Julie Braddon, BHSAI Int SM (Regd) PC Accredited Trainer

t: 01963 33366
e: julie@juliebraddon.co.uk


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Gold Cup & Mothers Day!

Posted by: Julie - 18 Mar 2012 17:45

I'm so glad I got to see the Cheltenham Gold Cup & even more delighted that the wonderful Kauto Star is home safe & well.  I can't believe how sick I felt, right up until Ruby Walsh pulled him up, then I felt better.  As much as I'd love to have seen him win, it was far more important that he came home safe.

Back to my exciting week!!  As you know the dishwasher is installed & working & the best thing is that as its still a novelty, Jack is happy to load it & unload it!! 

Hydrotherapy on Thursday was a little chillier than usual, I hope they turn up the temperature in the pool for this week!  However, I did discover that I am going to be able to swim properly again, which is nice & the exercises that we did last week with 'weights', the improvement in my strength this week was  huge!

Pre Gold Cup on Friday, I taught the lovely Jo & Rolo & what a fantastic lesson we had!  Rolo had had a bit of an MOT during the week in as much as he'd had his back & teeth done & a rather overlooked wolf tooth removed & what a happy horse he was!!  All the work Jo & I have been doing had been getting tougher for Jo because Rolo had been getting more & more argumentative & this week was like someone had flipped a switch - he was suddenly saying 'OK mum, I can do this, look'!  So we had a very thrilled Jo & an equally pleased me & one happy horse.  It just goes to show that any horse doing any sort of work, however low key you may think it is, still needs regular back (& tooth) attention.

Friday evening, Jack & I went off to our Pony Club rally at Naydon Equestrian.  We had the whole school to ourselves all evening, which was great (we usually have to share it for the first half hour) & we had a beautifully behaved Star for the first lesson & I was thrilled with the way Jack rode her.  The two following lessons both went without a hitch & I had both groups jumping.  It was great to see the riders improve with each attempt they had.

I disappeared off to Wiltshire teaching on Saturday & left Russell at home to sort out the new surface for the school.  Whilst I was away teaching Claire & Archie on their new yard, Sophia, Laura on the ever stressed Mr B - who did manage to keep his cool whilst we did some leg yield & shoulder in- & Shirley on her ex racehorse who is finally coming around to our way of thinking & for the first time worked in the same outline on both reins!!  Fantastic improvement!! - Russell had the task of putting down the new surface.  When I got home, he'd done a great job & we only had 4 bales left to break up.  I'm afraid I was a bit pathetic with it & only managed to split half a bale, it was really solidly packed together.  But Russell earned his cider & steak on Saturday as he managed to get it all spread out & harrowed by Saturday night!  He even got up early on Sunday to harrow it again & prep it for a lesson I had at 10am, what a star!!

So when my endurance rider friend Laura, & her arab gelding, Shar, had their lesson on it on Sunday morning, it was fascinating to see how it rode.  It just seemed to fluff up under his feet!  He went really well on it too, Laura got some cracking canter out of him, which in itself is no mean feat as he's not the easiest of horses & I'm sure he wonders why he has to do 'dressage' when he's an endurance horse!!  But as Laura & her mum have both said, the flat work we've done with him has helped build up his muscles correctly to enable him to carry himself properly which in itself will help him to reduce injury, but also it has helped Laura's control & has made the horse much stronger & his results have been brilliant!  So there you are all you budding endurance riders, or any of you out there who find flat work tedious & wonder if it is really necessary, there IS a real purpose to dressage, its not just the boring bit that has to be done at the beginning of a One Day Event!!

Well of course I couldn't wait, I rode Maddy in the school this afternoon & it was fabulous!!  Ok, she was very argumentative, she hacked twice last week & had to have 2 days off so she was fairly vile, BUT, after 70minutes riding, the surface felt the same as it did when we started!  There were no uneven patches, no soggy bits, no track (!!) it was amazing!!  & she finished better than she started too!  I will put some pics on the website when Russell gets around to downloading them so you can have a look, but I'm really thrilled with it!  Long may it continue!!

I cant wait to go & school her tomorrow .......

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