It's official, i'm rubbish at a blog/results catch up, this is the first one in like, well, ages!!! I thought i'd post something as it's easy to get a bit fed up this time of the year, it's all muddy, cold, wet, and takes alot of effort to get down and sort your horses, so to cheer every one up i'l remind you all of your  huge achievments and how awsome you'v all been over the last 12 months! The gang going out jumping have had amazing results. On 2 occasions they have one every class at hill house, with 20-30 in the class that's unbelievable! Some of you have started BS juniors, getting there double clears etc and some more fab wins (nearly every time!).  Loads of the gang went to the esuk finals with EVERYONE going through to the second day finals, Well done guys and girls! Some of the (slightly!) older riders have been doing inter dressage, wins and great scores a plenty, not bad as some are on riding school horses, some on there first try, some on novice horses,  so well done, keep it up! As for me, i did get to a run of shows with Junior early on in the year, We qualfied for Bs finals, unfortunatly i did my usual of not getting time to keep going jumping and didnt find form untill the final day when we had a good round and finished 4th. We also jumped at the lincs show, had a respectable round but had a pole. I'l leave you with some pics and a link to Juniors round at the Lincs show. Keep up good work every one! 

Lesson Blog and Results....

So, I'v decided to do a lesson blog and a place to put results for our in house competitions. Each week i'l do a short write up of one of the sessions that week. This maybe a usefull reminder so you can redo the session on your own or give you some ideas to incorporate in your your horses exercise/training.  Sometimes i might just have a lesson of the week were the riders have been even more awesome than usual!The added content will also help with my google rankings so the more you check it out the higher the site will rank!!

Thanks, Jamie


So whats been happening at Orchard, well few riders have gone on to pastures new, we wish them the best of luck. Some exciting new horses on the yard, we have Buzz, a horse here to be jumped and sold to a new home, he's been going great so far, he was fab at arena last month having not  jumped for 6 months, just having a pole in the second phase. A couple of fantastic prospects too just joined us on livery, one by the famous Billy congo and another that's 18hh with good evening blood lines, exiting! Junior has been out a couple of times, 2nd at willow banks and 4th at arena so really pleased with the little red head! So, 2016 looking good so far! Will update soon.....

Orchard Farm Riding Holidays

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  Well, so much for me doing a post a week, i'v done, er, none since my first one!

So, i'l write some thing today, not a lesson though, my head hurts from a spill on the beach yesterday so my thinking process is even worse than usual! What i will write is how fab the riders in the yard have been this last 12 months and what's been happening in the yard. I won't mention names but it's been a great year for the yard in general.

Here's just a few things i can remember from 2014 but i'm sure there's loads more....

We'v had young riders out jumping, i went to watch them twice and each time at least one of the gang won a class with every one getting in the top 5. Some of the ladies qualified for equestrian life and did super.  

We'v had three editorials  in Equestrian Life and one rider getting a wright up in Horse and Hound. Bsja coach of the year has been to the yard, we'v given over £1000 away in prizes in just 2 shows, the new arena is in full use, which is amazing to ride in, wow, i told you allot has happened!  

But there's more....South Wold South held there xmas rally here of which was a success, the feedback was fab, talking of feedback, our 2 Facebook pages are still rated and reviewed at 5 stars, so thanks to all of you who reviewed!

I'v been out jumping and was pretty pleased with myself for qualifying for the scope festival of show jumping, Junior helped a fair bit but still not to bad for being out of it for 3 years (if Dave doesn't fix the lorry i think it'l be another 3 years!) Still lot's more though..... The ladies in the yard have been very determined and over come problems, credit to you when you'v started a little later in life than some. Earlier in the year we had 100% pass rate in an Abrs exam, then there's the Junior Pony club members doing great!  I'v also just noticed that the riders entered for the xmas internet dressage have scored really high.

I'm sure i'v forgotten loads but thanks to all riders, liveries, staff (it's not much fun this time of year)  and every one who has anything to do with the yard, it's you guys that make Orchard Farm what it is, so keep it up ! Hopefully there'll be even more happening in 2015!!


Lesson Blog, November 2014

The session is Faith on Starlux, Maize on Rolo and Neiv on Fin.

Lesson objective-to maintain rhythm and keep assessing canter between poles or jumps, 

After a brief warm up we place 3 poles 18yrds apart down the long side in a straight line. Firstly we trotted over the poles counting the strides between each pole, focusing on riding a straight line and keeping in a rhythm. Think about riding from one end of the school to the other and there just happens to be 3 poles in the way, don't tense up or push the trot forward, just keep straight and in rhythm. Nieves horse Fin keeps anticipating the turn after the poles and turns without being asked. In canter over a jump this would be much worse, if we can correct the problem in trot this will hopefully  be better in canter. We ask Neiv to make a transition to halt after the pole, making sure he halts parallel to the wall. This  will stop him assuming he is always going to turn after a jump. Once we are happy with the halt go forward to trot ensuring he rides a few strides straight before Neiv asks for the turn. It's very important that we as riders always tell the horse when to turn, if we don't the horse has to guess when to turn, then we get annoyed when it guesses wrong, turns to early and cuts the corner! This sounds obvious but how often are we all concentrating hard on the horses way of going but not actually telling him where he's going!

Once we are happy in trot we move on into canter, this is where real improvements are made!!

As we said, the poles are 18yrds apart, we shall ride this as 4 strides between each pole ( a 4 stride distance is normally 19-20 yrds, however we are riding over poles or very small jumps so 18yrds will work fine for most horses).

The object is to ride 4 even strides between each pole, keeping in a rhythm and riding strait.

Neiv is first to go.

Niev went-- pole, 4 strides, pole then 3 very long strides pole.

This is a typical problem. If our horse lengthens and we don't correct him he thinks we aggrea with him and off he goes!!


What Niev needs to do is think early. We can normally get a clue what the horse is going to do on landing as it's going over the jump, so if he feels very enthusiastic and forward over his pole try and sit up early, focus on the 3rd pole, sitting as still as possible, trying to keep him together and wait for his 4 strides, even if it doesn't feel like it's working once you've ask  for something stick to it.

Second try, neiv sits up earlier after the pole and keeps her rhythm, so pole 4 strides, pole 4 strides pole. perfect!

Next to go is faith.

Pole, 5 strides, pole, trot!!! 

Different problem to Neiv, Faith's canter is way too short!

Our answer...

Faith needs to ride more positively out of the corner with her leg but while maintaining her contact through the rein. Our rein contact in this case is very important. If we drop the rein contact with allot of leg Starlux will just travel faster but may still fall into trot, too much contact and you will restrict the canter and your canter won't be going anywhere! 

How much contact we have is all down to feel, we should get the  feeling that our horse is taking us to the fence and we are just quietly containing his enthusiasm.

Faith also needs to make sure she looks ahead and keeps him moving to the next pole, if our first 2 strides are say, a yard to short we will be 2 yards to faraway on our 4th stride, this will result in a long horrible forward jump, or putting a tiny little stride in an the last moment. So we must land and keep him moving. (The opposite to neiv!)

Second try, pole-4 strides, pole, 4 strides pole, well Done Faith!

Last to go is Maizy, Pole, 4 strides, pole, 4 strides, perfect first time? Not quite!

Maizy ended up a long way away for take off to each pole, not because the canter was to short but because Rolo was putting a curve in the line, this making the distance ride longer.

The answer...

Quite a few answers to this one. We opted to put 2 poles for maizy to ride through after each pole, this will hopefully teach the horse to ride straight on it's own so Maisy can concentrate on the poles and canter rhythm. If you choose to do this make sure the poles are not to close to the landing areas, otherwise the horse could land on the pole.

Next we made the distance slightly longer to 19 yards which is closer to what you would find at a show and built the exercise as jumps. All the riders as always were great and did a fab job!

So to sum up, make sure the canter you have is the correct canter for the related distance, the cause builder won't think "Neives horse likes going long so i'l make the distance long"  etc.

Think early to correct mistakes and once you've made a decision stick to it.

Get to know what mistakes your horse makes over a related distance, if you know your horse "backs off" after the the first fence ride forward on landing, not 2 strides later.

One last thing, i often make (some time very often!) mistakes, when we do we must not dwell on it, the guys at the very top of their sport make mistakes so we're going to make them too!


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