55 - ALL CAMPED OUT!!!!!

All the tents are packed away now for another year and I am “all camped out” It has been such a busy time as adult camps are now as popular as Pony Club ones. Mums just can not wait to get away from it all and spend quality time with their horses and friends, and who can blame them?

Our BHS camp this year took place at Darknoll Farm with Louise and Charles Huxley, who everyone will agree were the best hosts you could wish for. They worked very hard making their home into a campsite for us and made us so welcome we did not want to leave; especially me as I had my own double room with en suite in their lovely home, which over looked such beautiful countryside. I nearly forgot why I was there!

Thanks to Elaine Mcduff for the side saddle demonstration. Well done to Debbie Hill and the lovely Fern for having a go and even jumping within their first 5 minutes. Is that a record?

My mum and dad have become residential chefs at both camps and what a spread they put on for us. I have had so many texts, emails and cards from all the campers saying thank you and even putting their food orders in for next year. Mum cooked on an agar for the first time and got carried away cooking pot loads of spaghetti, enough to feed the whole of Italia.

My own camp still took place at Kingston Maurward and we were lucky that the weather was fairly kind. Tamzen and I got a little soggy on Saturday afternoon along with some of the more seasoned campers, whilst Louise stayed pleasantly warm and dry in the indoor arena, with a big smile on her face!

We had a fun exercise class with Caroline Johnson who got everyones heart rates racing by hula hooping around the arena- not on horseback, that’s next year!!

Thanks to our expert trainers Louise and Tamzen, everyone had a great learning experience and fun time. Thank you to Alicia Anderson for judging the dressage competition and to Tracy Upshall for coming all the way just to add up the scores. The BIGGEST Thank you goes to my Mum and Dad otherwise known as Ollie and Frank for keeping us fuelled up.

29th of August 2013

54 - Music Workshop

Louise and I were amazed at the fantastic response to our musical extravaganza. Thank you to everyone who has emailed or texted us to say they enjoyed the demonstration and it has inspired them to have a go. Well now you have the opportunity as we are pleased to announce the dates for our Music workshops at Higher Merley Farm.

All you need to do to reserve a place is complete the form and send it to me together with your chq. Next you need to think about the type of music you like and start collecting CDs or download via the internet. Remember not too many vocals! For those of you doing the pairs or quadrille music competition with the WDRC you need to choose music that suits you all or something fun.

On another note!!! We had a good response at our clear round jumping on Friday evening. It was a long day and hard work putting jumps up and down to suit all levels but not particularly profitable. Everyone who came seemed to enjoy it and asked us to do another one. Maybe everyone could spread the word to make it worthwhile doing. We will probably do another one in September when the ground is a little softer. Keep an eye on the diary dates.

Well done to Lynda Robinson and Tommas who are doing really well at their affiliated competitions and have now qualified for the Pet Plan area festival

Check out our points system for our competitions at Higher Merley as you may be in for a prize at our September Competition.

15th of July 2013

53 - Musical Extravaganza

It was pouring with rain just 30 minutes before the start of our lecture demonstration; Louise and I looked at each other and said “We can’t cancel now! Can we?” Clare said “no you can’t now get changed”.

Mum, dad and Tony tried to hang on to the gazebo as it took off in the wind and Tony had to put straw bales behind the BBQ to stop the wind blowing it out.

The DJ was worried the sound system would get wet, so we put it in the horse box and cover the speakers in bin liners. Then he could not get our CDs to work which was slightly worrying with only a few minutes to go.

Tracy and the gang were bringing chairs out from every little nook and cranny whilst selling tickets at the same time. All in all I felt positively exhausted before we even started.

Lecture Demo 2013Lynda was the first guinea-pig in riding her lovely piebald cob. Tommas was extremely excited when he realised the audience had arrived to see him perform and perform he did!! Lynda did a great job to stay on board despite several attempts by Tommas to deposit her. The music has helped Lynda ride in a much better rhythm in her canter work; they achieved 7 points the next day at their first affiliated competition. Well done.

Anne Pooles lovely young horse Duvie is a very cool customer and this really showed as he took everything in his stride. Ridden beautifully by Louise though a test she had just put together a couple of days before the demonstration. Lovely choreography and the changes of pace matched the music perfectly.

Clare and Tom have come on leaps and bounds under Louise’s guidance. Tom was wearing 3 white bandages and one black which demonstrated beautifully the beats per minute. I could hear her music but unfortunately I was tacking up whist she was riding. Louise said they did really well.

Thank you to Clare for making the fabulous cakes.

Rommel was up next which was slightly scary as Louise had control of the microphone and she loved it!!! Rommel showed how different types and themes of music could work if they matched the beat per minute and type or character of the horse. I was rather worried she would play let me entertain you, which sometimes he can!

Last up was the lovely Yogi and Louise. He was rather lit up by the wind which had really picked up speed and the black bin liners had to be removed from the speakers. Eventually he settled and Louise gave a loud cheer when she got all the way around the arena on four legs rather than two. They demonstrated the degree of difficulty very well and performed a lovely test to music from “Madness”

It just leaves me to say how lucky we are to have such fantastic friends and family who are always on hand to help us carry out our amazing ideas.

Keep an eye on the website as we have a Dressage competition at Higher Merley on 30th June- Walk trot to Elementary level.

I have a Clinic at Higher Merely on Thursday 27th to get prepared for the competition. We have Clear round jumping on Friday 12th July 2.30pm to 8pm and workshops to music dates to follow ASAP in preparation for WDRC Dressage Competition on 15th September. Email if you are interested in having a go to dressage to music.

20th of June 2013

52 - Double win gets Rommel into Horse & Hound

We went to Kingston Maurward with the aim of winning the Elementary Freestyle to Music competition. We only have a few points remaining at Elementary level so this would be our last chance to qualify for next year’s Regional Championships. Rommel worked in really well and seemed very relaxed; he must be growing up at last!!!!

We won the class with 71.73% and qualified which was really pleasing. The music was produced by originally for Claire Speer, who kindly lent it to me last year and I still haven’t returned it.

Rommel really enjoys the music classes and it is great way to introduce horses to a new level as you can put the movements together to suit your horse; obviously the more difficult the movements link to each other the more marks you gain for “degree of difficulty”

I nearly did not go into the next class the Medium music, as Rommel had been suffering with an upset stomach from a new batch of haylage. I was worried about pushing him having just had a few days off, but decided to see how he felt in the warm up.

I am rather pleased now that we did go in as he won that class as well with 70.13%. A fantastic result and it means we also qualify for the Regional Championships at medium level. This music was produced by The theme is “Madness” and fun to ride to especially entering to “One Step Beyond”

Horse with rider doing dressageI was really excited to get a telephone call from Horse & Hound and although the picture and write up is fairly small, it is still nice to be recognised when shopping in the local supermarket and asked for my autograph. Famous at last! Photo by

Louise and I are planning to do a music lecture Demonstration at Higher Merley Farm Wimborne on 9th June with a BBQ. Please let me know if this is something that would interest you.

Entries close on Sunday 21st for our Combined Training Competition on 27th April. Our Combined Training Coaching Day has been so popular that we have decided to do another one on 25th May and I am taking bookings already. We are sorry we could not fit more of you onto the one this Sunday 21st, but maybe book early to avoid disappointment next time.

20th of April 2013

51 - Rocky road to the Regional s

Horse and RiderThe odds seemed stacked against us even getting to the Regional Championships with the terrible weather conditions, so I am really pleased that Rommel came 4th in the Elementary Freestyle Open music. I am disappointed not to be going to the Nationals again, but there is always next year!

I would just like to say a BIG thank you to my great friend Louise for all her help and encouragement, especially a couple of days before the competition when we were desperately trying to work out a new floor plan. Rommel’s way of going had changed so much since he qualified last year that the original plan left us with about 30 seconds to spare.

Our new goals for this year are to qualify for both Elementary and Medium Freestyle to music and then crack on and to the advanced medium level. Rommel’s changes are coming on well now his canter is more balanced and collected so it is a very exciting time.

Louise and I will be running a Combined Training Competition on April 27th and a Combined Training “Training Day” on 21st April to ensure you are all prepared.

Well done to Tracy Tucker and Todd coming 10th at The Regional Championships at Kingston Maurward College in the Preliminary Class- Toddy really enjoyed the prize giving!!!

Well done also to Oliver Turner and Harley for winning at Bovington Dressage with a good score of 67%- Keep up the good work.

Claire Speer and I are now the County Co-ordinators for Dorset Region of the British Dressage Young Riders Scheme (BYRDS) this is open to riders aged between 8yrs and 25yrs who want to improve their dressage skills. We are running our next training event on 3rd April at the Fortune Centre in Bransgore. We are also running a 2 day camp May 29th and 30th at the Fortune Centre. If you would like more details please ring or email.

As the British Horse Society Training Officer for Dorset we are offering SJ training with Tamzen Hannam on March 23rd and I am doing a Dressage Clinic on 30th March at the indoor arena Okeford Fitzpaine nr Blandford again please email for details.

I am going to be running some Stable Management Training at Stocks Farm Equestrian Centre starting Friday 5th April for 8 weeks. This will be a basic level towards the BHS Stage 1.

The dressage clinics at the Fortune Centre have been really well supported, but hopefully the weather will be good enough soon to go outside, so keep an eye on the website

3rd of March 2013

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