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Show Jumping Bursary Winner: Paige Wilde February Blog Update!

February: A month of Fresh horses, Frustration and Frozen arenas!

I started the month off with continuing to keep the horses in medium work and ticking them over with flatwork and hacking, which they were really enjoying. Unfortunately, our arena surface at home (at this point) has been too boggy to jump on so both Buddy and Tottie have had a break from jumping. The lack of jumping is definitely driving us all a bit mad, but it’s been nice to give them a break from it. In the first week of Feb I had my first flatwork lesson of the year with my local instructor Diana on Tottie.

I am not going to lie to you guys, it has been a bit tricky getting to know her as she is a classic quirky mare after all! However, as you will see in my Vlog linked below, she produced some absolutely gorgeous work that I was over the moon with. The Vlog that I have filmed I’m a bit nervous about posting - I’m not sure it’s really my thing but I thought it might be an interesting watch for you all. So I’ve left it on Unlisted so only anyone reading this Blog can click and watch it… just to see how it goes. It also shows some BTS of a photo shoot that I did for another company I am supported by @popequine1. Anyway, all was going well and then…

The snow came!!

This did throw a spanner in the works for about a week as it meant we couldn’t get any of the horses out in the field due to the frozen and icy ground. I really hate not being able to get my horses out in the fields, even in winter, it’s super important to me. So we did have some pretty stir crazy horses bless them!

Of course the snow also meant that the arena was covered so that was a no go for a couple of days too- apart from 20 minutes of turnout when the weather would allow us. My Mum then spent a couple of hours out there in the tractor in an effort to roll the school in the hopes the snow would melt, which it did. However, the arena then froze for another 3 days meaning only light walking work. My motivation throughout the week of snow was at an all-time low, I’m going to be honest!

And now, as I’m writing this, it’s week 3 of February and I think I am finally starting to get somewhere! I’ve been able to ride properly so far this week, and give Buddy and Tottie some really good schooling sessions in order to start building their fitness up again- yes, I am silently hoping we will be able to go out and train by the beginning of March. Wishful thinking? Maybe, but let’s be positive. I’m also hopeful that we will be able to get them both out hacking this week too for a change of scenery.

What else is new this month?

February has really been a month all about completing the horses regular and annual check-ups. Something we do regularly is have our Physio Therapist Rachael come out to make sure the horses are both comfortable and competition ready. It’s very important to me that my horses have everything they can in place to reach their optimum performance, and physio, for me, is one of the key aspects for this.

Both of the horses need to do more work on their long and low work and Buddy is a bit stiff and sore through his neck, so our physio gave us plenty of exercises to do until she next comes to see them in 3 weeks.

Another check-up the horses had this month was their saddles. Because Buddy had put on so much muscle, we knew that his saddle no longer fitted correctly, so he has now got a new Jump saddle, which I am so grateful for, and I know it will help Buddy and I a great deal.

Luckily, Tottie and Buddy are quite different shapes meaning that Tottie was then able to have Buddy’s previous saddle (with a lovely LeMieux half pad underneath!). As I am writing this, the horses also have the Dentist next week as an annual check-up, they are all usually quite well behaved, although Buddy does have to have some sedation to keep him relaxed as he is quite an anxious horse. I will let you all know how it went in my next blog, which will hopefully be more of a training and competing update!

My Goals for March:

1: I would like to be able to start getting out to lessons, training and arena hire again as soon as we are allowed.

2: I would like to have brought the horses back into full 6 days a week work.

3: A slightly more personal one here, but I would like to have achieved a Distinction in my latest College assignment- fingers crossed.

I hope you guys all have a great month and I will update you all soon. In the meantime, don’t forget to watch my first Vlog:

Paige x

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