Antonine Trail Race – A Guest Post

Soooo I think I have whinged about my running injury quite enough on here but as it still hasn’t healed *kicks the ground like a toddler* I couldn’t run the Antonine Trail race this year – it was brilliant last year – but I have review guest post for you from a much better runner 🙂 Thanks Mark, I will be back on the start line next year!

“A few tearoom chats and emails between me and Steph earlier on in the year saw us plan to get our running gear on and battle our way through the 13.8 miles of the 2013 Antonine Trail Race. I had managed to get a sneaky freebie into this race thanks to a running friend of mine conveniently having a bun in the oven until December J. Unfortunately, close to the event, Steph had to bail out due to injury and very kindly offered her place to my friend, Ally Cameron. A massive thank you to Steph and my pregnant friend for letting us run in this race!

Unusually for me Sunday 20th October started out as a nice and relaxed race day. With an 11am race start, less than an hour’s drive away, all was calm. I’m a competitive guy and so I sneaked a quick peek at the race results from last year. My target time, in my weird competitive and delusional head, would have taken me to 3rd place in 2012! Happy days, however, darker times were ahead…

Trying to look professional and jostling with the club runners I legged it as the start gun went off. The route below is what faced us…

Elevation profile

It was a quick first mile. I suddenly realised that the guy in 1st place was already out of sight; so was the 2nd, and the 3rd, and the 4th…you get the picture. I settled in knowing that this was going to be a harder race than I had planned. Several days of rain had set up a muddy course and the running shoes felt heavy after only a couple of wet and muddy miles. Still I soldiered on and was relatively comfortable apart from a few wrong turns!! Thankfully the wrong turns were only 50-100m or so and didn’t have me too frustrated (unlike the 2nd place guy last year who went a half mile off course!).

The miles clicked off and, having done a slow ‘recce’ run the week before I’d thought the first major hill kicked in at 10.5 miles; I was wrong. I’d planned to ease off a bit before the hill but it came upon me fast and I had no choice but to go for it. The climb at the end was horrific and I had to stop due to retching! Thankfully nothing came up and I plodded along, enjoying the downhill mile or so before the next hill. I had nothing in the tank for the second hill (Croy Hill) so I decided to walk it and enjoy the view. I think, and I may have been hallucinating, that I could see both Edinburgh AND Glasgow from the top of Croy Hill. After another nice downhill section I knew I only had a mile and a half or so left so I settled in for the slog home.

Finish line in sight and no-one behind me I took it easy and crossed the line in a respectable 9th place (out of 156) and a time of 1:43:07; tired but happy with my run. My mate, sorry Steph, finished in 12th place at 1:45:08; what a great run “Steph”! *Steph – wow! I should fall over more often 🙂

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Me at the finish looking like a drowned rat…

Again thank you very much to Steph for the chance to run; see you on the start line in 2014!!”

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Circles, loops and inclines

A riding post. It has been a while.  I was riding last week but had thought I would wait until after my weekend lesson to update but unfortunately succumbed to the cold-y, flu-y virus that is working its way round and couldn’t ride on Saturday. Last week’s lesson was fun, it was a semi-private and while I had never ridden with the woman before she was lovely and really pleasant to be in a lesson with. Also we are both riding Td in the dressage league so we have christened ourselves “Team Td”. Only one of us could ride him in the lesson though and she won that honour. She did really well at the weekend so I am raring to go with the dressage training, my first session is at the start of November.

Due to the fact that we were both doing the dressage league and that my riding buddy for the day hadn’t done the test previously we mainly worked on the test and understanding which rein the horses were better on, how to land accurately, keep forward momentum and of course keep them interested. I had Am, who I actually rode in the test the last time (and for some reason even though I keep saying I’m not riding her again my instructor keeps thinking I am). While maybe not great for the test I have developed a huge soft spot for Am and think that we are starting to get on a little better. By this I mean she doesn’t immediately try and bite me 🙂

It was a good lesson but I was very tired by the end of it, unusually so. This it seems was the start of the virus so now I don’t feel so bad for momentarily forgetting how to check I am on the correct diagonal. I did however have another really good canter and on Am’s “bad” rein, I am definitely becoming more relaxed and being able to push her on. We now transition back to trot when I decide to rather than because it seems easier to her.

With the weekend being a write off due to pathetic illness (honestly, I am pretty rubbish at being ill, I become all pathetic and won’t stop eating satsumas – it is an odd addiction but I love them) I was all fired up to ride yesterday. Even FirstBus and their amazing crapness couldn’t stop me having a great lesson once I was there. Due to the various bus shenanigans (reaaaallly need to learn to drive) I had a short but intense lesson yesterday which was actually good as I had to focus immediately.

We were working on getting her bending correctly and getting her to soften into the contact, oh and also obviously working on my posture. My posture has improved massively since doing the physio exercises and stretches plus keeping the pilates movements smaller rather than going for the toughest moves. It is starting to feel pretty natural to sit straight in the saddle!

So we worked on circles – firstly decreasing in size then leg yielding back out and changing the rein by half ten metre circles. Working on both reins and seeing if I could get her to come to me more. It did work and she definitely started listening and responding to me better, still not 100% I would maybe say 70%.

Next up some leg yielding on the three quarter lines then no leg yielding coming up the three quarter line as AM has a tendency to sometimes leg yield away anyway. It went pretty well actually although I didn’t get her looking to the centre far enough. We also did some shallow loops again to work on me bending her with my body, then putting in a walk transition then off in the trot again and changing the rein using the half circle and incline back to the track. Suddenly I got told ‘And, canter on’ and had to ask Am for canter – basically a sneaky ploy from my instructor to ensure that I had Am active enough to strike off. We had a great long canter on both reins although the second canter I had to ask twice as she ignored my first ask but on both of them I got a lovely position. It is definitely the focusing on the breathing that is helping that part as I am relaxing more.

As part of the wind down I was making Am walk around while I closed my eyes, this is part of my instructor trying to teach me to feel for the active walk. It was incredibly disorientating as Am walked into a fence at one point 🙂

Unfortunately I didn’t get to make as big a fuss of her as she deserved as I was getting a lift part of the way back up the road so left her in the capable hands of one of the helpers. Am is definitely becoming a firm favourite.

Oh and a final thought, remember when I posted about riding without reins – well my instructor posted a picture of her jumping lesson on her horse where she has no stirrups nor reins! They are not small jumps either – all I can say ‘wow’!! I am also a little scared, I hope she doesn’t get any ideas!!

Human Friendly Fashion

HFFB logo

So today is the day, blog action day and I decided to sign up to Ms Wanda’s human-friendly fashion blog challenge. I had been hoping to write about ethical sportswear but unfortunately most of the companies I have emailed haven’t responded yet, that gets to be another post then. So this is my blog post about the importance of human friendly fashion, I hope you enjoy it.

The Rana Plaza tragedy back in April of this year gave a horrific worldwide platform to something that has been happening for years. It brutally showed the true reason why fashion has been able to become so fast and so cheap for some. It displayed the cost of the new style of consumerism which is the lives of others and that where lives are not lost there is a world of terrible working conditions, little pay and no job security.

I suppose I fail to understand why we want our fashion to do this the lives of others.

Now I won’t pretend that I am perfect in my shopping habits, I am not yet satisfied with my wardrobe’s ethics but I have changed how I shop. From the slowing down of my fashion purchases to the focusing of how what I spend my money affects others. I am part of a sustainability challenge this year which has shone a spotlight on my own shopping habits and I have been trying to use my ‘coupons’ on items from ethical and local companies, trying to feel more of a connection to the items I am buying. After all someone made these items and considering my attempts at sewing I am very grateful that they do!

It comes down in the end to what we think a skilled worker creating a garment is worth. The more investigating that I do the more firmly I believe that somehow we have got our fashion focus wrong. Why are we buying so many new items that are never worn? Why are the ‘must-have’ tags that rile me everywhere I turn? Why ‘must’ we have it? And more telling why next week is it a different item we ‘must-have’? Behind all of these items is a person working to give us these items, we should have more respect for that.

I believe that when people talk of the ‘democratisation of fashion’ – that you can get a piece of fashion from the high street or supermarket incredibly similar to trends on the catwalks within weeks if not days of a show – they tend to forget about the production of a piece. When did we become so disconnected to the items we wear to help express ourselves? The democratisation of fashion only stretches so far it appears.

On a positive note though if you do want to enjoy fashion differently there has never been a better time. Between ethical companies and a flourishing second-hand/vintage sector you now have choices unavailable even a few years ago. I want to mention just a couple of ethical brands that I personally enjoy shopping with!

People Tree

Based in the UK and with strong links to Japan is People Tree. A stalwart of fair trade fashion and of my wardrobe it is a company trying to turn our fashion model on its head while producing pieces that are stylish and covetable.

This dress is one of the dresses I get most compliments on! Beautiful.
This dress is one of the dresses I get most compliments on! Beautiful.

Emma Nissim

Another much smaller company I stumbled across while visiting one of my best mate’s in London. Tucked away in Greenwich there is a shop for Emma Nissim, initially I thought it was just lovely screen prints but delve a little deeper and you realise that the clothes are made ethically and printed in London. One of my favourite jerseys this one!

Emma Nissim - Queen Francis Jumper, brilliant fun ethical item.
Emma Nissim – Queen Francis Jumper, brilliant fun ethical item.

Traid Remade

I wanted to mention Traid Remade as well, I have posted this picture of their leggings before for the Wartime Wardrobe Challenge but wanted to mention them again as they were not only lovely to deal with but make all their clothes from discarded fabric and I love that ethos.

Leggings
Traid Remade Leggings – beautiful trash (well kind of trash)

Rapanui

Finally in my list of companies in today’s post is Rapanui. I cam across this company purely by chance and now I adore them. They are a relatively young company but with great sustainable policies, they have just launched a recycling initiative where you can send them your old Rapanui tshirts to be recycled. That is fantastic in my opinion, it is like full circle fashion – a company that does great pieces and advocates not buying everything then when you are done send it back to be recycled. I like this fashion model.

Rapanui t-shirts are suitable for everything!
Rapanui t-shirts are suitable for everything!

This isn’t even an exhaustive list of the companies I think do great pieces and help push the ethical clothing agenda, there are so many out there. So my challenge to others, before you buy your items from your usual stores why not try to find an ethical alternative? It isn’t difficult and often you can end up with a more unique item you will treasure even more.

Slow down fashion consumption (allowing for longer turn around times in factories), pay a little more (and ensure that the money goes to the involved people making the garment) and source from companies who are doing their bit. I prefer to shop away from the high street most of the time but there are bigger brands doing their bit to improve workers rights. (Lucy Siegle at the Guardian has done a great recent set of articles looking at some of the major brands whose clothing is produced in Bangladesh, have a read – interesting stuff).

In the end I think we have to all wonder if the item of clothing is worth what we are doing to others in order to have it that fast and at that price? Human friendly fashion folks, it is the way forward!

September Wartime Wardrobe Challenge – Oh Dear!

So it is that time of the month, time for a wartime wardrobe challenge round-up. This month is the month that I have…..drum-roll please……you guessed it….spent all my coupons! All I can say is wow, I actually didn’t expect to spend all my coupons this year let alone spent them all by September and I certainly didn’t expect to spend the amount on clothing that I have so far this year! I genuinely thought I didn’t spend that much on clothing or do that much shopping, and perhaps I don’t in relation to other consumers but I buy more than I need and I still don’t think my purchases through as much as I should. It is depressing for me to note that had I not spent the money I have on clothes I could afford my funked up single speed (bizarrely I hate fixies, I like free-wheeling me)!

So a quick September round up for you. Well after managing not fall foul of the Joules discount shop or the brilliant choice of jodphurs I found in the Lakes while on holiday I was quite pleased with myself. My jodphurs less pleased as on one pair the zip has gone entirely leading to me having to ensure I always wear long tops with those ones or risk flashing my underwear to my fellow riders. My happiness turned out to be short lived as on the 2nd of September I spent 5 coupons on a pair of adidas hi-tops, barely even pausing to remember the ethical question marks over adidas. Basically my old hi-tops were done, my old converse trainers were done – so badly smelling that Mr Inelegant Horse Rider commented on them during breakfast at the hotel we were staying in. When I found a zebra-print pair it was all i could do to stop myself from jumping up and down with excitement (depressingly I might have actually done this but please don’t judge). So I parted with my cash then paused outside the shop and wondered about what I had done. I love my hi-tops and have worn them a lot but…well come on, I thought I had managed to stop this part of my shopping habits.

Zebra print hi-tops
The guilt inducing hi-tops!

So other than that, my eBay habit continues. I reckon unless someone changes my passwords that I am just going to have to go on a detox. So that’s it, I have made my last clothing bid on eBay tonight. (I can’t give up entirely just now – a phase out approach). I got a beautiful blue skirt and great green jumper, pictures are below. I decided I want some colour again as it felt my wardrobe was getting a bit grey and black again.

Monsoon fusion bright green jumper
Bright green jumper! Cropped and a bit vintage, 50s style – I love it!
Bright blue skirt
Brand new skirt with tags! Top tip read the listings properly.

Now I know that the vintage/second-hand market is not going to solve many, if any, of the sustainability issues surrounding clothing but it is still better than buying new. But the blue skirt was brand new with tags! I didn’t read the listing quite correctly, I think I was blinded by the colour 🙂 So now that’s it! In fact I crept into the black market clearly as I managed to spend 0.5 coupons over.

September and that’s all the coupons gone! No new running trainers for me (not running so not really an issue) and no new underwear, tights or socks! Vintage and second hand shopping may still occur but I am making a deal with myself, no eBaying but I can still go to the charity and vintage shops. Hopefully this will mean that I enjoy wandering the rails and maybe grabbing a bargain. On another note I have managed to spill sauce all over my bright green dress that I wear when I am off somewhere fancy, let’s hope the cleaners manage to get the stains out as just now I’m not sure what I am wearing to a ball in November – do you reckon anyone would judge me if I went in my pyjamas??

WWC Coupons: -0.5! I am on the black market now folks 😦

Judy’s Vintage Nation – Some Thoughts

So on Sunday I headed to a vintage fair, Judy’s Vintage Nation with a couple of friends. It was well advertised through discount websites such as ItIsOn and a few of the local businesses I follow on Facebook had been posting on it. The Facebook page talked about lots of stalls of clothing, bric-a-brac and furniture alongside a stand by Miss Dixiebelle’s Vintage Hair and Beauty – very gutted we didn’t get appointments with them, live music and refreshments. It sounded like a good day out.

Telephones
One of the few object stalls, I did really fancy one of these phones!

Well, for us it was a bit of a disappointment. I had hoped for interesting items of clothing but we felt there wasn’t a wide range of items although some stalls were much better than others. We did all pick up a bargain but I have to say some of the items did seem to be over priced. There weren’t many stalls selling objects and all of us had been hopeful to pick up some bits and pieces for our flats and with my mates’ good spotting skills I had hoped to get some things to brighten up my kitchen but to no avail.

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Busy busy busy

I did get this beautiful beaded top which I plan to wear with my jeans and I did see one or two other items but it got very busy, very quickly and when people grab something just as you are reaching for it, it all seems a little hectic for me.

Beaded Vest

To calm the pace we decided to have some coffee and cake, unfortunately this stand was proving to be one of the most popular and we waited for around twenty minutes to be served. This was not the fault of the lovely people on the stall but it was the only place to get coffee and cake. That was always going to be popular so it would have seemed sensible to have had another place selling these kinds of things. Also when we did order we got instant coffee while others seemed to be getting cafetière coffee, I would just say that to charge that much for instant coffee seemed a bit cheeky. The scones were okay and the cake my friend had was nice.

Judy's Vintage Nation
Busier, get your elbows sharpened folks!

So all in all not a particularly successful day out, none of us would recommend going to this event and we felt that the earlybird ticket price (£3) was ok but perhaps a little expensive given the size of space and the stalls there.

Miss Dixiebelle Vintage Beauty and Hair
Glamour! One of the best bits about the fair
Mates!
Smiles after much delayed coffee and cake!

I do however think the event has potential, there was a nice wee area to customise your vintage pieces (I wouldn’t have put it right next to the doors but that’s just me) and the beauty stand was constantly busy with everyone looking brilliant. Just better refreshments (everyone will want coffee and cake) and more stalls with more objects please! But there are worse ways to spend Sundays than hanging out with your mates wherever you are! 🙂

Reins? Nah I don’t need those

So this was the first week of the 2 lessons a week plan. My plan is to have a private lesson during the week then a group lesson/hack at the weekend, this combined with the dressage league should help me improve my riding skills over the winter so that come spring…. well that’s currently up for debate but I will keep you posted.

On Wednesday throughout my day at work the sky kept darkening with each hour, it was beginning to feel a bit inevitable that I was going to get soaked during this lesson. I made it to the stables slightly late then had to rush to get changed. I had been given Am and she was in a particularly bad mood today taking a couple of chances to swipe at me while I did my stirrups. It is interesting to me that I have improved my handling of Am in recent weeks, it is one of those things that you get nervous when you haven’t dealt with her for a while but most of the time you can catch her before she takes a chunk out of your arm.

My private lessons are always hard work, it is the usual thing that you can’t get away with anything when it is just you. We were focusing on getting the inside bend and working on my body position. This meant lots of circles and getting Am to work from my body to turn not my reins, I was finding this tough – my hips are still very tight – but I began to feel her soften on the inside rein and it felt brilliant. Suddenly her trot felt like she was springing forward and taking me with her rather than me pushing her on. My instructor explained she was starting to work up to meet me instead of me tipping forward to meet her. So after that my instructor decided to do something different to work on my body position and specifically my arm position – she took my reins away. She tied them up on Am’s neck and told me to guide her with my body and relax my arms by my sides, that whole experience was strange as I kept trying to reach for the reins. Next I was trotting, still without reins but holding my arms where I should when carrying the reins, this was a good way to show how my reins really are a back up and the main direction should come from my body.

When I got my reins back for the canter I was told to maintain my frame and not bring my shoulders forward. We did some good canter transitions, I really felt she was listening and the one time she hesitated to strike off I managed to back up the ask quick enough for her to still strike off in the canter. The only difficulty with Am is that she would happily jog around the school the whole day and if you don’t get the canter in the first corner you are best to slow her right down else you find yourself whirling around the school with no canter but an incredibly fast trot. I am still bouncing a bit in the canter when in the school and I was trying to work on that with varying success, I am sure that once my hips have loosened off I should improve with this – well I hope so.

When we finished Am decided she was done and I had to push her on even walking around the school and the yard. Then it was an irritating time while I untacked her and put her rug on, she again swung around to attempt to bite me twice and when I put her out into the field she was so impatient she tried to shake the head collar off. *Sigh* a great horse but she sometimes has a way of showing you that she just wants to be left alone! On the plus side it only started to rain once I was on the bus heading back into the city.

I decided to cycle to the stables on the Saturday morning for an early lesson, I couldn’t do the two hour hack as I had arranged to go to a vintage fair – more on that in a later post. I got there a bit early and was told I had Am today and that, excitingly, they were bringing the new horse Ft into our lesson with one of the instructors on him. He had arrived on the Friday and while a fit horse he hadn’t done much work in a school rather being used for hacking so he was getting taught how to work in the school. We were warned that we had to avoid him as it wasn’t fair for him to have to try and avoid us, we were also going ot have the owner of the stables in the lesson to observe him and we would have to work in file for part of the lesson – which was strange as it has been a while.

I was told to work on the inside bend again with Am but it didn’t really come in this lesson. I tried to keep pushing her on but she seemed laboured, my instructor kept explaining to us that it is not healthy for the horses to plod around the school so while initially it feels difficult pushing them on, it is better for them. Am started moving better for me but I was getting frustrated with some of the other people in my lesson (not very fair but hey), one girl kept forgetting to pass left to left and would cut me off in the middle of my school movements making me have to pull up or try to push Am past her. These things sometimes make me lose the focus I have on what I should be working on and it happened in this lesson, which may be why I didn’t get the inside bend correctly. I guess I might be used to riding with my group which means that I trust them to move out of the way or to miss me but I don’t always trust other riders.

Anyway, we were told to come together for the canter exercises in file with Ft at the front. It was quite sweet as he wasn’t sure he was allowed to canter and had to be asked repeatedly. He was only cantering the long sides of the school rather than the corners and he seemed to have excellent brakes. Unfortunately after watching him being ridden by an experienced rider it was Am and I’s turn, I got the transition well but I was bouncing around a lot and didn’t get the corners well – a bit gutted it would be fair to say. My instructor said it looked like I froze and stopped my arms moving, she suggested trying to relax into it more and perhaps have a more active trot for the next canter.

So after a swift change of rein it was time for another canter. This time I actually nailed it!! I am so super chuffed with this canter – I reckon only fellow horse riders will get this – but when the transition goes beautifully and it feels powerful but controlled, you are right into the corners, you are sitting in the saddle well and the transition back is well planned and come together perfectly. I got a ‘beautiful!’ from my instructor and the spark in Am was brilliant (shame it was the end of the lesson). I was grinning like a cheshire cat for the rest of the lesson and beyond. Am got a nice lavender wash and didn’t try to bite me once, preferring to stare out into the fields from her stable. Indeed she actually gave me a wee nuzzle as I left her.

Unfortunately the stables are closed for a week now, what will I do?? 🙂 But at least I feel like I go on the break on a little bit of a high, next plan of action – learn to drive, that cycle out to the stables is ok just now but I imagine in January I won’t be so keen.

Wheels and whips

Saturday was an interesting one. I set out with my friend for a 60 mile cycle out from Edinburgh to the Falkirk Wheel and back. Now to me 60 miles is a lot, a lot a lot. The furthest I have ever cycled prior to this being the 24 miles to and from the stables last Sunday after which I fell asleep on my living room floor. Still, we had promised to do this route since our attempt in August failed and as Saturday dawned with gorgeous blue skies and sunshine we couldn’t have picked a better day!
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The route from Edinburgh to the Falkirk Wheel follows the tow path along the canal and is pretty flat for the whole route, but that doesn’t mean boring. The scenery was beautiful and it was relatively quiet although when we approached one of the towns along the route it did get a little busier. After the punctures fiasco of last time this time we were fine and seemed to making quite good time, we stopped in Linlithgow for five minutes and realised that our calculations on distance had been slightly off! Looking at the distance we had come (26.5 miles) and the distance still to go to the wheel (11.5 miles) something didn’t add up to the 60 miles. We both felt fine though and as we had set out to cycle to the Falkirk Wheel we decided to cycle on wards and when we arrived back in Linlithgow we could hop on a train then.
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There is a horrible tunnel for about half a mile on this route, I had randomly had a check on the internet about this route and it had recommended lights and thank god it had! My night vision is close to non-existent and I find tunnels very disorientating so I was pleased to arrive out the other side into the sunshine in one piece and without having taken an unexpected bath! When we arrived at the Falkirk Wheel it was great, a busy place with families and tourists enjoying the autumn sunshine, it was lovely.
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After some average food – I wouldn’t write home about it but it gave me energy – we then enjoyed an ice cream slider in the sunshine. That was awesome and a real plus side to cycling rather than running (not often allowed to stop and eat ice cream).

On the cycle back we stopped for a little longer on Scotland’s highest aqueduct to enjoy the view.
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Back in Linlithgow I was feeling ok so we decided to cycle the whole return journey but whew at the 60 odd mile mark my right arm started to really seize up, it wasn’t a problem just more of a niggle that meant we had to slow a bit and I kept stretching it while on the bike. Once back in Edinburgh I couldn’t help cheering as we cycled through the city centre we did every so often just shout out ’75 miles’ at startled shoppers but I was soo chuffed. I loved it, definitely going to do more cycling – it was just great fun. Even once I am back running I want to continue to cycle.

So a quick riding update as well. Since clearly cycling 75 miles wasn’t enough for me in one weekend I also had my normal horse riding lesson on Sunday. I felt surprisingly good  –  Monday I was a wreck but that’s different – and I was given Td. I love Td, I always forget how much I enjoy riding him but he makes me smile, he makes me work but makes me smile. He was in a sluggish mood as I took him out his stable, he just kept giving me a look implying that I was terrible for taking him to the mounting block.

This week there was an interesting addition to the lesson, the lunge whip that my instructor was holding in the middle of the school. This was mainly to get MJ to move but it had a similar effect on all the horses all of whom were a bit slow mainly down to the heat. It has been pretty cold then suddenly back up to the mid-teens. Td’s reaction was very funny, while all the others simply trotted faster Td decided we should canter and set off down the school. I had him under control but it was very funny as he kept half an eye on the instructor at all times and during the canter exercises kept skipping to the side to avoid being even in the same half of the school. Due to my injuries of late a lot of focus was on me getting myself sitting straight and back in the saddle. I have really tight hips at the minute but hoping that this will improve as it is making me bounce more in the canter than I am used to. Once I got the correct seat with Td we were flying in the canter, he is so eager to please and will always try – although when I think about it I think we have unexpectedly cantered every time I ride Td. It was a really fun lesson although we didn’t work on anything in particular I really enjoyed the combination of sunshine and Td!

An older picture but a good one! Smile Td!
An older picture but a good one! Smile Td!

A couple of pieces of riding news I am upping my riding to twice a week, which should be interesting. I am hoping for a clear improvement and have my first regular private lesson today. The other piece of news is that there is a winter dressage league being started, which is similar to the dressage evenings I blogged about before but will happen once a month throughout the winter meaning we can hopefully track improvement and work on various things. I chose Td to do the first one on, a harder prospect than Am but still a good one.

Well today looks like it might be a wet lesson as the sky is darkening out there! Wish me luck that the rain stays off!