Dear gorgeous readers,

Things are on the up! The advertising is paying off and my diary is beginning to fill up, Dressage International Dompadour (Poppy, pictured) won her first competition back on home soil and I have a new sponsor.

Poppy and I made our first appearance at a competition since moving home from Denmark at Summerhouse in Gloucestershire where we did two medium tests. We won the first one and would have won the other test, but I frustratingly made an error of course.

I was pleased with Poppy and really feel the benefit after my recent training sessions with dressage rider Peter Storr. He has helped me to focus on changing her balance and therefore getting her higher at the poll. Self-carriage has always been her weak area as she is a mare that likes to run down into the hand. This topped with the fact that she is so super forward and sensitive to the leg, establishing the half halt is very tricky!

Shaun Poppy winning medium at summerhouse

Popping with her winning rosette at Summerhouse

How to work with downhill runners

If you have a horse that runs into your hand, it is important that you do not allow him to stay there and lean on you. The horse will not be in self-carriage and it can also result in him dropping behind the vertical. Horses with sensitive skin can also develop rubs and/or cuts in the corner of their mouths.

Correct this by a half halt. If you are not getting the desired reaction after a sequence of half halts, then make a full transition.

For example, if you are in trot then come back to a walk. Establish the walk and then move back up into the trot. Remember to give back on the rein with a slightly more forward hand after the half halt/downward transition so that you are allowing your horse to come up and lift a bit more at the poll.

Shaun Poppy mirrors

A new appointment

As my good friend and fellow dressage rider and coach Edward Creamer has moved to Sussex, I am getting involved with the Old Berks Hunt Pony Club and rumour has it, I may be their new dressage coach. This role will be big shoes to fill as Ed is very much loved by them all and missed!

Talking of Edward, we are going up to Somerford Park in Cheshire this weekend to coach at a big dressage clinic organised by Active Rider. I am very much looking forward to it and IMG_0535perhaps a small party on the Saturday night may occur!

I have also had the good news today of a new sponsor. After a meeting with Carol Starkey of Equinavet UK I am excited to announce that they will be sponsoring me and am very much looking forward to using their fantastic and innovative supplement range, as is Dressage International Dompadour! Now I am just waiting for some more horses to be sent my way for training and competing. Do pick up the phone!

Last week I was invited by my friend to join her for a salsa dance class. I went along thinking it would be easy. Well, it certainly was not, but I loved it, so might sign up to be a regular — Strictly here I come!?

Until soon xx

Body mind mastery quote: “Most problems precisely defined are already partially solved” – Harry Lorayne