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 πŸ™‚

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!! πŸ™‚

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 howΒ 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)Β 

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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! Β 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. MooΒ 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.Β  I was so proud of him. πŸ™‚

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!!! πŸ™‚

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.Β 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! πŸ™‚

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

No rugs and no worries.Β Hakuna Matata mate!Β 

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!! πŸ™‚

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 πŸ‘

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!!! πŸ¦„

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 ! πŸ˜ƒ 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 πŸ˜‚

I didn’t think I would suit Peach but they look awesome especially when you are on a black horse πŸ΄πŸ˜ƒ

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 πŸ’•

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

Coffs Coast Jump Club

Mr Potato Head and I travelled to Coffs Harbour last Saturday so that we could attend the last training day for 2017 at The Coffs Coast Jump Club; Β and what a day was to be had!!!

I took a pre-competition Helfie (that’s what I call a Horse Selfie). The Helfie is becoming a Melissa Rose trend and so here it is…

I am sporting my lovely pink Earlwood Equine Hat and the Blue and Navy Polo Shirt. The material is perfect and the shirt is so comfortable to ride in.

You can find them both by clicking hereIMG_1982.JPG

We travelled the highway and got there in good time, at about 8:30am. Moo was as cool as a cucumber. See Exhibit A below…IMG_2007.JPG

I’m starting to really love the zone that my Moo is in hey.

He has become such a great partner and he doesn’t panic or spook when we attend new places.

Our relationship is rock solid and we are experiencing this journey together and for that I am so grateful.

He is truly trusting that when I take him somewhere, I have his back and he knows that I will not let any harm come to him.Β Do you know that is the truth of it though, I wouldn’t let anyone harm him and I would jump in front of a bullet to save him. I know that.

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I was also sporting my black arm band as it was my first outing since Gill Rolton had passed away.

I am quite sure everyone in the horse world knows who she is. Gill was not only a duel gold medallist and my hero, but she was also a massive supporter of other riders and a person who gave so much to the Equestrian Community and our Country.

We are so fortunate that she lived her life in the way that she did, and she will be missed by so many people, including me. I tip my hat to you Mrs Rolton. May you Rest In Peace

……………………………………………………………..

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I decided I would get on Mooey Ganooey nice and early and go and have a look at the course…

Moo was like… “Hmmm; what are those?”

I think the course seemed to run nicely.

As a previous Show Jumper I know that one of the hardest things is always a hard turn to the left or the right near the Judges stand.

And sure enough they had both a left and a right that ran straight there! LOL

So I thought I would start at a very small course and see how Moo would go.

And then we wouldn’t jump the first jump. Oh my, Moo saw the start flags and said a big “NO”, “NO”, “NO”

Then we kept trying, see video below.

It was very um, no; ah, ok; um, no; ah, ok but we got there in the end and I was proud as punch of the prodigy!

And then the second round…

He took a bit of convincing, but for a horse that has never completed a Show Jumping round before, I see the huge potential here and I have set the goal for our first Show Jumping Competition early in 2018 at a local Agricultural show with the view to our first Cross Country event before June 2018.

I tried a few practice fences after the round.

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And I thought hang on, we have something good here!

 

 

 

So we tried cantering toward the small cross rail…

 

That went really super.

So we then went up to 50cm

This may not seem high, but it is super high for a horse that hasn’t jumped a show jump round before!

And then I thought, well let’s try an Oxer.

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Lovely Approach Much!!

 

 

 

 

Pretty Happy!!!

 

 

 

See the video below of the practice fence…

What I have now is a Novice Dressage horse that understands the concept of a Show Jump. He can run and gallop and is super fit, so perhaps I have an eventer???

The best thing about the three rounds was that there was only a single rail dropped.

Moo already gets it that he must go over the fences.

Not a single refusal after we got him over the first fence, nor a run-out.

I couldn’t have been prouder of this guy.

I am so excited for the future and all that it will bring.

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Mel xΒ 

Peter Williams Riding Apparel – Sponsorship

Hey Everyone,

I am proud to announce that I am now a Sponsored Rider representing Peter Williams and Earlwood Equine!

I am so fortunate that these brands are supporting me, after all I’m not an Olympian or even a household name (yet); but I love and adore Equestrian Sports and my horses and I hope to be a wonderful Ambassador for this brand.

It’s always good to support local businesses and as I am a such a patriot I love that my new sponsor is 100% Australian πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί

Truth is I was a lover of their products a long time before this Sponsorship came along. 😍

Mr Flashdance, as you may remember was sporting an Earlwood Equine Show set in May 2017; here’s a pic in case you didn’t catch the blog and Instagram post.

Not only is Freddy devastatingly handsome in the photo, the rug is of a great quality.

The stitching is strong and for a horse that is renowned for destroying rugs he is yet to tear this rug or break a buckle!

The material is soft, the colour doesn’t fade and I wash it after every show!

It also leaves their fur flat and shiny for the day of competition. I put it on after I have washed them the day before we compete and they are shiny unicorns the next day.

I also did a post on the Pink Gelato Breeches a little while ago, everyone knows I love pink and these are awesome!! πŸ‘

The material is super comfy and I don’t seem to sweat in them the way I do with my other breeches. They seem to have a little bit of give in the material as well when you ride and I love them!

I wear them all the time πŸ’•

I have put in an order today for the Peach Gelato Breeches and matching socks. So excited!! 😍 Click here to view the range.

The Gelato Breeches are currently on sale for $49.95, I bought my pink pair for $139.95 and I do not regret it! So if you are looking for a bargain, look no further. Christmas idea maybe πŸ˜ƒ πŸŽ„

I also was keen as mustard to get a Earlwood Equine Pink Polo Shirt. They are on sale at the moment and you can find them here
You will find the Earlwood Equine Facebook page here
and the
Peter Williams Facebook page here
Plenty of customer feedback and great pictures to have a look at πŸ‘

Moo and I had some photographs taken with a beautiful blue coloured Earlwood Equine Polo Shirt earlier in the week πŸ’•

We also took some with this pink hat!

I love the hat. πŸ’• It is a perfect pink colour and Im sure I will wear it to death!

I had such a great time and Moo loved that this was an easy day off for him, no Dressage training πŸ˜‚

I would like to thank my beautiful friend Amy for all of her help, and then I decided to turn the camera onto her!

 You look so beautiful ❀️

And hey what a great shirt! πŸ‘

I look forward to my future partnership with Peter Williams and Earlwood Equine and I cannot wait to show the wonderful range of items to my followers.

I would recommend these brands to anyone. Please feel free to DM me on any of my social media platforms to ask any questions about the items or contact these brands direct via Facebook. They respond super quick!

For now, I will sign off with a big Thank You to my Sponsor; I hope Mr Potato Head, Mr Flashdance and I promote your brand and do it proud.

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Mel x

Grafton Riding Club Jacaranda Dressage

Hello Everyone,

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It’s that time of year and it is Jacaranda Festival time up here. It’s pretty much a festival that is centred around the fact that there is a bunch of Jacaranda Tree’s all over the place.

See Exhibit A …

They are quite beautiful and I am always up for a reason to celebrate anything so I figured why not get right into it this year πŸ™‚

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So I went and met the Jacaranda Queen…

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and then the rest of the Queen’s Party…

Good Times….

Then it was time to focus on the Jacaranda Dressage Day. I wanted to go compete last year, but was busy working and such, but this year I made sure I could compete and what a wonderful day we had. πŸ™‚

As always was the Pre-Competition Helfie… (that’s what I call a Horse Selfie)

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Moo was pretty calm and happy when we arrived and I was feeling like today was going to be super!

I had purchased a Dublin purple show shirt, a purple Saddle Pad and an Ear Bonnet for the day and Moo looked awesome in Purple!

It is obviously on his colour wheel πŸ™‚

My Draw was as follows:

Preliminary 1:2 at 0910hrs on a Grass Arena

Novice 2:1 at 1116hrs on a Sand Arena

Preliminary 1:1 at 1230hrs on a Grass Arena

 

He warmed up like a charm and was giving me Shoulder-in and a lengthened Trot that made me look for his Pegasus wings!

And then we were on. Moo loves the Preliminary 1:2 and normally does quite a good test scoring around 60-62%. The test went and felt amazing. He did a straight Centreline and a Square Halt. The test was Rhythmic and Relaxed until mid way through the last Canter, as we started our 20m Circle from B he jumped straight up in the air and bucked and carried on. I looked over and saw what I thought was a lizard/snake rustle away into the long grass and the tree’s. I got him back and then we went back into Canter and finished the last two moves. I was super impressed. I figured I may get a 5 or even a 4.5 for the Canter but the rest of the test would pull us through for still a super score.

How wrong I was!!

I won’t say anything about who was judging as it wouldn’t be very professional of me seeing as I am an Official Coach and Judge, but let’s just say giving me three 4’s was an absolute joke and the overall score was the worst score we have ever posted in that Test (59.2%).Β  She gave me a 4 for his quarters being in on a Trot transition even though he completed the Trot transition smoothly between E and K. It should have been worth a 5.5 minimum!!

And apparently Moo did no Canter at all between C & M as he got a 4 for that and a “No Canter” comment. (Thank goodness for video) The comment on the back was a disgrace and was the most unprofessional thing I had seen written in my riding career. IΒ am disgusted and I will not post the video as I plan to lodge a complaint. As a judge myself, comments are so important and they must be constructive and positive; there is no place for bad manners or for petty attacks in our fine sport. And there’s my rant!

I shook it off though and got on with preparing for the next test. I have only ridden the Novice 2:1 once and that was a few weeks ago (we got a 59% and came 9th), but I knew Moo could pull a good test and so I went in there with my A-Game.

The test went well, a few little hiccups here and there (all caused by me of course); a bit of resistance, me riding a bit unbalanced and two stumbles on the dry sand; but all round he was amazing and got some great scores four 7’s and a bunch of 6’s but the few 5’s for the Walk knocked us down. See the full test below:

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We ended up with a great score of 61.1% and a fifth place. YAY πŸ™‚

The judge is an accomplished rider also, and I think that helps when it comes to judging. I thought I might try to lose the spurs for the next test and see how Mr Moo went.

I don’t much like riding the Preliminary 1:1 and in hindsight I should have just done the Novice 2:2 as he was being a bit of a super star…

I thought I had rode really well, he was a bit lazy and ran into the Canter but that was mostly because I wasn’t sure (after riding with spurs) just how much leg I needed for the transition. Live and learn I guess πŸ™‚

See full test below:

We ended up with a 65% and another fifth place ribbon!

I was pretty stoked as I put him in the float to travel home πŸ™‚

I have to say this horse keeps surprising me all the time. The thing I like about him most is that he won’t let me get away with riding bad or giving a half-effort. He will resist or go above the bit if I am wrong and if I do not ride correctly. He will swing his quarters. I love that he is his own being and has his own set of rules and boundaries for me to adhere to.

I could not be any prouder of Moo and next year all going well, we will keep competing in the Novice and start training for Elementary. I wanted to be at Medium by 45, so I am right on track at the moment πŸ™‚

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Mel x

 

 

 

 

Happy Halloween & Happy Birthday MooΒ 

Hey everyone, 

Well two reasons to smile; pumpkins (hmm pumpkin) and Moo’s birthday. πŸŽƒ πŸ¦„


I’m loving that I celebrate this and we got right into it lol 

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So I’m a person that doesn’t like ghouls and zombies and I find walking through a cobweb is right up there with stuff I can live without! 

What’s the go with that anyway, where is the spider? Why does it always seem that when you walk through a cobweb the spider is nowhere to be found? You dance around screaming with people laughing at you and you never do find it! One of life’s great mysteries I guess 😩 but I digress…
We all got into the spirit of Halloween 

My little man Buck is always up for a selfie! 

Anyway wherever you are in the world I hope you have a wonderful Halloween! 

Is it celebrated everywhere in the world? 

What do you do for Halloween? 

Keep Smiling 

Mel x 

Something non-horsey

Hey everyone, 

Today I decided to completely go off the grid and I loved it. It had been far too long since I had seen the ocean and had the sand between my toes so off I went… 

and then I arrived 


What a marvellous view and then there were these paintings on the path to the beach. 


I then discovered the ocean baths 


How wonderful so I had a swim. After that I went exploring and found some little rock pools. It reminded me of when I was young, my mother and I would go exploring at Newcastle Ocean Baths together. Good times 


What a great day of exploring and fun, remembering the simple things in life and living in the moment. 


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

Keep Smiling 

Mel x 

A day off and I get artsy…

Hey everyone, 

Yesterday was a pretty tough day at work. It was cruising around 40 plus degrees and I thought I know what will cheer me up! A trip to Bunnings πŸ˜ƒ

I love Bunnings. I love that there is just about anything you need under one roof. I love that the aisles are wide and people do not need to rub against you when they pass. 

I also love it because I feel as though I am a builder, a renovator, an artist perhaps when I am there. πŸ˜‚ 

For months now I have wanted a bridle box for my float. I took about two months to decide where on the float I wanted it and now I’ve decided I went and got this… 

Then I thought I would line it so the bridles don’t bang around in the box so I went to Spotlight ! My other favourite shop yay 😍

I got some padded Quilty kind of stuff and a low temp glue gun. Low temp is good as I am a little bit clumsy with glues and paints etc I get stuff like this everywhere 😊


I am pretty stoked that it is pink being my favourite colour and all. The day was looking good.

So I got the top done and I put the rings in for the bridles to hang off. I was thinking this was going pretty executive !!!! πŸ‘


Then I started the sides and that’s when it happened 😩 I got some glue on my finger. 

Now I don’t know what sort of temperatures they have at the place that invented this thing, but low temperatures to me is like “oh dear that glue is a little warm.! ” 

but no, this was like a glue gun that perhaps was a low temperature somewhere on the sun !!!!  I actually screamed in pain. I felt hot. I felt a little dizzy. That kind of low temperatures glue burn that leaves you thinking you will lose a Finger! Thanks spotlight!! Yooooowwwwwccchhh πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯

After I recovered and was ready to start work again I ended up getting it finished 


I love it. I can’t wait to put it on my float and be able to secure my bridles at the dressage comps and also they can be in there when we travel to shows, freeing up some space on my back seat of Trevor the Triton. 

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling 

Mel x