With no plans for a show in the next few weeks, I decided it was time for Diva (Melland Queen of Scots) and me to get out and about. Having seen a demonstration by Lisa Dixon of Freelance Equine – Trick Training and Horsemanship at the Oakham Veterinary Hospital Open Day last year, I discovered she was doing some clinics at a venue not too far away and promptly booked us on one.

Black horse

The clinic I chose was PT training, which involved using various pieces of equipment and patterns of exercise to encourage the horses and ponies to use and stretch their muscles.

I have never taken any of my horses or ponies out and about without being clean and tidy, so on the day before I set about getting Diva sorted out. I do have to say that a black pony in the middle of a very wet winter is easier to get looking respectable than most other colours. I did have to give her tail another wash, but did not give her a bath as she is roughed off and so not rugged up. I used lots of ShowSheen on her mane, so I could brush it out nicely without pulling out too much hair. In the winter Diva grows a substantial beard along her jawbone, so I trimmed this a little to the level of her winter coat to enhance the appearance of her head.


After checking the vitals of the horsebox, I loaded Diva up and off we headed to Truesdale Equestrian Centre some forty minutes away. For once, I left Flora behind as the venue does not allow dogs on site, so I was missing my little sidekick in the cab. We arrived in good time and so, having checked Diva was OK, I went to scope out the venue. The indoor school looked to be a good size and the surface of the outdoor arena was good.


I got Diva off the horsebox and took her for a little walk around the outdoor arena. As usual, being in a new place didn’t faze her at all and soon it was time to go into our lesson. There were just two others in with us, Bob and Balou, two lovely coloured horses.

Diva made me chuckle by paying close attention to Lisa as she outlined the exercises we would do. The idea was that we would do several repetitions of each exercise and Lisa would come round to us in turn so that we could be doing something the whole time rather than standing watching as others did it.

Look out for our next blog which will let you know how we got on.

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