Equestrian Gold Coast Club – 30.04.2017

After months of rain and a working roster that wouldn’t quit, I saw an opportunity to take my Freddy to a Dressage Competition. I had been training the Canter long enough and it was time to see if he could handle Preliminary Dressage.

And besides a trip interstate is always a good thing!

I decided to drive up the day before and camp out in my float, I figured this would settle Fred and I would wake up full of energy for the Sunday.

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This was also a grand opportunity for me to use my Earlwood Equine Show Rug for the first time! He looks so handsome in it!

This was also the first time I had been away competing since my PTSD diagnosis in 2014, so I wanted to go. I wanted to challenge myself mentally and physically on this weekend away. 1493457654059

It was so cold in that float! Even though I had a camp bed and a sleeping bag there was an hour or so there where it was freezing! I was happy and positive though as I ate my dinner surrounded by hay.

I had made sure to pack a Fleece Rug and a Waterproof Winter Combo for my Freddy; but I had a single sleeping bag!

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Any horse rider would know that is typical, the horses always get the best of things.  The next day I woke so excited and yet nervous at the same time.

Our draw times were Preparatory C at 07:51, Preliminary 1:2 at 08:26 and Preliminary 1:1 at 09:49.

I had my game face on at 7am as I mounted my trusty steed!

It was so cold still when IMG_0024we did our Prep C test, but it went well and Freddy tried so hard for me.

The Prelim 1:2 and 1:1 was a success. I was stoked!

My goals for this show were simple; get the correct canter lead in every test, every time.

We accomplished that and I was so proud of his efforts.  Freddy was patient when I was unbalanced at times, and he showed me nothing but respect the entire weekend. He was no trouble, didn’t fuss, never spooked and had my back throughout the whole weekend.

I felt he almost knew I needed him to support me; and he did.  I am truly blessed to have my Freddy as my equine partner in this journey.  

So… now to the scores. DSC_0254

We ended up coming 8th in the Preliminary 1:1 on a score of 59.32%, 9th in the Preliminary 1:2 on a score of 57.21% and 6th in the Preparatory C with a score of 58%. That meant we were taking home a gorgeous ribbon!  I was so proud of Freddy and me! 

We drove home, making it through the “Tick Gate” at the border unscathed and I just kept smiling. New goals now, more Dressage, more confidence building and more smiles.

It was truly a big step to even consider going and to be honest I wasn’t sure how I would go. I am so proud of myself that I did it and got through the weekend and I feel stronger from doing so!

The Gold Coast Equestrian Club was wonderful! The day  ran so smoothly and professionally and everyone was smiling. It made it such a lovely experience for us.

You can find the clubs Facebook page here if anyone would like to check it out.  

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling… Mel

 

 

 

Show Jumping Clinic 13.08.2018

Hey Everyone,

Moo and I attended a Show Jumping clinic with Louise Light on Saturday. I had been looking forward to this all week!!

We also tried out our new HorzeHoods Saddle Pad!!

The Saddle Pad is perfect.

Not only does it look awesome (and it is PINK and I love the colour) it fit Moo perfectly and the stitching is top quality! The saddle pads come in a variety of colours and I am hopeful to add blue to Moo’s colour wheel in the coming months!

He warmed up well and then we moved onto some grid work. This is only Moo’s third time at looking at a Show Jumping course so I am super impressed at my Hippo and his progress.

Our Goal is to compete in May, at our first show jumping competition together!

I can hardly wait….

See the video’s below

 

 

Wherever you are in the world I hope you are having a wonderful day.

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Mel x

Mondays with Moo & Mel – Part 2

Hi Everyone,

Moo and his training is going well. This video was just part of the warm-up, but I am starting on asking him to stay in a Rhythm and to not make me carry his head. It’s his head and he should carry it, not me.

Yes we still have quarters in. Sure my lower leg needs work; but let’s focus on the positives! My hands are awesome, my horse is willing and has an wonderful Canter that can only be transformed into Unicorn like stuff. I giggle when something goes wrong and I love life.

And anyway, this is not a place for me to post perfect video’s!!

Riding and identifying things you can improve on is how training works and it’s the only way to personal growth and smashing goals!

The little buck near the end was my fault, he makes me laugh. He has a way of correcting me too! Ah… I love him

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Mel x

Blogger – EqStyleTheory

I am so very excited to announce that I am now a Blogger for EqStyleTheory.

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This has always been a dream of mine; to be an Equestrian Blogger and get valuable information out there to people that may be searching for answers. It is also a fabulous way for me to learn from my fellow Bloggers and from their posts. So it’s a win:win really isn’t it!! 🙂

As the saying goes (yes another quote!) “Knowledge is Power” and the more knowledge you have the better.

It benefits our Equine Partners more than anything else at the end of the day and that is the goal isn’t it!!!

Despite all the Ribbons/Trophies and awesome photographs we may get along the way, really the Number One goal should always remain for your horse to be as Physically and Emotionally healthy as they can be and that only comes with knowledge.

Please go check out this Website, follow us on Instagram and Facebook and let’s keep spreading the knowledge. My fellow Bloggers come from all walks of life and horse disciplines and they are teaching me new things already. 🙂

You will find detailed Bio’s on the about page on this site.

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Mel x

 

Float Repair

I love my float. I mean I love it. I didn’t own my own float until 2012 so I had a huge wait to get my own and I love it (I think I have said that 🙂 )

After 5 years though, he needs some repairs, so being the frugal soul that I am I decided to do some work to it myself. The arch ways have this silicone stuff that seems to be meant to cover the gap between the actual float and the wheel arch. They didn’t rust proof it before laying the silicone so the mould and rust started to push the silicone stuff out. This happened from about 3 months after I owned it so I wasn’t a happy camper considering I bought it brand new.

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Anyway so I took all the old silicone out and I was thinking, this will go well.

I had been wanting to take the blue pinstripe off for a while too, so I thought… why not?

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There was a bunch of other stickers on there from the manufacturer so I took those off.

I then took all the glue off with nail polish remover. Good thinking Rosey 🙂 and sanded the area’s back.

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After about 4 hours it started to look good. I masked it up to put some 4 in 1 paint on it. It is a primer, undercoat and two other things that I am not sure of, but I assume they are required to make it all ready for a respray.

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I have a few more updates to do ready for the Competition year and in 2019 the plan is to have a truck so watch this space…

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Mel x

 

 

 

 

2017 Wrap-Up

I love New Years.

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Each New Year with Buck, my faithful Border Collie at my side, I turn the last page of my old diary and smell the fresh new one that I buy myself each year.

I almost cannot hardly wait to write stuff in it and set goals and achieve them!! Love it.

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I noticed that a lot of people are doing a favourite equine photograph of 2017; so here is mine.  🙂

We didn’t come close to winning this day, but right here, in this moment, I felt truly happy, proud and at peace.

We started 2017 in Preparatory Dressage struggling to get 55% and we ended 2017 with a personal best of 65% in Preliminary and a 61% in Novice.

We tried Show Jumping and Working Equitation.

Moo and I spent copious amounts of time together, travelled to places we both had never been and I learned so much about this little hippo and about myself.

Whatever happens in 2018, with Moo and Buck by my side it will be awesome.

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Happy New Year to all

Mel x

 

Mental Health in Equestrian Sport

Hey Everyone,

I have to say I am rather impressed that Equestrian Australia now has an Awareness and Action Program, click here to read all about it.

Mental Health is a massive issue at the moment.

Is it because we are more aware of Mental Health than we ever were?

Is it the foods and our way of life?

Is it that life is indeed more expensive and stressful?

Was it always happening and this prominent but we are just able to admit it now as stigma is reduced?

Who knows… All I know is that I am happy we are all talking about it. That’s the cure isn’t it, to talk about it.

They mention in this Article that it is about possibly your individual resilience to stress and whilst that may be so, I don’t necessarily think that people that have/get a mental illness cannot cope with stress (as is sometimes thought).

I hear that when people speak of mental health; “Ah it won’t happen to me because I’m not weak” or “I’m too strong to get a mental health issue.”

I remember when I was suffering from PTSD and my Psychologist said something to me.

I had said that there was no way I could have a Mental Health issue!  After all, everyone that knows me knows I’m as strong as an Ox and I have awesome coping skills. I ride off the trackers so how weak can I be really???

His reply is something I will never forget and I have said it to people that I have come across who I can see are suffering and I see them resonate with it.

he said “We all have a bucket, and drips get dropped into there over time. One day the bucket overflows because it is full.” It made sense to me instantly. It was okay to have this, it was okay to have a FULL BUCKET. The good news is full buckets, can have water splashed out of them and that’s what I did. Was it instant? No. Did it take time and effort? you betcha! Was it worth it? Yes 🙂

I am so happy now it is almost ridiculous. I love life, love the sun, love the animals and most of all I love me. I like who I am and what I am like. That’s the key to getting better.

Mental Health illness’s are not about being weak. They are not about having no coping skills. They simply happen; just like a cold or a virus. They are an illness. Once we learn to reduce the Stigma we can truly help each other.  Some friends say they want to help whilst they are also saying “Can’t you just get over it?” This doesn’t help your friends.

My PTSD is gone now, in the past and good riddance, but I am always aware that it happened and to anyone who is going through it just know that there is another side and when you are at the end and you can look back on it, you can see it for what it was.

I won’t say I am happy that it happened, but I also don’t wish that it didn’t. For two reasons: 1. It’s pointless as you can’t change the past; and 2. I know myself so much better now.

Another quote “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom” ~ Socrates

To anyone that needs a chat, I am always here. Xmas and Holidays can be hard.

To all of you, if you know a friend who is suffering; be kind, be thoughtful and be tolerant. Things take time.

It’s hard to hit the Publish button on this, the stigma is still there even though I am better.  But still, I may be able to help someone with this post…

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Mel x

 

Mondays with Moo & Mel – Part 1

Hello Everyone,

I am going to start a series on my YouTube Channel called Mondays with Moo & Mel. If you have any questions or would like me to do particular posts or particular activities please let me know. A kind of Q&A for training the OTTB if you will.

Meanwhile here is our Part 1 – This is a Warm-up where I am starting more Lateral work, there is the beginnings of Traver, Leg Yield and Shoulder-in and in between a stretchy Trot to relax the back. Working on changes of Rein and also trying to stay in the contact whilst we do. Just a little work, but mainly just working on strength.

Lot’s of lessons from the beginning of 2018 to improve my position and seat.

I cannot wait to show you who we are having lessons with! It’s so exciting 🙂

Can’t wait for 2018!!

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Mel x

NCEC Xmas Hack Show

IMG_2417Moo and I attended the North Coast Equestrian Club T-Shirt Hack Show. I was absolutely stoked that I could ride and possibly win ribbons on my Birthday!

Doesn’t get any better than that I reckon!! 🙂

Mr Potato Head hasn’t been to a Hack Show before and I knew that it would be a bit confusing for him. He has done a year of Dressage Competitions, attended a Pony Club Camp, attended a Show Jumping Club and now a Hack Show.

I keep trying to mix it up and throw situations at him that he may not be used to. Sure, he might spook a little and get anxious, but working through fear, not avoiding it, is how downloadyou overcome fear eventually.

Plus, if Mooey and I have to fly to the Olympics one day, he will need to be prepared for things that may be stressful wont’ he! (Dreams, Dreams, Dreams) 

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I had to stop and get fuel and Moo was very keen to help out.

Also a pre-competition Helfie needed to be done, and here it is!  He’s so beautiful.

Then I arrived and picked the most executive park that I could, not too shady, and a not too sunny spot that is not too close to anyone, but close enough to the ring that he is not hiding from the happenings! Lot’s of requirements for my parking and a lot of thought goes into it. lol

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It was then time to oil his legs and paint his hooves to make him look handsome for the Led Class. I was sporting my Earlwood Equine Polo Shirt and matching Cap.

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I am so proud to wear these items and I truly love the material of these shirts. They are breathable and comfortable and let’s be honest; they look fantastic!!

I hadn’t ever plaited Moo’s tail before, normally it is clipped, but I gave it a go and it looked “OK”.

Then it was time for the led class. Now, I didn’t realise, but Mooey thought we were at the Races. He was being led around in a circle with a bunch of other Thoroughbred’s. Moo was like “Ah ok, I am here to run so I will prance around like I am at the track.” It’s a good thing I don’t let much get to me these days so to say it would have been fun to watch from the fence would have been an understatement!

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You can probably guess that not only did we not win the 3 Led Classes, we didn’t place either, but eventually it looked like this…

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Moo’s ability to overcome stress and get on with it in such a short amount of time always gives me the confidence that not only is he trainable and willing. We truly have build such a wonderful friendship and partnership and I am so grateful for him putting his faith in me.

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Super Impressed with him here!!

We then entered the Maiden Hack Class.

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This class is perfect for a newbie to the Hack world and I think for a first go, Mr Potato Head did marvellously.  I was so proud of him. 🙂

I think my face says it all, a lilac ribbon and a 6th Place!!

We then went into the Intermediate Hack and the Open over 16hh class and the Class for over 35 year old’s. That’s me!!! 🙂

In between classes we kept our focus on working and training and I was working on our Leg Yielding and Shoulder-in. Not only are these great exercises, they are wonderful when your horse is maybe not paying attention to you. IMG_2450

The sideways movement makes him use the other side of his brain to make decisions and think about hoof placement rather than the emotional side of his brain so this helped Moo relax and become more supple.

By 11:30am the heat and humidity was well and truly out and about and I decided to call it a day.

He had been a little excited in the morning which had caused a sweat-up and I didn’t want to overdo it and wear out my best mate.

His welfare is so important to me and even though I love Ribbons, his health and well-being will trump Ribbons and Trophies any day of the week!!

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Then there was a kiss for my special guy.

What a fabulous day. Three 6th place Ribbons, an awesome day out and heaps more memories and photographs. One of the best days ever! 🙂

I gave my partner a well deserved bath and then a drink before putting him on the float and taking him home.

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Mr Potato Head is  now on a well deserved rest and spell. Just time to be a horse, living in a big paddock with a dam and lots of trees.

No rugs and no worries. Hakuna Matata mate! 

Moo will do some light walking and trotting in a few weeks and be back in Training from the second week in January 2018.

Have a Happy Holiday to everyone!! 🙂

No matter how you spend your time, what your Religion is, and whatever else you do that makes you the awesome individual that you are; I sincerely wish you, your family, your friends and your pets (horses or otherwise) good health and happiness as we move into a new year; 2018.

Moo and I look forward to hearing all of your adventures next year.

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On another note Mr Flashdance aka Freddy has been able to Walk and Trot without any sign of lameness so fingers crossed my awesome buddy will be back for the 2018 Competition Calendar.

I miss riding the big red guy x

Watch this space.

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Mel x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clarence Valley Working Equitation – 10.12.2017

Hey everyone,

Mr Potato Head and I went to Clarence Valley Working Equitation on Sunday for their last day of the year. It wasn’t a competition day, I had missed their last comp in November due to work constraints!

Yep, I have to work to have horses! Can you believe it? But that’s ok, I did plenty this year 👍

Riding is so addictive and gives you so much happiness that sometimes I find myself smiling at work; thinking how lucky I am that I own a pony!!! 🦄

Even at this age I still get excited (and tired) as I saddle my horse up!

Moo and I arrived safely and he was calm and happy.

My pre competition helfie is still a thing ! 😃 I like this one…

I decided to tie Moo to the back of the float, I’ve seen a few people do it and lately Moo has been getting far too close for comfort to my bridle box and spare tyre so I made the decision to move him.

I really feel that it is so much better and safer ! So this is where I will be tying him from now on.

He could see all around him and watch the other horses go by, maybe try it with your horse and see how it goes!!

In true Mel style I had goals for the day.

Goals for today were to just have fun, try him at something else and give him a day off from Dressage training.

Also I couldn’t wait to use my new Gelato Jodphurs from Peter Williams Riding Apparel! They had been in my home for a week and I had t used them. That’s ridiculous 😂

I didn’t think I would suit Peach but they look awesome especially when you are on a black horse 🐴😃

See Exhibit A below

Moo was a little fresh as he hadn’t been ridden this week.

I had been full on with work and the weather had been tricky, but he is a unicorn and I am able to pull him out of the paddock and count on him and of course today was no different!

And as my new Motto goes “You can make excuses; or you can make time!”

So I wasn’t going to stop just because I had a full on week!

We had a little warm up and he kept looking at the obstacles so I thought nah I’ll just go over there and give it a go.

He took a little look at the bridge and then walked over it, by the third approach he was trotting up to it like a superstar ⭐️

Then we tried the round pen. It is a circle style pen with another circle in the middle so they have to trot between two rails in a circle in a tight spot, he wasn’t sure of this one to start but then he just made the decision to give it a go!

There is a small jump, a bull with a garrotte, some bending poles and a gate. All of which we had a go at and completed.

I’m so proud of him, he really did try and even when he wasn’t sure he never spooked or put me in any danger; thanks mate 💕

I ended up staying about two and a half hours and then decided it was time for Moo to have a well deserved bath.

Although it was only 25-30 degrees the humidity was a killer and I wanted to take Moo home and not make him exhausted or injure him; after all 2018 is right around the corner and it’s going to be fabulous, or as I say Executive!!!

Can’t wait 😊

So what’s next??… Stay tuned

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Mel x

Farrier Update

Moo had the farrier out today.

He’s been going super so it was a re-shoe all round. My farrier is awesome, it’s an expensive part of owning a horse; I’ll be the first to admit that, but it is necessary and must be done.

After all, I have all the shoes I need, so why shouldn’t Mr Potato Head!

I like to keep him shod as his feet start to chip and crack about three weeks after the farrier has been if he is barefoot.

As you can see from the pic, he has a few conformation issues and being shod is better for him.

Next year I will be changing his shoeing.

My farrier suggested we look into lateral support and corrective shoeing and I think seeing as Mooey will be doing so much in 2018 anything that can help him and keep him sound has to be done!

After all I need my Mooey to have his A-game if we are to reach our 2018 Goals!

The white board and Goal setting book is being looked at as we speak.

Ah it’s only 18 days til New Years and I can’t wait for the year ahead!

In the meantime, Mooey and I are having a five day break and getting ready for what’s next!

This pic makes me smile x

It makes me happy to know he is happy.

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Mel x