News & Guides

22nd February 2016 by Rowen Barbary

Geared up for the season ahead - Bella Fricker

Geared up for the season ahead - Bella Fricker

January seemed like a slow month. I decided on which saddle I wanted to buy for Chip but then, of course, had to wait for it to be made.

Then Chip managed to get an infection on his leg, which whilst he was sound, meant no work and a trip to the vets for a leg scan.

However, as February neared, things were picking up. I attended our local group’s Annual Awards Dinner and managed to pick up Reserve Novice for Chip and also Best Under 21 for myself! Result!

The next weekend I travelled down to Yawl Hill Stud, in Lyme Regis, to get some fast work in on Eskar, who is one of the horses I get to compete. We went to Exmouth Beach and did a good 10km. He is feeling fabulous for the season ahead and I am very much looking forward to competing him again. Whilst down there, I also got to ride YH Maverick, Kyla & Pollyana who are a further three horses that I hope to compete this season.

As Chip has not had a saddle, I’ve had lots of time to focus on my semi-retired endurance horse, Polly. At 20, she’s still full of beans and is looking better than ever on Rowan Barbary Feeds. I took her to a 16km ride at the end of January and last weekend a 32km ride. She performed brilliantly and I very much hope to keep her going for some shorter rides this season.

I also went down to some gallops in Wiltshire last weekend to do more fast work on Eskar. He pulled like a train for the full hour and half that we were on there! I’m feeling really confident with how well he is doing.

The new saddle came last weekend for Chip so this week we’ve finally been able to go out for a ride! I’ve kept him in work the whole time that I haven’t had a saddle, lunging, long-reining and leading out off Polly so his maintained his fitness quite well.

Pre-season bloods were taken two weeks ago and he had his teeth done on Saturday so that's it… full MOT done ready for 2016 (physio and osteo as well!).

The weekend just gone was my last weekend before the season starts. Obviously I can’t wait but equally, I made the most of my last weekend at home for a while by attending a clinic booked with my local Riding Club doing gymnastic grids.

It was very interesting and as expected Chip was a star and really enjoyed himself - once he got over spooking at everyone watching him, the roof banging in the wind and the sunlit lines on the floor! It took a lot of mental concentration for both him and me but it was great fun! All part of building my big strong (brave) endurance horse!

Can't wait for the next one!