading to the often heard judges remarked "Did not come through from behind" He then worked on our long rein walk to give Danni a break before examining my position under his microscope in leg yield. Oh dear the position of my pelvis ........To the left I had no problem in advancing my inside seat bone but to the right my brain determinedly cancelled out any efforts to change.
Peter again rechecked the saddle as we finished and decided that he would move the point strap forward to slide through a specially designed pocked concealed under the knee roll. This innovation, provided especially to allow correct positioning and balance of the saddle for the Pre allows the saddle to be place a fraction further back and incidentally, showed off Danni's front to perfection!
Charles collected the saddle the next morning and it sat beautifully on Danni, for the rider it provides enough support whilst allowing you room to step back a shade in the saddle if you need to. Danni is now approaching more collection in his movements and Peter spent some time kindly riding him for us to work him truly into the outside rein. When Danni was returned to me I viewed him with the same trepidation as expertly finished piece of art handed to you with the invitation to try a few brush stokes. But what a horse I felt, engaged, submissive, powerful and focussed. We worked through a series of lateral flexions to halts concentrating on bringing the transition about from behind so that Danni halted on the deepening of the heels and nothing else at walk and trot. But the time was all to short to experience this newly reborn Danni or as