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Pony Priority - May Blog

After a very busy and tiring April, May was a time to take it slightly easier for Tilly for a couple of weeks while I concentrated on my two final exams at University. Tilly very much enjoyed her time hacking around the lanes and eating in the field!

When I finished my exams and Tilly was having an easier time and, as she has been clear of any problems for the last 6 months, we decided that it would be a great opportunity to re-scope her to see if everything inside was doing as well as we were feeling on the outside during our work. Tilly lives for her food so being starved for 12 hours beforehand did not go down too well at all! Alex Wood from B&W Equine Vets came out to scope Tilly first thing in the morning and was so pleased with the results to see that the scaring from the Botfly larvae damage had completely gone and the area was completely healed. She also had a very healthy looking pylorus, on the original scope this was showing signs of soreness and inflammation. Like the true drama queen Tilly is she had the worlds biggest nose bleed! Luckily Alex was not as concerned as I was about the blood! So minus Tilly’s drama we were very pleased with the outcome and proves that our management of her situation is working well.

After being free from uni work, time to play ponies has been the top priority! We have continued to train with Helen James and have had some great lessons. We felt the time had come to move Tilly on to the next level so we concentrated on moving her up to novice level. During our training we worked hard on making her more sharp and responsive to my aids due to being a typical mare when things should really be done on her terms!  

We also attended a British Young Riders Dressage Scheam training session this month at Hollow Farm. I had Debbie James as my trainer and it was great to have a new perspective on our training. We worked hard on improving and building on her lateral work, which has continued to be a massive help in making her more supple in her work. We also ran through our squad test and gained our personal best of 82.3% which I was over the moon with. 

We finished the month by competing in two novice classes. For our first class we didn’t have the best warm up and ran out of time, which meant that Tilly was slightly too strong and decided to  be in her ‘mare mood’ and take over during the test. The test ran smoothly but I felt I lacked control of the movements and  we also put in an unrequired flying change! We still managed a score of 62.71% which was less than I had hoped but it gives us a basis to improve on.  And the score can also be used as our first qualification towards the PetPlan Area festival later on in the summer.

Our second test was the free style to music which we were very excited about as we had some new music made by Tony Hobden from Equidance. We had a combination of The Muskateers and Poldark! I had learnt from my mistakes in the previous test so we had a longer warm up were I could spend time on really getting Tilly listen to me. Luckily it worked! The test couldn’t have ran better the music fitted perfectly. We gained some good marks for our music choice and floor plan and our first part of our winter regional qualification with a score of 68.89% . You can listen to our music here.

I also attend one of “Who are you going to call”  demo evenings this month at the Breadstone Clinic with Dicky Hepburn and Anna Davison.

The talk was based on neurological problems and physio advice. It was such an informative evening. We saw a demo on a horse to see what the signs of neurological issues were and how they would test for it. We then saw a demo with Anna who showed us good ways to develop the horses core through the use on an equiband.

Inspired by the talk I decided to do some core work with Tilly the next day while doing hill work.  She was a little confused about the tight band around her legs but definitely made a big difference to her while working. I’m planning to continue to use this during my training. The next "Who You Gonna Call" evening is on feet on the 27th June - you can buy tickets here

Hope everyone has had a good May and enjoys the sun in June!

Jess x   

You can follow me and Tilly on our Facebook page: Tiarella Dressage 

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