After a hectic November we decided that December was a time for us all to chill out, have fun and take the pressure off. At the start of December we had a fantastic lesson with Sara-Jane Lanning, as well as looking at all the medium work we had been practicing we moved on to looking at flying changes again and worked on exercises that eventually will lead towards canter pirouettes. He felt fantastic and it’s so exciting and rewarding to know that all the work that has got him to this stage is our own.
We decided that the rest of the month would be spent keeping him enjoying his work and doing a variety of different things so that he stayed sweet and happy before the regionals. I did some baby gymnastic jumping with him which he loved - his rider not so much! So when my sister was home over the Christmas period she took control of the reins and did some 'proper' jumping with him; it started off a little hair raising when I brought out the fillers but he soon got the hang of it and he makes a lovely shape over a fence when he gets going!
For Christmas he was spoilt and got a new Dobert bridle which we brought from Sara Morrison at ProSaddles, who has also been a hero, and after much searching eventually found us a new saddle that fits us both well. Not an easy task! It is like driving a Ferrari now after being stuck with a 'go kart' - we love it.
So after a fun December the New Year arrived and we told Stanley that it was time to put his bling back on and focus on regional preparation. He clearly had other ideas and came in from the field with a big, fat leg! Rest and ice and it seems to be getting better so hopefully just strained in the hideous amounts of mud that has suddenly appeared.
I can't thank you enough for all the support and good wishes we have received in 2017 - a testing year, but one I am extremely happy to come out of with a mostly happy healthy horse! Wishing you all a happy and successful 2018.
Hannah & Stanley