Great riding weather

Did some showjump training on Thursday night with Will which went well apart from a couple of jumps in one round where Occy couldn’t really be bothered. Was good though in the end.

Last night I got home just in time for a ride out. Did a quick 45 minute lap on the tracks across the road and some interval training and hill work. The tracks are still soft enough without being slippery from the rain last weekend. Had 189mm here 😮

Will do some flat work today and try to film myself with the new camera so I can see what we are doing. Will have to get some mirrors on the arena at some stage so I can see what I can or should improve whilst riding.

Riding club rally tomorrow with flat and jumping, so gradually just getting everything better in preparation for Wandin next weekend and the future higher levels. Better get back outside and do some work now.

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Labour day Holiday – post Tonimbuk recovery

Was going to use today as recovery from the Tonimbuk horse trials, but now just ended up doing things at home in between showers and, off all things, riding. Took Jarrah the 23 year old out for a ride down the back. He would love to jump the Cross Country jumps I have, in his mind at least. He was never really capable when he was younger, so no chance now. I wouldn’t let him anyway J. Occy got the day off today as I rode him yesterday down the back and worked up a good sweat, so he has had 5 days on anyway.

Few branches down from the storm which I will clean up as they are blocking one of my longer tracks and one of the jumps.

Will have to see if I have time to pop down to Tonimbuk next Saturday to have a play. Good low stress opportunity really.

Tonimbuk Horse Trials 2010 Cross country cancelled due to Rain :-(

Heard through the grapevine that the Cross country is cancelled due to the rain overnight. Luckily the grapevine (thanks Vaughn) called me just as I was about to load up Occy back onto the float and drive back up. Another day off and too wet to do anything outside.
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A day home alone with Laura Bechtolsheimer & Klaus Balkenhol

It’s a Saturday and I got to stay home. Bizarre that. And its sort of raining. Perfect with catching up with some of my DVD watching. I have a couple of Laura Bechtolsheimer dressage training videos from which are excellent. Both of them feature Klaus Balkenhol
Laura Bechtolsheimer works with Dan and Klaus Balkenhol
Laura Bechtolsheimer works with Dan and Klaus Balkenhol

as her coach, with some very clear translation done by Dr. Bechtolsheimer. The Future Stars DVD also includes a very clear portion on Long Reining, portions of which can and should be also used for lunging a horse. Lots of transitions and changes rather than a senseless chasing of a horse in circles. It is worth getting this DVD just for this. But then again the section with Klaus Balkenhol, Laura Bechtolsheimer and the 4 year old Joey, is superb.

But my favourite DVD is the one that concentrates on Laura’s horse Dankeschoen (Dan to his friends). It is a progression of training over several months of Laura riding Dan by herself and explaining what she is doing with the warm up and exercises. This includes training for lateral movements from shoulder in to travers and renvers including required aids to help the horse. The DVD It even shows how Laura handles things when they go slightly wrong, no staged training videos here. Better this way because for most of us things don’t always go right and we need to know how to deal with those times.

And through all of this Laura just talks on, not even out of breath. Once again you get to enjoy Klaus Balkenhol coaching Laura in the section dealing with the start of piaffe, and his experience really does show here.
Apart from the quality of the riding and the coaching on these DVDs, they have some of the best sound and video quality I have seen in a long time. Can’t really wait until the next rainy day to watch them again. Both DVDs are available from It stopped raining, so better get back out there and ride now

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Horsefloat safety

Having just come back from my latest successful outing with Compadre and having some spare time for a change, I thought I’d give the float a quick once over. I usually make sure the tires have air in them and nothing is about to fall off, but that is obviously not enough. Having a closer look at the tires showed some uneven wear. In fact if you have a closer look at the photo you can see some shiny bits which are the steel tread. 😮

I’ll blame this on Bignose, sorry meant Occy as if usually parks his fat behind near that wheel. Must admit the other tires look a bit worn also so may need to go tire shopping to keep pony safe.

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Out and About

Been a busy few weeks since Australia Day, which was the first competition this year and the last one I have been to so far.

The Australia Day dressage comp ended up being on the grass, so the footing was a little bit firm. Occy did ok under the circumstance, even though not as active as I would have liked him. We ended up about midfield for the level 2 and in the lower third of the field for the Level 1 test. But was happy with the transitions I was getting and got some nice comments from the spectators.

Had Club Rally since then and a session with Manolo Mendez (more about him here as well as training for an upcoming Showjumping Competition this weekend at Wyena plus trying to get Occy fit for a couple of horse trials.


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Filling out entry forms with a PDF Editor

I am always filling out entry forms, most of which are in a pdf format so I always needed to start afresh for every competition. Until now that is. I have just found Infix PDF Editor to make my life easier. I can now change edit and save a pdf entry form just like a normal Word document. I just have all my details and the horses details there permanently and now only need to enter the competition details. So much easier and quicker. Now back to riding. 🙂

ThatHorse: Cruise Control: Adjusting Cross-Country Speed

Here are some tips to helping you achieve the pace you want to ride successfully around your next cross country course. Plan your ride, know your speed to go the distance. Now you need to work out how you will ride that average speed. As you walk the course, try to get a sense of how it will flow and feel to ride. Where will you have to ride more slowly and where can you make up time. When you are galloping your horse along you will need to let them you know that a jump is approaching.

ThatHorse: Cruise Control: Adjusting Cross-Country Speed

Wandin November 2009 Horsetrials

Competed in the Wandin Horse trials in the Preliminary section on the last weekend in November. Saturday the weather was dry for the dressage. That was lucky as my farrier put new shoes on Compadre (Occy), unfortunately without studholes. The dressage test was ok, but nothing sparkling, especially after the Flowerbox incident at A, so we had to settle for 11th place after that phase. Up to the farriers that night and Occy had studholes by 8pm.

Wandin 2009 XC1

That was just as well as it rained overnight with the odd drizzle during the day. Even with the studs in we had a bit of a slip in the crosscountry warmup, but I had the best ride I ever had on Occy for the XC to come in clear and under time which moved us up to 2nd place.

Wandin 2009 XC2

We followed this up with a very nice and clear Showjumping round to stay in second place. The 1st place getter was about 15 points ahead, and as there is currently no way we could score in the high 70s for the dressage, we did as well as we could have, getting one of the 2 only clear clear rounds. Even the winner had time penalties Crosscountry. We scored a nice new Saddleblanket from Horseland for our troubles.

The Horse: Stretching Out the Kinks

There’s nothing like a good stretch -when you wake up in the morning, during breaks at work, or before and after your workout. In human physiology, we know about stretching and its benefits for the athlete. Many practitioners and physical therapists recommend stretching for their equine clients. Are the techniques really helpful, and if so, why? Or are we endangering our horses’ health with some of the stretches we make them do?

The Horse: Stretching Out the Kinks

The Horse: Navicular Bursography

Navicular disease once was called ‘the last resort of the diagnostically destitute (practitioner),’ based on the syndrome’s ambiguous symptoms and the practitioner’s inability to isolate definitely the source of the horse’s pain. In the 1980s, navicular disease was believed to be the most over-diagnosed lameness in American horses. The reason? You could never really be sure what was causing the lameness. Symptoms were lumped together; owners demanded a name to put on the lameness. This article provides an update on where things are at with research and prevention, read to the end to the “Big Picture” paragraph.

The Horse: Navicular Bursography

Australian 3 Day Event Adelaide

The corer at work preparing the ground to make the going better for the horses. With 39 degrees Celsius predicted for dressage and 34 for Crosscountry day the course has been shortened to about 8 minutes from 11.

On the first day of competition at the Australian International Horse Trials in Adelaide Megan Jones set a new International record for the new 4 star dressage test and leads by almost after 10 points after dressage. At the post dressage news conference the 4 front runners Megan Jones, Heath Ryan, Shane Rose, Sonja Johnston plus Event Organiser Gillian Rolton answered questions from the Media Pack. Most related to the shortening of the couurse due to continuing unseasonable heat. All felt comfortable with this and with riders at this level being able to gauge their horses wellbeing whilst competiting. Also none felt that the course was made too easy by the shortening, with plenty of questions still being asked of horse and rider.

 Show jumping day and it is predicted to be 40 again. Course walking. 

Stuart Tinney riding Vettori ended up winning the Australian International 3-Day Event in a tight finish with less than one time penalty separating from second place getter Megan Jones who took out second and third positions on Kirby Park Allofasudden and Kirby Park Irish Jester. The Australian team has emerged victorious against New Zealand in the Trans Tasman competition.

Complete pictures will be published soon at and