I got to celebrate my birthday last week which was great fun, we had a few days out and then spent a day at one of the zoos with some friends alongside having a picnic there too – I always have to do something animal related round my birthday haha! Sadly due to the unseasonal wet weather we have had, my other half hasn’t had the chance to complete the planks yet as he needs the space in the garden for the painting ☹ I did however find out on my birthday what the surprise design is... the plank will on one side have all my horses names (past and present) alongside some horse outlines and horse shoes, and the other side will be for my dogs past and present with pawprints. I thought it was a very sweet idea and will be lovely to have something that contains all their names – as soon as it is completed I will be getting pics!

I’ve been busy schooling with the horses again as we had to abandon the shows I was planning on due to the high winds as it just was not worth the risk. Autumn has been doing a mixture of flat and jump work, whilst Aria has had a play with lunging and also long reining. Bob on the other hand, well he’s turned a corner again and has become better behaved. We have done flat and pole work during the week then at weekends I’ve got him back to jumping, initially it was only the little fences to start with. However, on Sunday morning I persuaded the OH to get up early with me to be my pole person so I could have a proper jump. Luckily he agreed and I have to say we had a great session with Bob. As I wasn’t the one putting the fences up I had no clue on the height which really helped me. We started off small to get him calmly jumping but each time the pole was then put up, with the final measurement being 1m - this was great considering my confidence knock from the fall at the last show. Bob also didn’t rush too much at the fences although he did have one hissy fit where he decided to go sideways instead of straight towards the fence. I then asked for the fence to be lowered so we could concentrate on his line and approach, and with a few calm attempts we then jumped it fine. I always like to finish him on a positive note so made sure he was inundated with praise. I do think it is sometimes my confidence that he can sense so I am being conscious of how I ride into the fences!

Bob was very calm after his session as I think he was a bit tired, so as I was finishing cooling him off, I challenged my partner to have a sit on him as he has always said he would then backed out! Well this time he obviously felt confident as he said yes!! Without any room for changing his mind, I got straight off, fitted the hat and took them both to the mounting block!! A couple of attempts to get aboard but he managed it, Bob looked highly unimpressed as he has been used to me as his sole rider for nearly 6 years. Although he was a bit unsure he behaved himself and after a few side steps/circles, I was able to lead Martin round on him for a few minutes. This was a major achievement for Martin as he’s not sat on my horses before so hopefully I can get him more interested now!

The other plus point from Sunday is though that I was very confident after jumping the 1m so fingers crossed this helps us at the weekend as we have a show at our local riding club, then possibly if he does okay at that show I may take him in place of Autumn to the charity show on the Monday to try and win back Merlin’s shields! It would be our first ever time competing on grass so I know I will be a bit nervous, but luckily the fence height isn’t too high so we should be ok providing I have brakes lol!
Wish us luck!

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