Tag Archives: equestrian

Just another Amateur Show Jumper – Spring has Sprung

Just another amateur showjumper – Spring has sprung

Spring is in the air and early morning rides before work are much more pleasant (ie I can
actually feel my fingers and toes and am not questioning my sanity every stride). The
negative is that dust seems to stick to my face quite easily, and I have shown up to work
multiple times with a dirt beard. It would be remiss of me to talk about spring and not talk
about the joys having two mares in full work. Let’s just say I am super glad they can’t talk,
because I am pretty sure I would cop a mouthful.

Since my previous blog, I spent a week feeling sooky over my performance at the NSW State Titles. However the universe put my issues into perspective after a close friend and a family
member have faced/are facing some really serious health related issues. So after giving
myself a much needed kick up the bum, I readjusted my attitude and got on with it.
Mid November I took the mares to the local jump club.

I jumped Narnia her around the 1m and the 1.10m class as a way of continuing to get her
confidence back to where it was pre-titles. One of my biggest lessons I have learnt jumping
horses is that you should never worry about stepping them back. I have seen many a horse be
ruined by people who continue to step their horses up or give their horses less than adequate
rides without some form of consolidation (then wonder why their horses are dogging it “all of
a sudden”). Anyway, thankfully a month of going well and truly back to basics has paid off
and Narnia was back to her normal self. Bless her, she genuinely loves her job, which makes
training a lot easier. So next event all going well I’ll step her back up to her 1.20ms.

 

 

I also think I am finally starting to click with Celeste (the mare that I ride but don’t own).
She is a quirky mare who I have grown to really enjoy. I call myself a bit of a ‘slow burn’
kind of rider, and she is an example of a horse that I have taken along slowly.

I have seen footage of Sam Lyle jumping Celeste around the 1.20m mark, but I have been
sticking to low heights. Some would say I am being too cautious or not using her to the best
of her ability (or maybe just a crap rider). However in my opinion, until I can get her mind
where I want it, there is no point asking her to jump higher. Plus being a mum has definitely
brought some caution into what I do.

It is no longer just me that I have to think about. Sure she can jump 1.20m but just because a horse “can” do something, it doesn’t automatically mean it should. Sam Lyle has more talent in his little toe than I have in my entire existence,
so it would be mighty presumptuous to think just because the horse jumped the height with
him, that I would be able to do it right away.

So I have focused on getting the basics right with her first. To me I would rather do a nice
round at 90cms, than have an absolute shocker at a higher height. In any case, Celeste jumped
well and did two clear rounds. She is still getting a little strong, but it is a manageable kind of
strong which I am ok with. I expect the more we do the better she will get. She just needs to
be more consistent in her rhythm at this stage, and I need to trust myself more and keep my
shoulders up (as my coach yelled at me from across the field).

 

 

Other news is that my young gelding Nifty just turned 3. He is the first horse that I have bred
and I am excited to finish breaking him in. He is out of my mare Statford Narnia (Statford
Novalis) by Glenara Gold Dust (Balou Du Rouet). The plan for the next 12 months is to
continue his education and finish breaking him in over summer, spell him through
autumn/winter, and bring him back into work as a 4 year old.

So watch this space for some serious training in the next few blogs.

 

Fiona is wearing the Tallow Breeches in Black

Taylah and Sym – Back in the Game!!

Things have been super busy with work and competitions. I started two new jobs early September, they are both my dream jobs, working casual positions with one riding beautiful home bred performance horses and the other at a race horse spelling, breeding, pre training and re training property in Berry. Learning about the breeding program and being involved with the foal work is something I have never done and love learning about. I am also lucky enough to be riding the gorgeous pre trainers and the re trainers.

 

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Jessie Smith and her Dressage Scholarship

On the 29th of October, I received a letter telling me that my recent application for Equestrian SA’s Youth Development Dressage Scholarship had been successful, and that Stormy and I were one of the 10 state-wide finalists to receive a weekend of coaching with well-known Victorian based dressage coach and rider Dirk Dijkstra. I was so incredibly surprised by this, as I had applied knowing we were so unlikely to get in, hoping that it may just get my name out there a little bit.

 

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We had 2 weeks to prepare, and very early on Saturday the 12th of November we set off to McLaren Vale. The weekend was being held at the beautiful McLaren Vale Equestrian Park. The stables were AMAZING, and the indoor arena was incredible to ride on! We had two lessons with Dirk, an individual on Saturday and a group lesson on Sunday.

Stormy absolutely worked the house down in both of his lessons, I was so so happy with how he took in the atmosphere, working in a new indoor with a number of people all sitting in a scary grandstand like he had done it all before. Of course Storm was the only Standardbred there, however he didn’t let this phase him, and he showed everyone what he is made of! In our first lesson we continued to work on flexion and bend, and he thoroughly enjoyed a long canter! I had an interview on Sunday morning with Dirk and the co-selector Jan Gilligan, before we had another lesson. In our second lesson we got the chance to show everyone more of what he is capable of. We were given the opportunity to leg yield, shoulder in and work on his trot extensions. Storm felt fantastic in his leg yields, allowing us the opportunity to start a little bit of half pass. His shoulder ins are coming along in leaps and bounds, however it is incredibly difficult without my leg when we are on the right rein. We have continued to work on these things at home and with Megan, and he just gets better and better.

 

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The winner of the scholarship is announced at the ESA awards night early next year (good excuse to buy a dress and get my hair done!), however Storm and I are just so incredibly thankful to have been given this opportunity! Storm and I made many new friends, and had a fantastic weekend together. If Storm continues to train like he did at the scholarship weekend the sky is the limit (funny saying I am writing this whilst on a plane to Equitana!).

We are competing at a dressage competition at Mt Crawford next weekend (26th of November), and then have three more hack shows, the last being on December 11. Hopefully we will have success at these competitions, theoretically we should do ok, but it is forever changing!

 

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Welcome to the NEW Wilson Equestrian Website!

And we are away!

 

Welcome to the Brand Spanking New Wilson Equestrian Website.  It was a little harder to put together then I initially thought, and i’ve had to learn a whole new data base, but i’m getting the hang of things now and so they will only start to look better and better for the future!

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Welcome to the Team Cameron Dignam!!

When 15 year old Cami kept hanging around Tayhla and we kept seeing her time after time at shows with a fantastic attitude and improvement everywhere she went, I asked her if she would like to be involved in our Catalogue shoot.  What she didn’t know is that I had planned to ask her to come on board with Wilson Equestrian as our 4th Team Rider.  She was stoked!!

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Welcome to the Team Tayhla Vuleta!!

We would like to welcome Tayhla Vuleta to our Wilson Equestrian Team!

3 of our Team Riders, Tayhla, Cami and Rohini feature in our 2014/2015 Catalogue photoshoot and we are so happy to have them on board. They are fantastic ambassadors for the Wilson Equestrian Brand.

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Welcome to the Team Rohini Crombie!!

When we were first thinking about the type of person that we wanted to be a Team Rider for Wilson Equestrian I thought about Rohini. She is a little more ‘mature’ but has been around horses for a long time, she loves to match her product and she would give me accurate feedback on how a product is to ride in wear, durability and overall style. Continue reading