6:30 am: FEED TIME!!!! I make sure I whiny the loudest so that mum knows that I need feeding first.
6:45 am: Mum has already started mucking out boxes and turned a few of the babies/divas of the yard out. I wait until Garrie (my 4-year-old KWPN mate) to finish his breakfast then we get to go out and play.
7 am: I get to go and play and bounce with Garrie. Mum brings down Quadrille and Chips and we see who can run down to the bottom of the field the fastest. Garrie always beats me (he shouldn't as he didn't race) but I can bounce higher than him, so it's OK. Quad beats all of us, but he was second at Royal Ascot.
1:30/2 pm: Mum calls a halt to play time and me and Gav come in before we start to wind up the mares. I come in to be worked; sometimes we do pole work, sometimes circles, sometimes we go cantering across the fields (my favorite type of work out)
4 pm: Nap time. Being a baby and growing and having to learn all of these new things exhausts me. I do snore and Quad tells me off for doing so.
5:30 pm: The dinner truck comes into the stable. I whiny super duper loudly so mum knows that I need feeding first.
7 pm:I am fast asleep again
Six weeks to go……
From Louise: This week we have the Retraining of Racehorse (RoR) finals to be held in Cambridge. The finals take place over two days ranging from Intro Level (walk/trot) to Advanced Medium. I am very lucky that I've managed to have seven qualifying spots. Easy Over has gone on to his new home so he will not be contesting the finals, but we are taking Equine Science (Intro and Prelim), Tinchy Ryder or Ryan (Intro) and Quadrille (Medium and Advanced Medium).
A few of my pupils will be competing over the two days as well from Intro-Medium level. It will be lovely to be in a place full of TB enthusiasts and see how different people approach training these wonderful animals into dressage.
The RoR finals will be used as a stepping stone on our journey to Kentucky. Ryan has been competing for months prior to this, but he still becomes nervous in new situations. It is a difficult balance between showing the judges of what he is capable of vs. allowing him time to think, relax and understand his job. Obviously, it would be fantastic for him to do well, and he is more than capable of doing so. However, it is important to remember that he is 4 years old and seven months out of racing. At this stage of his retraining we are aiming for a clear round. Not power or presence, just a nice, calm relaxed test.
There is no routine change for the ponies this week, even with the run up to the championships. The horses still have a varied routine to keep them happy, supple and wanting to learn and do their work.
Whether it's the babies or the advanced horses it is always important that the schooling sessions are varied, yet comprehensive. If one of the horses is struggling with a concept or a new level of work, it is important that he gets lots of walk breaks to allow the muscles not to fatigue or tire, but more importantly so the TB brain can process, understand and not become stressed by a situation. Thoroughbreds only learn when relaxed. If the adrenaline kicks in, in a negative way, then they do not learn and process what is being asked, they merely become afraid and learn that a pressurized situation is a bad thing.
So, goals for the weekend……Quadrille to behave and be rideable in the arena. To try and get in the right place for our music and to get all of his flying changes. Equine Science, a placing in the Intro class would be lovely, but most importantly to maintain his rideabliilty in his second test (Prelim) which is where he can get a bit sticky. Ryan to enjoy him self and relax in the arena. To try and keep the rhythm in his tests and keep going forward. Hooves crossed!