Charlotte Jeffes Eventing

Charlotte Jeffes Eventing

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Build up to Badders

Welcome to my blog...

 

Follow in my Build Up to the Mitsubitshi Motor Cup BE90 Final at Badminton Horse Trials in May. I will post about my 5yo horse humphrey and what training we are doing leading up to the big day. Training exercises to try and home and competition tips i have picked up along the way.

By charlottejeffes, Mar 9 2018 09:16PM

So after a very busy January and February getting organised to start our season in the best shape possible we have been let down by the wretched british weather. The orginal plan was to take Humphrey for his first run at Tweseldown to remind him what eventing is all about and then to do a 100 at Swalcliffe. Straight away we found out that we had been balloted from Tweseldown which was a massive disappointment as i absolutely love the event. I found out that Aston le Walls was still open so put a last minute entry in - A great alternative (or so i thought). The only trouble then was it was a week sooner and I hadnt been cross country schooling. :O So that meant a bit of a re-jig to the schedule instead of going british showjumping with the boys to Hartpury we made a trip to Boomerang for a spot of XC instead. It was so fun to be out doing some xc again and needless to say Humphrey was an absolute legend.


So we were all ready for our first event and super excited to get underway.....


BUT THEN..............................


The Beast from the East Hit. Astonl le Walls was looking increasingly less likely to go ahead. Even though i knew the chances of it going ahead were very slim. I still had everything crossed for a last minute heat wave. Well this certainly didnt happen but instead Storm Emma (which hit us even worse) Blizzards, snow drifts and very frozen water troughs (There i was thinking we'd made it to Spring)


I love seeing snow in December, January and February. Nothing better than opening the window to a white out and being the first person to step on that crisp snow and then build a snowman like an excitable child. But oh no- Snow in March well this is a completely different story. March is spring, Eventing, light evenings, daffodils, fresh sunny days with the odd crisp morning- ABSOLUTELY NOT SNOW!!!


Well anyway back to the drawing board. Swalcliffe is next weekend now and i absolutely cannot wait to get underway. Humphrey is enetred for the 100 and Curious George has his first ever British Eventing event (fingers crossed they go well)


On Monday weather permitting we are hoping to get out XC schooling again and we will be on dressage test practice is the week next week with a quick jump reminder a couple of days before the big day.


I really really hope some dry weather is in store for the next week.


Bring on our first event :)

By charlottejeffes, Feb 23 2018 10:48AM

On Tuesday I thought i would try something completely new. I had seen a local trainer (Karen Joynson) was advertising lessons using 'Franklin Balls' which are little squishy balls that are inserted in various positions to improve your riding posture and position. I thought this seemed like a really good idea as when you are riding at home alot on your own its very easy to pick up bad habits. I've been having a bit of an evaluate lately on how my position, strength and fitness might be affected my horses way of going and been working on improving my own fitness and core strength. This seemed like another sensible thing to try, so i booked in a session.


Well lets just say these little balls were more like a form of torture :) Although i funnily enough really enjoyed it and would have to say it was one of the most rewarding lessons i've had lately.


We started off by warming up and making a few improvements to Humphrey's way of going and then it was time to introduce the balls of pain.


The first ball was inserted under my bottom with the aim being to correct your pelvic tilt and help you to sit deep. To use these balls i had to ride in sitting trot which is not something i very often do, really thought i might show myself up and be wobbling all over the place ut surprised myself and wasnt too bad. Perhaps my pilates sessios have been making a difference.


So anyway this ball felt very, very strange and not exactly comfortable but my godness it didnt half make a differnece to Humphrey's way of going. Just by correcting my seat he suddenly started using his back and sitting on his hocks a bit more. This was probaly also down to Karen's excellent tutuion but the ball definately made a difference.


Next set of balls were too small balls that we placed under your thigh on each side to stop you gripping with your knees and encourage you to wrap your lower leg around the horse to help me apply my lower leg more effectively. Well I think these balls were even worse than the first one but definately seemed to do the trick.


Finally we had a pair of balls that went under my arms to keep my hands in a nice open place, These werent quite so bad.


Well anyway, i dont know whether it was purely the balls and correcting my position or Karen's amazing eye or a combination of both but we got Humphrey going like a dream.


I told Matt later that he was going like Valegro and maybe this was a bit of an exaggeration but i thought he was a dream.


I would absolute reccommend trying these out!!!!


If you would like to book a lesson visit: https://www.facebook.com/joynsonequestrian/


I was hoping to get a VLOG of this experience but my camera crew were all busy :(




By charlottejeffes, Feb 20 2018 05:49PM

As everybody knows winter is a fairly lousy time for horse riders, and finding motivation to get out in the wind/rain/ice/snow is not exactly easy.

So this year I decided to plan my competition diary nice and early so that we could start 2018 and hit the ground running. I really wanted to use winter to brush up on dressage and show jumping which I often slightly neglect in the winter as motivation levels are low.

Most of the venues near me have now changed to pre-entry for all competitions and this means being extra organised. In some ways I think has helped as you don’t wake up on a horrible January morning and decide you can’t be bothered, as you have already paid for your entry.

So I managed to get organised and enter our first event of this year the first week after New Year. It was a British Show Jumping show at Summerhouse for their New Years Kick off. Humphrey was fab jumping in the 1m discovery doing a double clear and coming 5th and then stepping up to his first 105cm.

The following weekend we were back at Summerhouse for some unaffiliated dressage. I want to try and get a few dressage outings in before the eventing season commences as when eventing if you don’t get a good mark in the dressage then you are unlikely to finish up the placings. It is all about trying to get the relaxation and concentration of your horse within the white boards and I think the best way to do this is to practice under a competition atmosphere. Having said that winter dressage tends to be on a surface so I will also (when the weather improves slightly) set up my white arena guttering in the field and park a car at one end so that Humphrey remembers what being outside is all about.

We have been working hard over the winter on some more advanced movements so I decided I would enter the novice to test us a bit as well as the prelim. I was thrilled when Humphrey managed to win his Novice test.

We did two more British Showjumping outings this month one more at Summerhouse with another 1m and 105cm and then last weekend we ventured to Hartpury to attempt a Newcomers 110cm. I was absolutely thrilled that we achieved a double clear; however Humphrey was incredibly spooky at the atmosphere and banners in the indoor arena. I think some more practice is needed in these big atmospheres before badminton in May.

As well as lots of dressage and Show jumping competition practice, I have been trying to fit in a few sessions with my trainer. I’ve decided it’s a really good idea before my lesson to have a good think about what I want to work on so that I can iron out some of my weaknesses.

I will be starting to ramp up our fitness/canter work from now on as the start of eventing season is getting very near. I will aim to do a canter work session every 5 days. I will warm up for around 10-15 minutes trotting on a short hack. Then find a hilly field to do three minutes of canter followed by two minutes recovery. I will repeat this twice more, then cool down with a hack home. To begin with if Humphrey feels particularly unfit then I may just do two repetitions and build up from there.

I also decided January would be a good time to get the horses booked in for a good MOT.

We have had Humphrey clipped, which is a mission as he is a bit of a monkey and needed some sedative to help him relax.

We have had the saddle fitter out to check saddles and have had a bit of re-flocking done and a new saddle pad. I have checked all vaccinations are up to date and put booster dates in the diary. I have booked Hannah Complin my Physio in for pre-season treatments and will book the dentist out to come and check teeth. This way I have some confidence that the horses are feeling at their best.

I have also just booked in for our first session at the new water treadmill at Summerhouse equestrian centre which is meant to be amazing for fitness. I will do a video blog about this next month as it’s something I’ve never tried before and will be really interesting to share the experience with you all.

One last thing that I have been trying to work on is my own fitness. I figured that if I want Humphrey to perform at his best come May it is important that I work on my own fitness, strength and suppleness. How can I expect Humphrey to go well if I am sitting like a sack of spuds. So I have been doing Pilates from you tube in my sitting room. Hopefully if I keep this up for a few weeks I might start to notice a difference in my riding.

Keep track on my Build Up to Badders by liking my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/charlottejeffeseventing/



By charlottejeffes, Oct 31 2017 09:18AM

So last night we got planning our winter program leading up to Christmas. I have made the decision to register British Showjumping with Humphrey and George and we will try and fit in some shows before the Eventing season kicks off in March next year as well as some unaffiliated dressage outing to brush up on our test riding. Check out Our diary



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BLOG kindly sponsored by:

ESS LOGO

'A love for horses and a love for all things organisational and matchy matchy! Equine Storage Solutions is born.'

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter! @ESSUKLtd

#homereefplg

A photo posted by Paff La Girafe (@pafflagirafe) on

BLOG kindly sponsored by:

ESS LOGO

'A love for horses and a love for all things organisational and matchy matchy! Equine Storage Solutions is born.'

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter! @ESSUKLtd

#homereefplg

A photo posted by Paff La Girafe (@pafflagirafe) on