Andrea – The Sand Arena Ballerina Straight and Early

This month has been somewhat on the quite side horse wise, between rain which has cancelled the first competitions of the season and clinics and me travelling away for work and a conference. However there have been some exciting developments.



Mid way through the month we had a clinic with the wonderful Dani Keogh. This clinic happened to be running on the Sunday and Monday following a crazy week at work which meant that quite unusually for me, I had only managed to squeeze in one ride in the whole week. I was a little unsure as to just how well Nonie would go, as typically after a few days off she likes to try and trick me into holding her together. I was totally thrilled that we were able to continue to progress the work in the medium trot, half pass, counter canter and flying changes. Nonie’s strength has really grown over the last few months and it was evident in the work we produced under Dani’s expert guideance.

Monday morning’s lesson was scheduled for 5am, in order to allow me to get to work on time after wards. Those who know me will attest to the fact that I am not a morning persons, but I managed to drag myself out of bed at 4am and headed off into the chilly darkness. I went out clad in my Emerald super stick breeches and a nice warm vest and began saddling up under the light on the moon. I’m no stranger to finishing in the dark, but it is quite a different experience at the other end of the day. We were rewarded for our early start when we began to work on the canter pirouettes! We only managed a one or two strides in the pirouette, but it was a seriously incredible feeling.



Two key theme’s emerged for me from these lessons, the first was straightness I’m learning now more than ever that it is the basis of everything in dressage. The second was the importance of pushing beyond your comfort zone.

Earlier this year my mum made the decision to upgrade to a new angle load horse float, which in turn meant that I was able to upgrade to her old horse float. My old float has served me well but doesn’t really have enough storage space, actually it doesn’t have any at all, which makes the long trips we do slightly cramped. My father in law who was travelling back from the Sunshine Coast kindly offered to bring the new float back with him and it arrived the afternoon of my second lesson. I am now the proud owner of a Kara Kar extended float with a tack box at the front. My partner Steve who is an electrician is working on getting it hooked up to electricity. Safe to say our next trip away is going to seem pretty luxurious.

Last but not least my latest order arrived and it did not disappoint. Somehow, I reached that point where I only had a few pairs of breeches that were in good enough condition to use on a regular basis, so I ordered two pairs of the Super Stick Seat Wilson Equestrian Breeches one in ice teal and the other in grey. I’ve ridden in them a few times and am loving the new and improved design with its higher waist, but the same incredible stretch.



We are absolutely itching to get back into the competition ring, with our first outing planned for early July. In the mean time, if you would like to keep up to date with our goings on and to see the Wilson Equestrian products in action, be sure to follow Nonie and I over at the Sand Arena Ballerina at Facebook ( and Instagram (@the_sand_arena_ballerina).

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