As the end of the year approaches I feel like I should do the obligatory post on what we achieved this year. I also thought I would expand on it in to what Eva and I have achieved in our time together as well. (That is a little further down if you are interested in reading that)
Firstly, what we have achieved this year…
- Moved yards
This was a big change for us, from a reasonably quiet yard, where she was out 24/7 on grass livery and one medium sized school, to a busy competition yard where she is stabled at night during the winter months and we can enter various types of competitions. Suddenly we have so much at our figure tips and we were both quite flustered at first until we settled in to the swing of things.
- We entered our first dressage competition
Eva loves her jumping, it is easier for her because she knows how to get us from one side of the jump to the other and she can do it quite well. Dressage is a challenge for us as it requires focus in a different way, she needs to hold herself and listen to what Im asking, which isn’t always her favourite thing to do.
- We entered our second dressage competition and improved on our score
There was a few month in between the first and the second tests but there was a definite increase in our score, which shows our improvement while being at the new yard.
- Bare foot on the back
I wrote about the progress of this and she has taken to being bare foot on the back very very well. You would think she hasn’t had shoes on all four feet for the last three years!
- Jumped 1.20m !
Then fell off when it went up to 1.30m oops! It wasn’t the prettiest of jumps but we cleared it! I don’t think we will be doing that again for a while.
Reflecting on my ownership of mare, I definitely bought her as a project horse, from the start I knew;
- I really clicked with her.
- She needed time.
While I could of waited longer and saved up for a horse that was ready to go out and do things, I also knew that I would not of been able to afford to go competing, as I was only just starting out in my career. I wanted my own horse so desperately and I clicked with Eva so well that I couldn’t let her pass me by. I fully admit that it has been frustrating at times because I feel like a lot of my riding has been “fixing” horses for other people, however I knew that if I had a horse that could be going out and about straight away it would of been even more frustrating having that horse sitting in a field unable to be doing anything apart from potter about in a school. Having bought Eva I knew that she needed a year of no pressure just pottering about and re-establishing everything from the beginning – including not chucking the rider every time they get on – therefore it suited my life circumstances and that I could really take my time.
Long story short, I bought her mid 2014 when she had not much muscle and was very slightly under weight, I moved her to a field of good grass – the grass was too good but it was my only affordable option at the time – and she ballooned. I moved yards at the start of 2015, it had a school but with finishing university and searching for a job in 2015 I dropped the ball and she remained on the heavy side. We pottered round for all of 2015 and in 2016 I managed to get her out to a few jumping nights but we really weren’t doing much other than having some lessons. By the start of 2017 she had lost a little bit of weight but again she was in a field with far too much grass and other than muzzling her 24/7 I struggled to control her diet. Only after moving yards at the start of this year I have managed to start really picking things up again and push forward.
So what with her weight changes I have dug through my social media accounts to find some comparison photos. Although I had many photos not many were taken with the same full on side view, which I am annoyed at myself at because we really could of seen the visual progress of my mare. She started skinny, then flipped the other side and was pretty fat, now we are gaining fitness and getting some muscle tone on as well. Unfortunately there is a gap of 2015 were I really didn’t take any side on photos, there are some of me ridding but you cant really see her the same way as you see her in the photos below.
Personally I think she was at her best weight in September 2014, she still needed to gain muscle but fat wise I think she was at her best then. June 2016 she was fat, no denying it at all, while her coat looks lovely but she is far too padded out.
While she was very different in 2014, this is more due to the lack of muscle rather than being particularly under weight, she only should be slight heavier than that photo.
Also, yes, she seems to always stands with her back to feet the same way… I have just noticed!
My next post will be following on from this on to what I hope to achieve in 2018!
What have you achieved this year with your horse?
I hope you have had a Merry Christmas and I wish you a happy new year!