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NSEA Jenna's December Blog - Practice Makes Perfect

December started quietly, but I ended up having some fabulous training despite the horrible weather!

I was lucky enough to be allowed to ride Snip who belongs to Mary, the lady who owns Magic. Mary has owned Snip for many years and brought him when he was a showjumper, but she was looking for a dressage horse, so she has worked really hard to produce him and now he knows all the fancy dressage moves. He is so very powerful and talented.  I was given the opportunity to have a lesson with Stacey Munson who is a British Dressage instructor and has worked with Mary and Snip for many years.

The lesson was very interesting and I loved riding Snip as I felt so small! My goal at the start of the lesson was to learn how to ask correctly for a half pass. Stacey explained that this is quite a big step to ask straight away, so we started by asking Snip to do shoulder in. After we had perfected that, we moved onto leg yieldIng which is where the horse goes sideways but flexes their head in the other direction which is simpler than a half pass. Once we had mastered that, I then tried a half pass which was trickier than I thought it would be! The horse's head and neck should flex in the direction you are going but you have to keep their body straight and their legs crossing over. Asking Snip to perform his fancy moves felt really cool! I loved the feeling and would love more lessons with Stacey on Snip in the future. 

Then, to mix it up a bit one of my best friends Faith Rookyard, invited me to go Christmas Elf drag hunting with them! I took Tess and it was with the Nar Valley bloodhound hunt. Everyone was so friendly and some of the jumps were absolutely huge but Tess jumped everything that was put in front of her. It was so much fun! Some of the jumps were over a meter wide and Tess pinged over them all! There were lots of people falling off but Faith and I managed to stay on, even though it looked as though we had been rolling around in mud by the end as we were in the mud splattering firing line!

I went to two pony club rallies in the school holidays, one was at Sharon Hunt's yard which was a showjumping rally with Caroline Day. I took Stitch to this rally and he was amazing! We practiced jumping on a diagonal and angles and straight lines. I learned that I need to keep Stitch more under control especially around the corners, planning every step of my route. I also did a no stirrup jumping round which was super fun. I wore my Just Togs Kensington boots that I got for Christmas and they kept my leg really still.

The second rally was at Poplar Park with Caroline Day again. I took Stitch again and thankfully it was really dry and a lovely sunny day. We practiced some courses and double steps down which Stitch was a little confused by, but he got the hang of them! I learned that similarly to when I ride ditches, I have to look up and that really helped. Florence Mattock came to help and watch at the rally.

The same day my Pony Club best friends all came for a sleepover. Rebekah, Florence, and Charlotte had tiring, but fun sleepover, with plenty of pizza and chocolate. Mum took us to see Frozen 2 the next day which was actually quite good! Rebekah stayed for another night and we both went out for a hack with my friends for the last hack of 2019. We were invited to our next-door neighbour’s house for New Year’s Eve and we stayed up really late to celebrate the new year. 

I’m looking forward to January as I have a side saddle lesson with Amelia on the 2nd, another rally and the chance to go hunting on a friend’s pony. I’m hoping for another lesson with Claire Pettitt and a dressage lesson with Stacey Munson too. 

Happy New Year Everyone! 

Jenna 

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