Shaun Mandy’s dressage blog: ‘We are lucky in the UK’

  • Hello my gorgeous readers!

    I hope you have all had a great weekend.

    So last time I left you, I had just got back to Denmark from my clinic in South Africa (SA), via Dubai and England. I feel that my second home is an airport, even more so now than when I worked for Qantas as cabin crew!

    These last two weeks have been full on here at Hoffmann Towers, including the sale of our lovely eight-year-old gelding, by Blue Hors Romanov, to a super home.

    Since getting back from my clinic in SA, I have been training hard, as have my horses — of course always allowing time for a little party now and then.

    The next month will be all about the training and then I will be aiming to get out to some competitions in January.shaun mandy

    Dressage International Dompadour (Poppy) is growing up and we have nearly nailed the flying change. It is so important to keep sitting on your inside seatbone (the one on the side of the leading canter leg) until after you have made the change.

    I didn’t realise until the other day that I haven’t been strict enough with this aid and now can really notice the difference. I love those little light bulb moments!

    I have started teaching her half steps via long reining too (see picture right and top). This is very much helping with getting her to take a bit more weight behind and not run into the hand so much.

    Next stop, grand prix! Ok, maybe a few gaps to fill in-between.

    IMG_2246My four-year-old, Ramour (pictured left), by Skovens Rafael, is coming on well. He does have lots of developing and strengthening to do, but is a super chap.

    He has a very willing nature and learns quickly. I really find when you are working with a horse who has a good temperament, it definitely does help with their training and you get that feeling that they want to work with you.

    I do love how consistency pays off (so long as you are asking the right questions of course and sticking to the system).

    My little dog Pringle (pictured below right) is well, though she does not care much for the change in weather. Her routine has altered in that she will be out on the yard in the mornings and do the odd bit of rat or mole hunting and then by lunchtime has retired to her bed until the next day.shaun mandy pringle

    It was a good friend’s 40th birthday party (I feel young again!) on Friday (pictured below left) and after driving an hour north in the wrong direction, due to a GPS malfunction, I eventually arrived two hours later.

    I was so tired when I arrived and thought I would stay for a couple of hours and then head home… Well that plan failed and we ended up partying until the wee hours of the morning. I had two hours sleep as I then had to get up to get back to the yard — love horses!

    Do you know, sometimes I think we don’t realise how lucky we are in many ways back home in the UK.

    Farriers, equine dental technicians and chiropractors are so expensive over here compared to England, and good ones are not incredibly easy to find. Naturally, I did find the good ones and they are super!

    Shaun mandy birthday 40thHowever, I recently had a saddler take measurements of Poppy as I’m trying to get hold of a Fairfax Saddle. He is from Copenhagen, so quite far from us in Soholt. Anywho, he said he would order it and that he should be back out in six weeks to fit it. This was 10 weeks ago and I have left about 100 voicemails to no avail — saddlers are not easy to find either!

    Having said all that, I do still love Denmark and Hasse is still amazing.

    Well my lovelies, I have had a good morning schooling my horses in the forest. Monday = forest day. Now for a spot of lunch and more organising for my next clinic back home in a couple of weeks. Ooh and booking a bus ticket to Copenhagen for Friday — I have an actual real date (well, third one) and he is a firefighter!

    Until next time,

    Shaun xx

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