So May began with this beautiful horse arriving at Daneswood Dressage on the 4th May, how exciting!!! He is an 11 year old Fresian gelding who has been very kindly placed with me on loan to compete, by Mandy Wright. Until now he has done low level dressage but more lately has just been hacking so we are slowly working on increasing his fitness and responsiveness to my aids. He is so lovely and genuine that after him being here for just one week and a total riding time of 55 minutes, we took him to World Class squad training at Solihull.
So this was day one where we undergo rider analysis, we are observed collectively by the coaches, Strength and Conditioning, Physiotherapy, saddle fitters, to assess our progress and identify areas for improvement. My lovely sponsor Jo Beavis from the National saddle Centre attended to work with the squad saddle fitter, and my human Physiotherapist Louise Davis came along for the assessment too. I have been working really hard on my core strength and fitness which is really showing in my riding, so had a really good session and feedback.
Day 2 Prince is assessed by the Vet, Physio and Farrier as a team, they observe the way he moves on the hard and on a surface. the farrier watches the way his hooves land and where he is loading and makes a farriery plan with our home farrier. The Vet makes routine checks before performing flexion tests and watches him on the lunge to identify any potential problems we may encounter, so we can maintain him in peak condition for the competition season. Finally he is palpated by the physiotherapist after she has seen his action to identify any possible areas of discomfort early on. Prince did well, he was a really good boy and we now have a plan for his home farrier Toby Faulkner, for Prince’s shoeing with some slight adjustments, and he needs his teeth rasping as they are a bit sharp.
Then it was off for our ridden session with Nina Venebles, pictured here making fun of Princes feathers (she said they look like 70’s flares). Nina allowed Leonie to lead the coaching session, interjecting where necessary and together they have formulated a training plan for the next couple of months leading up to our first competition together.
We have also had permission from his Mom to remove his feathers, as the general opinion is that he would look better without them, so no doubt Leonie will be working her magic on him shortly.
The other exciting news this month is that I have a new sponsor! RyanMillar from BETTALife contacted me to ask if I would be one of their sponsored riders, and after researching their product I happily agreed. BettaLife PharmaQuin HA is the UK’s Highest specification joint supplement, using the highest grade ingredients, without any nasty fillers, plus it fully complies with FEI regulations making it safe to use during competition. So I am really happy that Prince will be getting the best joint support possible as his training schedule is increased during the season.
So it’s non stop training now, until Prince and I make our Para debut towards the end of June, so watch this space………….