Shivers Event Team News

Blair mud bath

Posted on 19th October 2009

August was a very busy month for the team as most of the horses were doing 3 day events and those that weren't had to do competitions to make sure they didn't miss too much while I was away. There were also clients to teach and help at events including an unexpected ride on spooky Ted in the intro at Beckwithshaw which proved worthwhile with a 21, yes thats right 21 dressage, 1 down sj and clear xc.  

It involved lots of travelling up and down the country to Knaptoft, Aston-le-Walls, and Hendersyde to name a few.  The wagon has definately felt like home for the past few months.

The week before we went to Blair in a final gallop Buster did not feel right and as he is prone to tying up, I know when an attack is brewing.  I was proved right, as when we got back he just froze to the spot in his stable.  He had everything thrown at him to make him fit for Burghley 2 weeks later, including Aunty Heathers tubs of herbs and homeopathic remedies and my new Magnetic pulsing rug from JMB's.  

We set off to Blair with a wagon packed to the rafters as we had 4 horses going, Otis (CCI1*), Manor (CCI2*) Flyer (CIC3*) and Buster (to be worked in prep for Burghley) and all the rumours beforehand were true, it was going to be wet and muddy.  This was a good omen for Manor who loves mud and not so good for Otis who hates mud.  Andrew, Otis's groom quickly learnt what 3 day events entailed and had to do lots of work as poor Danielle came down with the flu, not good when you are all cooped up in a wagon.

Me in the mud after my dressage on Otis

Otis surprised us all with a decent dressage test, storming xc round inside the time and 3 down sj which to many might sound bad but for him it was fabulous and he finished a credible 27th.  It was great that his owner Heather got to see him as she has missed him at some events due to her commitments with her son Harry's racing.  I think she had a tear in her eye when he completed his first 3 day event.

Otis in the dressage

Otis on the xc

Manor was the star of the stable for the week when he stormed round a difficult 2* xc with only a few time penalties to move right up the order after a rather average dressage test.  With just 1 down sj on the Sunday he ended up in the rosettes and money with 14th place and the top 7 year old spot.

Flyer had a rather eventful xc round with him giving me a very hard time, in the end I decided to pull him up and save him for another day.  He really wasn't himself and he is the kind of horse who needs to have confidence in what you re asking him to do, we now think he had a virus.  

So it was off home for a quick turnaround for Burghley.

Two trips to Cumbria provide entertainment and rosettes

Posted on 21st August 2009

After attending events in all parts of the country it was nice to do a local event in Cumbria.  It was meant to be a day for Danielle on Jack and Vicky and Reeva however a visitor to the yard that week, in the form of Princess Fiona (a disgraced PC pony at the tetrathlon) meant I had a ride of my own as she was to compete at the same venue the following week with her devasted teenage jockey.  Mum took great entertainment from telling everybody I was there on a pony club horse called Princess fiona.  Danielle forgot her map in the dressage and went on to complete with one down sj and a speedy clear xc on Jack.  Vicky excelled with Reeva and came home with her first rosette.  It was then my turn to excell, the intro (BE90) dressage was half an hour late which did not impress me or fiona and by the time she went in she was slightly bored, however the head tossing was put down to the flies by the judge and we came away with a repectable 41.  It was then onto the show jumping which is not her strong point which she quite happily demonstrated when warming up when she demolished every fence put up for her.  She went in though and had a change of heart to jump round clear and everyone including mother the  bank shouted yippee!!!   It was then off to the xc with trepidation as I wasn't really sure what she did to be naughty with her jockey as I hadn't seen her.  I discovered at fence 1 when a sudden application of the brakes 10m away and a spin caught me unawares, however when attempted again at fence 3 I was ready and she soon learnt that there was no way that trick was going to work with me.  She flew round the rest of the course with fine style so we had a happy pony, happy child, very happy mother and some hope for the following week at Pony Club Area horse trial.

The following weekend was the pony club horse trails, however I had to make a trip to Aston-le-Walls with Flyer and Buster for the advanced on the friday and saturday.   They both aquited themselves well with top ten placings after the dressage then one down sj for Buster and clear xc and 2 down sj for Flyer and clear XC, it was a much better performance from Flyer and he feels much more established at that level now.  I then had to do the 5 hour drive home and be up at 6am to take the girls the next day.

I was a slight zombie on the Sunday morning however the girls had everything done and onto the wagon went Jack with Danielle, Rachel with Fiona and Lexy who has my old event mare Mayble aka Shiverlea.  Jack was not in a dressage mood by the time they were 40min late he really didn't see the point of behaving anymore so he was a bit cheeky, he also thought the show jumps were too small so knocked a few down but poped round the xc alright.

 It was then onto the novice teams which this year were trained by Ross Middleton.  He really had them geed up and I was impressed with all the children's determination to get round.  Lexy's team with Shannon, Frankie and Sophie did really well to finish 2nd and qualify for the National Championships, Lexy was 3rd in her arena as Mayble sowed all the young ones what to do.  It was then rachel's teams turn and we were all ecstatic for them, when all 4 made it onto the xc.  I had everything crossed that the work both I and Rachel had put into Fiona the previous few weeks would mean mean she would have a great round.  As she approached fence one I couldn't watch but she cleared it in fine style and I knew that once she was over fence 3 she would be fine and I was right.  She came through the finish line to the biggest cheer of the day and we were all over the moon.  It was so great to see her and the family so happy and I realised that that was the reason I like helping my clients to achieve their goals so much.

Spectactular scenary and a trip to hospital

Posted on 22nd July 2009

I have never been to Barbury before as I normally go up to Eglinton, however with Flyer needing his qualifications still the trip to Wiltshire was necessary. I decided to take Otis as well to do the Novice as we have discovered this season that he performs only at the big events. We had good journey down on the Thursday and found a very helpful stable manager when we arrived which always starts a weekend off well. The times for the weekend were well spread out and on Friday I only had Otis's dressage but it gave me plenty of time to work flyer and give Otis a blast on the all weather gallops that went round the site. His dressage was much more forward than normal due to his excitement about the grass gallops nearby but this new found forwardness enabled him to get a very respectable 32 in the dressage.

 Otis after his dressage

We then walked the Novice course and realised that this was truly a unique event in the way you can watch every jump from the opposite hill.

  A view across the valley to the dressage and xc in the background

Saturday morning dawned and the novice show jumping was decent but as usual Otis grew with the occasion and popped round for just one down he then went on to fly round the xc inside the time to finish 8th. The problem with these big events is that you also get the 'big' names in the novice and the 1st 3 places were taken up with Sharon Hunt, Oliver Townend and Rodney Powell.

Otis at Barbury Otis on the XC

We had a very happy owner in Heather who unfortunately missed all the action as she was away in Paris. Flyer did his dressage on the tea time when the crowds were at their busiest and the xc was going on in the next field, I didn't hold out much hope for it being relaxed especially when I went in the warm up and he was scared of the plant pots. He went in and performed a lot better than I thought and was only just behind a horse that has recently been named on the European squad.


 We walked the 3 star xc that night as the rain started to fall. I thought it was a very testing course and would take a lot of riding and the show jumping was the same with 2 jumps up on the top tier of the main arena and all the jumps at max (and a bit more) height. On Sunday morning I was due to jump Flyer however my calamities at trying to get a CIC3* qualification continued when he took off too early for the practice fence and struck into himself making him lame. When the vet came down to look he was sound again and we thought we would just carry on however disaster struck again when he stood on mum's foot when she was legging me on then pushed her over forcing her to put her hand out as she went backwards. I had to move away as Flyer was then going to flatten her again, but I could see it was bad. She told me to carry on and jump but neither me or Flyer were in a fit state by that point. We went in to jump at the same time as mum had her legs in the air in the middle of the warm up as she was feeling feint, flyer really tried for me and although he had a few down it was a qualifying and that's all we cared about. I wasn't sure whether to xc but once again mum told me to continue so Andrew (otis's groom)and I just sat and waited for the xc in the afternoon.

 By the time I was putting my gear on to go she arrived back with her pot on and I felt a lot happier. so off Flyer and I set on the xc, he tried really hard taking all the big tables and scary ditches however by the time I got to the quarry he was getting a tad suspicious of what might be coming next a nipped out the side of the triple brush on the way in he I blame myself as I really did come in on too floaty a stride. He then then nipped out of the side of the next crossing again my fault for not committing on my line as I really thought he may stop at element A and to my surprise he just popped in. He finished really well and I was really pleased with his scope and bravery. We then had the long 7 hour drive home.


Lots of teaching and Manor and Clive excell at Aske

Posted on 22nd July 2009

Since returning from burgie I have been very busy with teaching clients and at the same time keeping the horse ticking over for the summer campaign.  Several clients were due to go to Skipton horse trials so there was some intensive training for horses and riders.  I was over the moon to hear after the event that Andrea had managed to get spooky Ted round the Be90 xc clear, albeit with 40 odd time penalties and a few diversions round the backs of judges cars when she lost her stirrups!  Although it was only 2 weeks after Burgie I decided to take Manor, Clive and Ben to Aske Hall.  This proved to be a good decision as they were still very fit and had really grown up with their 3 day run.  Clive did a beautiful double clear with a new waterford bit and added only 3 time penalties to his dressage score to finish 3rd.  Manor excelled himself and also did a fast double clear to finish 2nd and give him his qualification for Gatcombe next year.  Ben did a super job in the NRF to finish just outside the top ten, he isn't ready for Gatcombe this year anyway so it was good thing he didn't finish in the ribbons.  He did feel remarkably grown up after his CIC1* run at Burgie. So we set off  home with lots of smiles on our faces and some money in our pockets for once.

A long trip well worth it

Posted on 23rd June 2009

I haven't been to Burgie for about 4 years now, due to not really having the right kind of horses that would suit the terrain, however, with Houghton Hall and Tattersalls now being so competitive I decided to return. The trouble was so did everybody else and they had a much bigger entry than in previous years. Clive is qualified for a 2* but we are still getting to know each other so I decided to do the 1* and Manor needed his qualification so I decided to take them both along with young Ben, who after discovering he had actually knocked himself xc at Hexham which explained his bad behaviour, went to do the CIC1*.

Manor is no dressage horse and definitely could not compete against the big moving horses but he tried really hard. By the time Clive dressaged on Friday it was deep and he really wasn't swinging through his back enough to get up the score board and they were both well down the order although it was very close. The xc at Burgie is renowned for its' terrain, you have to have a fit horse that is mentally tough and physically strong. The xc jumps were fairly straight forward though and I was confident they would give me a good ride. Both galloped round inside the time but so did most people so there was not a lot of movement in the leader board.

After I did the xc Ben did his dressage and got a better score than the other 2 who did the same test with different judges, to lie in 3rd overnight.

Ben after his CIC1* dressage

I thought the xc was quite strong for him as he has only done 4 novices but with a good dressage score I thought I had to give it a go. He jumped a fabulous clear showjumping with just 6 very annoying time penalties. He set off on the xc with gusto and I had to go the long route at fence 3 as he jumped so big over element A I couldn't make the turn, but for the rest of the round he settled into his stride and we finished with just a few time penalties and a 4th placing.

It was then Manor and Clive's turn to jump and after getting the time penalties with Ben and it being so close, I re-walked the course to work out some quicker lines. It paid off with Manor jumping a clear inside the time. It was then Clives turn to jump and he was going beautifully until I winged it round the final corner and saw a stride too far off and he just touched down on the back rail to give me 4 faults that cost me a top 10 placing.

Manor came right up the ranks from 49th after xc to 21st after sj! Clive still managed a rosette and money with 16th. It was then the long tiring journey home through the mountains and we arrived home at 10.30pm. Although trying to recover from the 2 weeks away the youngsters were there Monday morning looking at me and clients were straight on the phone wanting lessons so it's no rest for the team.