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Jo's Diary

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Saturday, 4th December 2010

Sandrose Silk & Holly warming up at her dressage competition

Brrrr what a cold month - winter seems to have arrived very early for us all - not easy weather to work in. We take great care when working our horses at this time of year to take good care of cold muscles and give our horses plenty of time to warm up and cool down - our clipped horses wear exercise rugs to keep them snug. We also make sure they are really warm and toasty in the stable and out in the field - it takes more energy for them to keep warm in this weather so it is important my horses have ad lib hayledge and a really good balanced diet to achieve this. We are so lucky with Blue Chip who sponsor us all our supplements - they help keep my horses performing at their optimum levels. I also use Saracen Horse Feeds which I have found totally brilliant and Vicky Archer who is our area rep is always at the end of the phone to give me advice on feeding and nutrition so that all my horses get the correct feed for their type and temperament and the work they are doing. One of the greatest godsends at this time of year when it is difficult to get the horses exercised is our Claydon 5 horse horsewalker - at least we can get the horses out and on the move twice a day.

Zac very sadly has now been sold and he has gone to the most amazing 5* home with Yvonne Burt. He is going to be kept at Jayne Webber and Carol Bardo's yard - Fortunately we keep getting updates on his progress. It would be lovely for us if he went on to be a really successful lightweight hunter as well as doing his dressage career with Yvonne - he has the most amazing temperament and gives a truly fabulous ride - an unbeatable combination - it was a very hard decision for us to sell him but unfortunately with the current economic climate I was unable to afford to keep him - we did love him to bits.

Sandrose Silk at Aston Le Walls on their way to winning with 71 and 73%

Sandrose Silk has been continuing her progress well and has now qualified for the Novice Regional Finals in two outings winning three classes on the bounce. Indeed at the first competition she won both her classes on a huge margin with 71.56 and 73.54% respectively. She really would be a fantastic prospect for a Junior/Young Rider to take on - she has real presence in the arena and also has a huge amount of ability. More and more we can keep pressing the buttons to take her on a bit further and she is really taking up the challenge. She also possesses the most amazing jump and has great technique and power over a fence - we took her to Simon Nicholson for a jumping lesson along with Toby and he was suitably impressed with her talent. We really would like her to go the the right home and she has such a lot to offer for a rider and someone is going to have so much competitive fun with her. She is also a sweetie in the stable!

Kenny - owned by Denise Bumford - 3 year old stallion

Kenny belonging to Denise Bumford is now broken in and going like a champion - he has found his go button and there is no stopping him now - he is proving to have a fabulous temperament and is a lovely balanced ride. He has been hacking out through the farm on his own and really enjoys going round the fields - I think it was this that finally made him find his go button! Hopefully weather permitting at the beginning of next year he will be ready for a show/small dressage competition. The only downside of Kenny is that not all the other horses appreciate his flowing mane and tail and his beautiful coloured markings when he is working in the school and Flora Harris (event rider) who is based in our yard temporarily has regularly be seen galloping off into the distance with her horses careering out of control - I don't think they really appreciate how cool he is!!!

Out hunting with Toby

Toby has also been continuing well and has been out hunting again - he loves it and enjoys his jumping out with the Bicester hounds. We also took him for a lesson with Simon Nicholson - I don't think Simon really knew what to expect but once Toby started jumping he was rather impressed with his technique and ability. He was very helpful with his advice to me and I shall certainly be taking him back again for some more help.

Abergwuan Amendment (Benjji) - jumping in the school with me

Benjji has also found his slot in the yard and has settled in beautifully with us. He is a sweet character to have around and really thrives on his work. Fleur his owner came up one weekend for a lesson and was delighted with the way he had progressed. He has now found a new home with Michelle Ayres who bought him for her teenage daughter Sophie and we wish them all the success with him - they will be collecting him once the big freeze is over.

Spirit - 3 year old large hack just broken and going nicely in the school

Spirit the 3 year old large hack belonging to Margaret Benton Jones has now been broken in and has proved to have a really mature head on his shoulders - Margaret and I are really looking forward to showing him next season - I think he will be a very exciting prospect - he has a really fabulous temperament and has really enjoyed coming to school with us. Apparently he was rather bored at home - he loves learning and is a really willing pupil. He will be going home shortly and Porsche will be coming in his place to start on her education. I am very lucky to have such a great owner in Margaret - she has bred some wonderful horses and we have had some really fantastic results with them.

Holly is starting her new job with Ferdi Eilberg on 26th December which she is really looking forward to - Initially Cambridge will stay at home with me and then once she has settled in and found her feet he will join her to start on his training. I know I shall really miss Hols at home and on the yard but this is an opportunity that could not be passed up. I shall be looking for someone to help me out on the yard in the New Year once all the show horses get settled in for the season.

As we speak now we are in the grips of Artic weather and -9 degrees centigrade - May I take this opportunity of wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous/Successful New Year - here's to a nice hot summer!!! And have I any Christmas wishes for Santa - of course!!! A nice new lorry please!!!! - Well you have to have some pipedreams don't you!!

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