Dressage Camp Round Up

Sunday 30th July 2017

The round up from what has been an overly fantastic weekend in so many ways! We finished our first ever outing together, my first ever stay over with a horse, the first time I have properly really ridden my horse rather than just sitting there. So many firsts! 

Saturday’s Lesson

Frankie was quite tense and unsettled when we arrived into the indoor arena, so before getting on I spent 10 minutes walking her around in hand. They have several large banners around the arena, full length mirrors all along the end of the short side of the arena and mirrors on the long sides over ‘E’ and ‘B’. Frankie has never seen mirrors before and was very excited at the thought of another pony being there, on arrival to the mirrors to check herself out she kept neighing and tapping the glass with her nose – it was so cute! Anyway a few walks around the outside of the arena and she was relaxed and ready to get on. 

She’s a superstar to be mounted and stood at the side of the block waiting patiently. Frankie warmed up really well, she is obviously unbalanced and very green in her schooling so was either very behind the leg or rushing forward. We used lots of halt – walk – halt, trot – walk – trot transitions to help her find her balance and stop the rushing. We also worked on forward and back. So pushed the walk out for a few strides, half halted and brought it back for a few strides, kicked on and asked for a little more etc and also did the same in trot. We also worked on some trot- canter transitions and finding her balance in the canter but didn’t do much work in this area. We finished the lesson with some leg yield on a cicle, spiralling into a smaller circle trying to teach her to accept my leg for sideways as well as just forwards. Then switched and leg yielded her back out of the circle to the track. 

Frankie tried really hard and these exercises really worked well for her. She was a tired girly at the end of our lesson! 

Saturdays One to One Coaching

In the afternoon I had my one to one session, I found this so helpful! We spoke about my fears and frustrations, what’s held me back, how I can change my mindset, how I can develop a new ‘can do’ attitude, how to goal set effectively and get the best from my goals. 

This talk actually made me quite emotional, in fear of people thinking I’m a failure I have held back from being open about my fears and my confidence issues. In hindsight I’ve hidden them away and not faced up to them. I have let the fear of other people thinking I’m failing get the better of me and in doing so I have failed as I haven’t done anything about my issues. This weekend was the start of me acknowledging my issues, facing my fears and asking for help to be able to move forward. 

I was very open and honest in my coaching session and hearing myself speak out loud made me realise just how bad I had let myself become. I have become a shell of the person I used to be, I over think everything, I am always anxious, I have no self confidence or self belief and I always think the worst of all situations. I have been able to take away so much from this talk, I feel more happy and confident in myself, I have learnt how to look at myself in a new light. I have faced my fears and put myself totally outside of my comfort zone this weekend and absolutely smashed both out of the park! šŸŽ‰šŸŽ‰ this weekend has meant so much to me because it was almost like make or break! I either give it my all and I smash this or I put in half effort, come out with half results and fall into the conclusion that giving up would be easier. I am pleased to say I pushed myself and we have made it! I can finally see a future!! šŸ™Œ

Sunday’s lesson
We came into the arena this morning and she was still very settled and relaxed so I hopped straight on today and went straight into our warm up. To warm up we used the exercises that she learnt yesterday, lots of transitions and on and back within the transitions and finished our warm up with some leg yield on a circle. It was like Frankie went away and practised these exercises in her sleep as she came in today and was faultless! Her body bent in the right places, she didn’t rush, she didn’t go behind the leg – she was just awesome and found it all very easy! 

So today we worked on starting actual leg yield from the 3/4 line back to the wall, we spent about 15-20 minutes doing this and we managed this exercise in walk, trot and canter on both reins! She didn’t always step under correctly and occasionally her shoulders led but for the first ever time she’s tried leg yield the fact she even accepted that the leg meant sideways was just amazing! Towards the end of the lesson she didn’t even feel like a horse that’s ‘reschooling education’ only started a few weeks ago, with the breakthrough being in yesterday’s lesson! She felt absolutely awesome! We finished this lesson with some more canter work and worked on her stretching down over her back and finding her balance. She was just awesome!! ā¤ļø

Frankie has been utterly awesome in every sense all weekend. On arrival she settled straight into her stable just like it was her home, she made friends with all the other horses. She has adored all of the washing, brushing, rug changes, the hand grazing, the fact she gets breakfast, lunch and dinner. Just generally loved being faffed over and being treated like the princess that she is šŸ˜ 

She has exceeded all expectations I had of her, she has behaved impeccably and has been a pleasure to take away. It’s no secret that we have had a rollercoaster of a journey this past couple of years but I finally feel like we are on the right track. 

This weekend I have also had the pleasure of meeting some of the most amazing people that have really helped to bring me out of my shell, I was quite apprehensive about going to camp all on my own but I needent of worried! They were lovely people! Below is a picture of myself, Coco (Frankie’s best buddy), her owner Deborah and the wonderful and incredibly talented Olivia Towers. 

By lunchtime the truck and trailer was all packed, our sad goodbyes were said and we were to be on our way… 

Frankie had other ideas.. She decided she quite liked being a Paunceford Pony and didn’t want to come out of the stable to go home… (tiredness might of played a little part as she’s worked her little socks off for me).

To round up, I am absolutely bursting with pride for her right now, she was just a complete dude! Absolutely adore her ā¤ļø 


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