“The 26th November was our bi-monthly dressage clinic with International trainer, John Bowen. It was a full clinic of 25 rider/horse combinations that lasted to 7pm, by which time we were all getting a little cold and tired. Thank you very much to John for a fantastic day of lessons. The day didn’t pass without some drama, thanks to a rather excited Regitse, leading to the second time ever that paramedics have been called to one of John’s lessons in his entire teaching career! We wish Hilka a speedy recovery and hope to have you back riding and teaching soon.
I spent the following Monday and Tuesday at the TTT in Guildford with Queijada for two training sessions with Arthur Kottas. Arthur felt that there was great improvement in the horse, which I think shows the importance of doing your homework in between sessions. The piaffe and passage was very good and the changes were much improved, finally. We will be going to see Arthur again in February so will have to keep up the good work in between.
On Friday a couple of us from the yard went to the Eastern Dressage Liaison Group’s Christmas Bash at Keysoe which included an informative and fun lecture/demo with John Lassetter. This brought back a lot of memories from when I used to ride in John’s demos, which were always good fun, if not a little stressful at times! After the demo, we had a super Christmas lunch before setting off home again.
We then had a busy weekend of lessons plus an ‘Own a Horse’ day course and a show jumping day course. That weekend we also said a sad farewell to Madeleine who had spent the last three months here training towards exams during a break from teaching English in Devon. Thank you very much to Madeleine for all your hard work; you will be missed by all. We hope that you enjoyed your time here as much as we have enjoyed having you. Madeleine’s horse Harry will be staying with us until March for some schooling.
The 8th was my birthday and it feels great to be 23 again! I had a surprise birthday lunch instigated by Jade and the other members of the team full of food, champagne, a very special ‘Dressage’ cake made by Sharon and lots of presents. I had a lovely time, thank you very much to everyone. In the evening I had a great meal out with the family.
Saturday morning we held a clipping course and also made the final preparations for the afternoon’s Children’s Contessa Christmas Party. We had 30 children and a full afternoon of games, treasure hunting, pony dressing up and lots more. We also used the occasion for the annual child rider awards. Well done to all those who were awarded certificates and Pony Club flashes. A special congratulation to Ruby Bunker, who was awarded ‘Child Rider of the Year’ and the 'Apollo Trophy.’ All the kids had a great time and went away very happy with their ‘presents from the ponies.’
On Sunday we very sadly lost Gambler, who had been a much loved member of the horsey team for 20+ years. He was a real character and taught hundreds of adults and children to ride. He will be especially missed by his best friend Joker.
We concluded the week with our slightly unconventional Christmas staff/client get together at the local Chinese restaurant. A great time was had by all, including lots of lovely food and wine.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone. If anyone feels like coming down to help over the Christmas period do let us know. It is a great way to burn off all those extra calories put on due to turkey, mince pies, wine, etc!”