It is all go here at Team Keen and everything is kicking into action with the eventing season countdown well and truly on. I have done my first set of entries, which I always love doing as I feel like we are heading out of the winter and spring isn’t too far away!.
As we all know, there is so much prepping to be done and January has flown by. All the horses here at Glebe Farm are now back up in full work and we have been busy.
Jumping trainer Corinne Braken came out recently and we spent a very productive day (in the pouring rain), jumping and assessing all my horses, to see how they have come out after their winter breaks. I find this such a useful thing to do at the start of the year, and Corinne’s input is crucial when it comes to thinking about individual plans. The horses had every excuse in the worst of the weather to be a bit cheeky, but they were all on great form and felt refreshed and stronger from their holidays. Total Darkness (Ted), managed a whole session without spooking — aged eight I am hoping he may have finally grown out of this?!
My love affair with home-bred Total Freedom (Juno), is continuing to grow and I can’t help but adore this little mare (not that I would ever have favourites!). We took her to clear round jumping at West Wilts, along with our working pupil Leah on her new horse, and she was just great (see video below).
We then put everything into practice last weekend, where we took eight horses to Hartpury, to get the competition outings well and truly started for 2019. Following on from Juno’s success at clear round, she headed out with us for her first grown-up show and loved every moment of it! As did Leah on her new horse, which was great. Barrison and Leaping Lord, owned by Margaret Cuff, both felt super and I am really looking forward to this season on them, having got to know them better over the winter. Total Miracle, Quintessential, Total Darkness and my top mare Total Belief, owned by Total Equestrian Construction made up the rest of the super Saturday team, and again, it felt great to be out on them. At this point, I must say a humongous thank you, to my amazing girls who have made everything possible while jumping many many horses in the wind and rain and smiling throughout. They make my job possible and I would be lost without them.
I have also been busy this month, doing lots of teaching which I really enjoy. I had a BE coaches’ day at the Unicorn Centre, which was great and gave us all lots of ideas. I am thinking of launching a mentorship type scheme this year to help two riders throughout the season, which will include lessons with me, but also behind the scenes event planning, horse management, course walking and general support throughout the season — so watch this space for more information on that.
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Looking further into February, I have a clinic day with my long-term sponsors Saracen on the 17th, where they kindly offer a feed review and bring their weigh bridge for all participants. At the moment, I have two spaces left, so get in touch with me ASAP if you fancy coming along.
Overall, it has been a great start to the year — all the horses’ spring events have been mapped out (although it definitely took me longer this year with the new CCI*L-S formatting up to five-star — it will be interesting to see how that pans out, I am still getting my head round it…) and Team Keen energy levels are feeling great (as long as we do not have a 2019 return of the Beast from the East, although as I write this it is now beginning to snow…). Roll on the eventing season!
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