The Scottish plague

Like the Scott’s obsession with Iron-bru, haggis and tatties, their Summers being plagued by midges is also legit. We’ve only had two really bad midge days so far, on the first,Angus opened my car door a good ten minutes before we left for school. The journey that followed was like that scene from Jumangi where the giant insects are stabbing through the roof of the car with their stingers and by the time I had dropped Angus off at school, he had so many red bite marks on his face, I had to assure his teachers that he didn’t have chicken pox. Lesson learnt! The attendant at the local fuel station even told me (with a straight face) that most people round here cut their lawn’s wearing a bee keepers mask……….

Angus during our car journey

Dominica has now been in work for three and a bit weeks. As with most things on our short journey together so far, I’ve learnt a huge lesson from giving her a holiday. I hated every minute of giving her a month off, but now she’s back in work I’m even more concrete in the knowledge, that it was the absolute best thing that we could have done for her. She feels stronger, she’s more mature in her mentality towards absolutely everything, her balance has come so much better all by itself and work wise, she has remembered absolutely everything I’ve ever told her and she’s picked up right where she left off. The only downside is that she has got slightly fat!

Last Thursday we went for a short easy lesson. I wanted to take her even though she’s not fully fit yet and I had only done two very easy, very short schooling sessions previously since she came back into work. I wanted to know where we where at and nip any problems or bad habits in the bud, before they where allowed to progress as her work load picked up.

We had an easy, short session, focussing on her basic way of going, straightness, suppleness, responsiveness, working over her back, relaxation, focus…….she scored 10/10 for everything. She was really chilled, everything felt ridiculously easy and there’s no way any one watching would have thought she’d just had a month off. I am incredibly lucky to have such a straightforward young horse to work with, I am more than certain that at some point the wheels will come off, but for now, Im certainly going to ride this easy confident wave we seem to be on. I scored about 6/10 however! As I ride at home on my own, like most people I think I’m doing ok, then when I watch the videos back from my lessons I am horrified at the state of what I’m doing. I need to remember to sit up and push the weight down through my heels, no more holidays for me!

Dominica and I in our beautiful new clothes from our supporter Silvermoor

I agreed with my trainer that she now feels like her basic training is fairly solid and the next bit of education I want to focus on, is taking her out and about to a few different show venues to see the world and try to get her to work with the same easy consistency in the Prelim work, as I can get at home and during our lessons. I have started to look at possible show dates and pencil a few in, but its another stark reminder of the difference in competitive riding in the south of England and the west coast of Scotland. When I lived in Gloucestershire, I could have gone to a show every day within an hour of my yard, I’m currently struggling to find one a month here and they are 2 1/2 hours away……..Anyway, I just need to get on with it!

In other news, there is another member of the team, ‘Beyonce’ the project pony! I’ve been looking for a project for almost a year now and finally I’ve found one who not only ticks all the boxes but also sailed through the vetting. Dominica is less than impressed by her, in fact, I don’t even think she’s noticed. Another mare, another Diva!

I’ll hopefully update you soon, if I haven’t been eaten by the midges…..Maybe drinking Iron-bru keeps them away and that’s why everyone’s obsessed with it……I’ll let y’all know!

Aimee x

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