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June 2021 - Half Term Madness and the Ups and Downs of Horses

Time has flown by since my last blog, I had the best intentions to do one a month, but as some months are busier than others it’s probably best to just update when things happen!

Last week was half term and to say it was full on would be an understatement. I taught five Pony Club rallies over the week, in addition to fitting in all my regular clients and getting Maria ridden. There was such a wide range, from cross country to road safety, picnic rides and horse and pony care. This is one of the things that I love so much about The Pony Club is that it gives young people the opportunity to experience a wide range of activities and coaching that all adds together to make them better able to care for and ride their horses. I’m really enjoying seeing everyone again as with all the lockdowns over the winter I’ve only seen everyone on a screen!

On the competing side, it hasn’t really gone to plan. My plan A, big dream, for the season was to complete an Advanced level event on Maria, however that has had to be shelved. In three runs we’ve only completed the show jumping once and I think her age is starting to catch up with her. She’s very happy popping around Novices and still wants to be working, so we’ll stick to the level she’s happy at until she says she’s had enough. She’s 17 now and I’ve had her for 11 years, she has taught me so much that now is the time to listen to her and see what she wants to do, but I don’t think she’s planning on retiring just yet!

Just as we were coming out of lockdown I decided I needed to do something about my own fitness. I’ve spent the last year battling small injuries in my knees and legs and although Hannah from Rider Focus Physio has been amazing at patching me up so it doesn’t get worse, it’s not sustainable in the long run. When I was at university I has specialised strength and conditioning training and it made such a difference, so I knew where I wanted to get back to. We interviewed Katie Bleekman on the podcast and having seen the work she has done with other riders I decided to take the plunge. It’s been a bit of a shock to the system, moving more, changing what I’m eating and realising that sleep is more important than I thought. However the difference has been amazing, I don’t feel as tired in the middle of the day anymore and I feel so much stronger and symmetrical when I’m riding and mucking out. I’ll let you guys know how it’s going next time.

The next couple of weeks are looking busy as we get out competing again, lots of lessons booked in and everything leading up to Pony Club Camps at the end of July. I’m also working on some online resources for you with will include educational blogs, videos, exercises and talks, so keep an eye out for that.



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