Imogen Templeton: March - an interesting month on our yard!
We started the month planning training and competitions for the ponies but less than 2 weeks in and that has all changed due to corona virus. My Mummy and I moved up to my Grandma’s farm so that I can help with help her with the ponies whilst my Mummy works from home. This is great because I get to do a lot more work with the ponies than I usually can when I am at school. So this is what we have been up to this month.
We started the month taking Hector to a training clinic with Penny Hollings. We had a half hour private lesson for my Mum to work Hector in hand and then I have a group lesson with 2 other horses. Hector was fantastic, he didn’t even bother when one of the young horses was being cheeky next to me and we practiced our show. This was lots of fun and I can’t wait to get out and do some more.
Then I took him to a dressage rally with pony club, this was great fun as I got to ride with my friends. Again, Hector was well behaved even though the arena is very spooky, I have also taught him to slow down or speed up in trot by using my body. When I was little, at Pony Club I was taught to sing the Grand Old Duke of York when trotting. Both my ponies slow down in trot now when I sing this as it slows down my rising trot!
This was my last trip out before lockdown so we had to find new ways to train. At home I have been working on my show with Hector, changing it up so that he doesn’t anticipate transitions. My Mummy has been doing lots of ground work with him to remind him how to go on the lead. We have had some sunny weather too which was lovely.
I have also started having video call lessons with Penny, this is great fun (although my Mum has to keep running up and down the arena to keep up with us!) We have been working on my position, getting Hector more forwards in trot and accurate shapes. My Mum has also taken my stirrups away on more than one occasion to work on my legs! My Mum is very pleased and she says that we are improving every time.
To keep the ponies interested we have been taking them on small hacks around the farm and we did some pole work too, Hector enjoyed this very much and kept putting little jumps in!! Because we want to stay safe, especially at a time when the hospitals are so busy, we are being very careful when riding. My Mum lunges the ponies before I ride and we don’t ride when it is too windy as we live on the moors! We are also lucky to be able to turn out every day for a few hours, whilst being mindful about the sugar in the grass as we don’t want the ponies to get fat.
As the show season is cancelled for the time being, my Mum entered my ponies into an online competition. This was great fun, we bathed them up and got them ready although next month we will be plaiting Hector and we are slowly getting him trimmed up to show as a SHP properly. We hadn’t done this yet as but now we have lots of time! The best thing was I got to put on my beautiful concours d’elegance costume and have a go with Rosie. The sun was shining and the costume looked amazing. We haven’t tried Hector in concours yet but I can’t wait to have a go with him too. I also got to ride in my gorgeous new Le Beau Cheval jacket too which was great as my old one was too small but my Mummy kept squeezing me in to it last season!
We can’t wait to have a go at some more online shows, and hopefully some dressage competitions too!
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Have fun and stay safe, Imogen