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Brand Ambassador's November Update

Jennie Daniels
Between work being busy, and my towing vehicle playing up, I haven’t managed to get out anywhere with Tilly this month. This means we have just concentrated on schooling and jumping in the school.  It makes a real change and has given us a chance to relax, which has been lovely.

To make up for not going hunting or cross country with Tilly, I took on the cross country myself. The Winter Wolf Run is 10km of Water (it was freezing cold and literally took your breath away when you first went in), obstacles (an awful lot of them), lakes (more freezing cold water) and fields (plenty of fields and ups and downs). My step son joined me for the challenge along with a group of his friends.  

Despite the freezing water and cold day, we had great fun and felt a real sense of achievement for completing it. We raised a good amount of money for our local heritage group as well, so that will help them put on their WW1 display next year.

Fabulous shopping day out at Your Horse Live, left us with no time to see any of the demos. I did manage to get more socks (I love my knee-high socks) and a new waterproof pair of Country Boots. Tilly got lots of treats and fibre blocks etc., which she has made short work of.

This month I have been working on my fitness and have started running. To get me motivated, I set a challenge of 25 miles in the month and I am delighted to say that I have completed it. I will be taking it easier over December though and then crack on again in January. I have joined my local ParkRun and found that I am really enjoying it.

Coral Herbert
So last month I made the decision to change the horses over from Speedi-Beet to Fibre-Beet, in hopes that it would put on some extra added condition ready for the colder winter months ahead.

Firstly, I noticed how much heavier the feed bowls felt with the same amount of Fibre-Beet in the feed as appose to the Speedi-Beet. It definitely looked and felt like there was more in the bowl! Although the preparation time was slightly longer than using Speedi-Beet it was still relatively quick compared to other beet products.

Signs of the horses filling out was noticeable in a very short time scale – I would go as far to say as within the first 2 weeks the horses looked fuller. Grazing at this time of the year is limited for us, we are particularly careful when managing our grazing to ensure that the horses have good grass for the summer. They spend more time in the stable and on the walker, (which proudly displays my Fibre-Beet banner!) than out in the paddock, so feeding Fibre-Beet ensures they still getting plenty of Fibre in their diet, along with their hayledge.

We have a range of different horses/ponies on the yard. From Shetland ponies through to my eventers. Some are good doers, some not so. Being a riding school, it’s important that the ponies have a good conditioning feed but without the added fizz. Giving slow release energy whilst being non-heating, Fibre-Beet meets the requirements perfectly!

I’ve recently had the eventers shoes taken off whilst they’re not out competing. Although they don’t have the winter completely out of work, at the moment they are only ridden on a surface. However, it’s essential that their feet still stay in tip-top condition – with optimum biotin levels, Fibre-Beet provides added hoof and coat condition too … perfect!

One of our older ponies is missing some teeth. Even though he has regular dental care, he really struggles in his old age to chew the grass and his hayledge. This means keeping up his daily fibre intake can be a struggle when he is always quidding (he’ll chew his hayledge and spit it out everywhere in little balls). He is a fine little Arab X type and has always been tricky to keep the weight on. The fact we can feed Fibre-Beet in larger quantities is ideal! Our super-veteran, Teasel, has 4x Fibre-Beet filled feeds a day. He even calls for his feeds … he loves his Fibre-Beet that much and in his late 20’s, he’s thriving on it!!!

I’m so glad I made the change to Fibre-Beet this winter, it gets a massive thumbs up from me!!!!

Catch up with you all in my December blog,
Coral x

Hannah Bown
Wow, well I thought last month was busy.... our goal this month was to squeeze a medium qualification in before the end of the month (which was the deadline) and we have done just that! What a superstar pony I have.

After a kick up the bum at the end of last month, our first competition was too Wellington where we did two Mediums.... and guess what we did on our first Medium back? We entered the arena in canter (we were meant too!) - how fancy is that! Well who doesn't like a challenge?

I learnt my lesson, of reading the test before you enter, as I found ourselves in the first medium test back riding the regional test, which was hands down the hardest test we have ridden.
He tried his hardest for me once again and despite a couple of communication breakdowns (I need to learn to prepare each movement better and quicker) we got lots of 7’s and finished 5th on 66.5%. We need to work on our suppleness and a quicker hind leg for bigger marks now, but we also finished 4th with 65.4%. With seven points in one outing I finally believed perhaps qualification was possible!

The next weekend we were back out again, this time back to elementary, but to practice to our new music - a compilation of Madonna tracks!

If I ever declare I am going competing straight after finishing a busy Friday night shift, please someone remind me just how many matchsticks are needed to keep my eyes open. However, we finished with a big smile - I mean when does material girl not make you smile? Luckily the judge agreed, and we got a good music mark which was a relief after all the deciding.

I had never ridden to this bit of music but luckily the timings were pretty much perfect. My tiring day out was also vastly improved by the fantastic venue we were at. The Croft is one of the most lovely, organised venues I have ever been too - the ladies there work so hard and make competing such a lovely day out. I was still humming my music eight hours later and was thrilled to get 70% and finished 4th.

Sometime the next week my new saddle arrive courtesy of ProSaddles. Stanley has not been easy to fit but Sara has made the whole process so much easier and has been so patient and dedicated to find something that works for us both. When I sat in this saddle it was like putting on an old pair of boots - we both love it, so fingers crossed this is the one!

Next... poor Stanley! (He will have a very quiet December I promise). Off we went to Cholderton. We have a long way to go and a lot of learning to do but he gives me so much and just makes me smile.

Thanks to Amy Schiessl who helped me during the week he felt so much more responsive. It is fair to say that Medium tests still get the better of me as everything comes up so fast, but it's getting there now and I need to have more faith that we can do each movement, and ride them more accurately marker to marker as I am throwing away easy marks. Still two 2nds in Medium, 73 and 69 on 67.58% and 66.78% (scores slowly creeping up).

Fast forward a week, a super lesson with Sara-Jane and training for me from Emma at Biospheric Performance who gives me endless support to improve my body strength, awareness and posture. We were out again and completed our regional qualification at Medium level. A 2nd and a 4th place achieving scores both over 67% that were in line with some super smart horses. The day was made even better because two of my best buddies drove for miles to come and support us. We are so incredibly lucky to have such wonderful people supporting us and encouraging us to be better all the time. Then a call from Celia at Out and About Dressage to give us a quick interview ... it’s like we have never been away!

I hate the winter, the dark, the cold, the mud, but I do truly believe that with hard work the world is your oyster. Enjoy your Christmas and the break if you are lucky enough to get one. Bring on 2018 and what it has to offer!

Hannah & Stan x
Rachel & Katelyn Brown

It has been a very quiet month for Rachel and Katelyn with Spirit and Balli.

Balli has been a bit cheeky and pulled a neck muscle so she had some laser
acupuncture treatment to help loosen her muscles and help her to straighten out
again, done by Annabelle Knight.

Both Katelyn and Balli did have another great lesson with Kirsty Mepham and Balli’s
flatwork is improving immensely.

Spirit has also had a quite month but is looking forward to going out and doing some
arena eventing in the coming months and in the New Year. Meanwhile the
combination has been concentrating on their flat work and fitness levels.

Sarah Whincup
Hello everyone,

Well winter has kicked in, horses and ponies all clipped and feeling giddy, ready for some fun over winter!

It’s been a fabulous year for us at QD horses, baby Frankie was born, luckily, I got out competing in British Dressage, qualified for six classes at the Winter Regionals held in the new year, highest score from Rocky Clover of 75% (Yay! Lots of work to do before the regionals).

Last month we headed to Holland and bought a grey stallion called Candy Man. He is rising three years and actually a show-jumper with amazing movement. He is raw from the field and currently have him home now, I love him so much. I hope to keep him, unless someone buys him.

I am currently getting ready for our charity Christmas fair, busy baking, making festive goodies, cleaning the yard, and bobbing up Christmas lights and plenty of tinsel. The horses do get a little spooked by it, but then they get used to it.

So, I have been asked what my New Year’s Resolution is… well it’s to strengthen my core, by going to the gym which will help my riding skills. I also want to do a Pilates class.... let’s see if that actually happens!

Wrap up warm folks!