The Team

Build Up To Badders With Sponsored Rider Charlotte Jeffes

So the start of the Eventing Season is upon us.

I am sitting here writing this blog with less than a week to go before my first event. Eeekk! However the weather is looking like it might throw a spanner in the works as snow is forecast at the weekend. …..and so it begins endless abandoned events. Great!!
I’m going to stay positive though and hope the weather forecast changes before then and March remains bright and dry….. Wishful thinking.
So what have we been up to this month in the build up to Badminton and the start of the eventing season.
I have given the horses a good MOT, both the boys had the physiotherapist out to have a once over to check there was nothing going on. Humphrey was slightly stiff on the one side so since then I have been working a lot with exercises to try and improve his suppleness.

I’m going to try really hard to do carrot stretches before each ride as I often neglect this and it’s such an easy thing to do.
Humphrey being stiff on one side has also made me question whether it is maybe that I am weaker on one side than the other, so I have started to do some Pilate’s sessions at home to improve my core, leg and bottom strength. I have just been using YouTube, there are hundreds of sessions to pick from and they don’t cost anything and don’t take that long.

It also prompted me to book a lesson in with a local instructor who was using these little squidgy balls (Franklin Balls) during riding sessions to help correct your position/posture. I really enjoyed this session and felt like I was riding a lot better by the end of it. They are slightly uncomfortable to begin with but definitely make you think more about how your position affects your horses way of going.

The horses also had the dentist out to check teeth which were all good bar a few sharp edges.
I was very lucky to win a free water treadmill session, so we took Humphrey along to try this out. It was a new experience for both of us and I was amazed at how easily he picked it up. I thought we would really struggle as he can’t even cope with puddles. I have created a Video Blog on my facebook page if anybody is interested in watching how we got on. Check it out here 

Competition wise we have managed to squeeze in a dressage competition at burrows court. Humphrey did two tests the prelim and the Novice. The first he went beautifully (or so I thought) but on this occasion the judge didn’t agree. Then in my second test the Novice Humphrey was a bit of an idiot and had several disobediences and on this occasion the judge absolutely loved him and had her rose tinted specs on and he scored 70%. I don’t know how that happened, I find dressage can be very frustrating like that. Anyway it was good experience and it’s the eventing dressage judge that matters 
My first event was meant to be Tweseldown and I was balloted which was gutting but luckily Aston Le Walls was still open so we entered Aston instead. The only problem being that it was a weekend sooner and this was the weekend I had planned to go xc schooling. So we had to abandon the original plan of British Showjumping at Hartpury and go Cross country schooling to Boomerang instead. It was so fun to be out doing some xc again.

We have been ramping up the fitness sessions lately, and I have been trying to fit in some canter/hill work in at least once a week. I definitely think Humphrey is feeling fitter.
So with any luck this weekend will go ahead. I will spend the rest of the week doing some final prep- cleaning all my tack, boots and saddle cloths etc. and making sure everything is clean and tidy for the start of the season.