A belated Happy New Year to all.
It’s been a busy January for me. Freya and I have been out competing several times this month with some lovely results and even including a little piece in Horse and Hound! Julie and I are still working together with Freya and hopefully Leo soon when time allows.
Sophie and Piglet have been out and about with a couple of 68% tests at elementary. She is also loving her lessons on Mav, who is helping to teach her some of the more advanced movements.
Tracey Collis continues to support Sophie and runs clinics at the yard on a regular basis which are always very popular.
I have run a couple of fun polework lessons in groups for the liveries producing some great results, these will continue fortnightly on Sundays or Mondays Please let me know if you would like to join in.
I will leave you with some of our yard Christmas party, horse and dog agility and fancy dress competition photos! Our wonderful community always enjoy this annual gathering, however we were a man down with the very sad passing of Reynold this year who was always the star of the show and is greatly missed. We now have a CHD fancy dress trophy in his memory.
All the best
It has been a special couple of months with a big birthday for me and some fabulous results from Freya. I had several lovely birthday celebrations with friends and family including a small gathering with fizz and nibbles at the Oxford yard. We have a great community spirit at both CHD Oxford and CHD Middle Barton and I always enjoy our get togethers. Freya and I have taken the opportunity to get out and about recently, and have won the Novice 23 with 74.79% and Novice 38 with 76.61% at Solihull Riding Club as well as a red rosette in the Novice 37a with 75.37% at Cherwell, now qualified for the British Dressage regional championships. I am so proud of her progress even stretching to our first solo hack. We will now be working towards Elementary competitions and some more arena hires to get her used to going out and about post Covid.
Having lost my very special 18.2hh Lewis in September we are reminded of how lucky we are to have horses in our lives. From competing at advanced level at Premier Leagues, showing of his lines of 15 one tempi changes with myself to competing in international para competitions with Julie and teaching various riders how to do changes, Lewis certainly led a full and very loved life.
We have said goodbye and good luck to Millie and Brownyn who have started at university/new job and we have welcomed Jemima, Chess and Amy to our team of staff. We are very lucky to have such a strong team with Nadia, Annie and Lesley as well and Elsfield and Amber and Lauren at Middle Barton.
Clients of all levels have been having success out competing. From grassroots and Team Quest winners to those going out and achieving personal bests at Grand Prix, it has been a very rewarding few months and I am excited for 2022.
I am currently planning our Christmas gatherings at both yards with sterling help as ever from Jane K and I am looking forward to ‘handy pony’ and ‘handy horse’ with a Secret Santa and Christmas goodies at Elsfield and a Christmas polework session and nibbles at Middle Barton, photos will be shared in my New Year News!
Wishing all my clients, liveries, staff, friends and family a very Happy Christmas and lets hope we are able to celebrate properly this year x
My slightly belated blog for January 2021 –
We made it through 2020! A year full of uncertainty and challenges. I would like to thank my clients, liveries and CHD team for working so hard to keep each other safe and adhering to all the rules that we have had to follow. To date we have had no confirmed cases at either yard and we continue to work hard to keep everyone safe.
We were able to have a small celebration just before Christmas running throughout the day with mulled wine, mince pies and an array of individually wrapped goodies made by the liveries. We also had a fun Secret Santa but unfortunately had to miss the Christmas polework clinic and fancy dress competition this year. Reynold, that gives you another year to prepare your outfit!!
Since the opening of CHD Middle Barton, I would like to welcome a number of new liveries across both sites, the horses all seem to have settled well in their winter fields. and we have only just had to start feeding hay at CHD Oxford which is at least a month later than last year. We have now got a newly fenced and drained arena at CHD Oxford which will make a big difference to the rest of the winter.
Until the latest lockdown I was still able to coach clients over the 2 sites as well as at Cherwell Competition Centre which is only a short drive away, so I have been lucky to be able to continue to work fairly normally. For now I am teaching clients on a 1-2-1 basis in line with the guidelines. I am planning on resuming polework clinics on Mondays however as we can’t currently have group sessions, I will do 30 minute 1-2-1 sessions and will send more details once the weather is more lesson friendly!
With competitions mostly cancelled across the year, we haven’t had much of a chance to get out and about, however Sophie and Piglet continue their journey and have been riding through some elementary tests so that when the competitions resume she will find novice easy and will be ready for some more elementary competitions. Her lessons from Tracey Collis have brought her on in leaps and bounds. She has also been having the occasional ride on both Freya and Mav, much to her delight. Pre-lockdown 3, Freya and I had been going out and about in the lorry and she is growing up fast. Help from Julie has been invaluable during Freya’s teenage stage whilst she has been developing more strength and muscle. Julie continues her journey towards Tokyo and beyond representing GB in Grade II Para Dressage and has ended the year with fabulous competition results. As with Freya, Leo has developed so much in 2020. Roll on 2021.
Mark is continuing to work hard on the renovation of my new office and along with new units and the desk I even have neon blue down-lighting! He will be moving on to the bottom barn in 2021 so plenty planned.
Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year, fingers crossed we will hear some more positive news in the next few months. In the meantime, I hope you are able to enjoy your horses and the countryside. Please remember to share your photos with me, I love hearing all your news and achievements.
All the best
With the summer holidays over I thought it a good time to write. It has obviously been a difficult time for all but we have managed to stay open throughout the spring and summer and I would like to thank my liveries, staff and clients for adhering to the government guidelines and respecting each other’s space.
Our new barn and fields are now ready and full. I would like to welcome several new liveries this summer – Francesca with Roxy, Leonie with Ted and Lorraine and Olivia with Luke.
Sophie and I have been starting out on our journey with Freya and Piglet and have had a wonderful summer using new venues to gain experience and confidence together. Sophie and I took Piglet and Freya to Bury Farm to use their indoor international arena and to Hartpury to use their huge outdoor arena. Both venues had the dressage arenas set out and it was an ideal chance for some arena familiarisation.
Sophie and Piglet have also competed in their first three competitions, two novices and one elementary and was placed in all classes with good percentages.
Mav, after an injury earlier in the summer is well on the road to recovery and will start being ridden again this week.
Clients Owen and Katie have both competed in their first few Grand Prix competitions and are now able to work on giving the horses confidence in the arena whilst riding this very demanding test. A number of clients have been successfully competing in Team and My Quest competitions with many high placings. Several event riders have also been having dressage lessons and a lot of them have achieved a personal best dressage scores since having the lessons. I held a clinic at Cherwell Equestrian Centre in the summer and this gave the opportunity for some test riding practise and a chance to work on improving those percentages. Well done to Sarah T, Sarah D, Polly, Hannah, Sue, Tom, Hannah, Honor and Eugena for getting those personal best scores!
I will be running a couple of polework clinics this month - Tuesday 15th (working on straightness) and Sunday 20th (working on suppleness). Please let me know if you would like an individual or shared lesson on either or both of these days at CHD. I will be emailing my clients monthly to let them know the dates for my training clinics and lessons, please let me know if you wish to join the list. I also have a special opportunity for my clients of a teaching day at Keysoe Equestrian, more details to follow. I will also be liaising with Sally Wells to organise fortnightly covid secures equi-pilates sessions for the autumn at the yard.
I am delighted the children are now safely back to school and I look forward to seeing you and your horses soon.
2020 has started with a bang! We survived storm Ciara and storm Dennis relatively unscathed, spring was just making life easier, then Coronavirus hit….
Obviously life as we know it has now changed considerably for the meantime, but I count myself lucky to be able to get out to care for, and safely exercise the horses with help from a fabulous team of staff. Being a relatively small livery yard with three separate barns, we have been able to allow all owners access to the yard to look after their horses whilst social distancing and providing hand washing and sanitising facilities. Sadly we cannot welcome any visitors at present and I have asked the liveries to ride as safely as possible and not to jump. I am grateful to everyone for keeping to the rules and allowing life to remain relatively normal at CHD. The horses all seem settled and are enjoying the spring grass!
With spring around the corner and our new grazing growing fast, we hope to soon have some spaces for additional liveries, with stabling available in our newly refurbished barn.
Mark has been working on my new office, recycling our pallets to make a cosy place to keep up with the admin. Once we are out of lockdown, we will be running small equi-pilates sessions at CHD with Sally Wells in our heated barn.
With competitions now on lockdown, luckily Mav and I had the opportunity to get out earlier in the year and went to a BD show at Cherwell where he achieved 70% in the medium 73 and 69.12% in the advanced medium.
I have had more opportunity in the winter months to work with my youngster Freya and am delighted with her progress. As she is getting stronger I have been able to work on her leg-yields in trot and she is started to get more confident with short amounts shoulder-in.
Current clients have had many recent successes in the last few months including Katie Richards and Riesenstern who have competed in their first Grand Prix, Owen Cooper who has competed in his first Inter II on Don Dante and Charlotte Rudge who was 8th in a large Prelim class at the BD Regional Championships and was the youngest participant. Polly Tompkins and Sarah Taylor have had great success with wins in BD Quest classes and my own Sophie Hunt has been placed a number of times in the NSEA (National Schools Equestrian Association) Pop-Up Dressage Prelim classes over the winter.
Amber Morris who has trained with me since she was 13yrs old has now passed her BHS Stage 2 Teaching exam and is also teaching at CHD, mostly helping with the junior riders as well as working towards an advanced medium competition with Doodle, she is also looking forward to life returning to ‘normal’ so she can get back to her teaching and competing.
Sadly we lost one of our long term residents earlier this year. Welsh pony JD will be greatly missed by us all at CHD and many condolences to his owner Lesley.
Leaving you with some photos from more cheerful days of our fabulous liveries’ costumes from our Christmas ‘Dressage to Music’ party.
We have had an incredibly busy time with a huge variety of clinics and fun at CHD recently. As well as the regular lessons that Caroline and Julie teach, Caroline has also taught Test Riding at Cherwell, onsite Training Day Camps and regular Pole Work Lessons. We have also been fortunate enough to have several visiting clinics - a Hilary Vernon Bitting Talk and Assessment Clinic; International Dressage Trainer Tracey Collis of Westcroft Development Performance and Nina Venables, World Class Programme Para-Equestrian Dressage Podium Potential Coach, have been visiting and providing training sessions and Sally Wells has been giving riders a workout with her Equi-Pilates. We are lucky enough to have a floodlit school and spacious barn with fabulous stables for these various get togethers.
Caroline has been riding Mav who is now working well at Advanced Medium and also bringing on her own 4 year old Freya who is really enjoying her work. Mark has been keeping busy alongside his Energy Consultancy, with the refit of the smart CHD lorry; and Sophie has been loving riding Piglet, practicing test riding and getting ready for their first competition together.
Our well draining fields have coped well with the recent wet weather, still allowing for horses to be turned out 24/7. All horses moved to the winter fields on the 1st November to save the summer fields for next May. The next big event on the yard is our annual Christmas Fun Day, with dressage to music, fancy dress and Secret Santa, pictures to follow! Caroline, Mark and Sophie.
Congratulations to Julie Payne who was the founder of the livery yard at Elsfield and handed over the reins to CHD Equestrian in 2016 so that she could pursue her International Para Dressage career. Looks like it was worth it!
For more information about Julie read the article on Horse and Hound.
A fabulous photo taken on the farm at CHD Equestrian, Oxford. Like, share and name the breed of dog shown in the photo on Facebook to be entered into a prize draw to win a £10 voucher for Amazon! Entries close on the 31st March 2017.
Happy days at CHD Equestrian as the grass is starting to turn greener and the horses coats are changing. We are lucky enough to have well draining soil and have been able to hack off road on the farm all winter. The hacking ranges from a 20 minute circular ride to longer flat or hilly rides. These are open to all grass and stabled liveries. Contact us for more information.