Hello everyone,

I managed to get down to Somerset last weekend to see my truck that Equitimo Horseboxes are sponsoring. When I turned up at their hanger, I didn’t think mine could possibly be the huge Volvo parked in front of me, but it was! I don’t think I will be sneaking anywhere in this truck, it’s a monster.

Shane at Equitimo was quick to tell me that the truck carried day-old chicks in its previous life, so even though it looks menacing, it drives beautifully. I cannot wait to see the lorry progress through into a finished product, especially as my current transport is making more noise than ever and has now been limited to very short and only the most necessary journeys.

I have also started a new programme with my EIS (English Institute of Sport) strength and conditioning coach, Luke Sweet. I go to Loughborough University twice a week to do a session which has already greatly improved my straightness on all the horses. I started with straightforward lifts and exercises and I’m sure Luke would tell you what I’m doing now isn’t exactly the hardest thing in the world, but it’s keeping me on my toes.

It’s actually a lot of fun and it makes for a great stress reliever! I have already told most of my teenage students that they need to get in the gym, as riding takes so much core strength and it can only help. Lots of wayward lower legs and floppy arms are now being told to strengthen up.

I took the horses showjumping this weekend, along with a couple of students who keep their horses with me while they are at school. We had a lot of fun deciding jump-off courses and I have to say that kids these days aren’t quite as bold as they used to be!

I have definitely decided that all my students need to practise how they ride off a fence, not just to it. It is something that we probably all concentrate too little on, but I suppose that’s why it’s nice to go to competitions with them and find out what we need to work on. Needless to say, it makes me look at my riding with a bit more care too.

So this week will be more cross-country schooling for the youngsters – who have all been impeccable so far – and final preparations for Oasby next week. Thanks goodness the event season is finally upon us and good luck to everyone out at Isleham this weekend, you keen beans!

Lauren

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