HANNAH TOWNLEY – I can’t believe that 2 weeks ago at the Riding Club Horse Trails at Moreton, I was wearing a coat and complaining about the cold!!

Whilst we are all sat in this unbelievable heat, I can’t believe that 2 weeks ago at the Riding Club Horse Trails at Moreton, I was wearing a coat and complaining about the cold!!

It was cold, wet and pretty miserable, and for our team not the best circumstances for us. We were down to 3 riders, my lorry had decided it didn’t want to start anymore, and with heavy rain that morning the ground was not ideal. However, for Rhingo, the edge to the weather made him more compliant and he went really well. A great score of 23.3 in the dressage, clear show jumping and clear cross country, but we came home with some time faults, but I was happy with that, as I didn’t want to push him with the recent downpour that morning. 

Rhingo and I finished 8th individually and the team came 6th, so all in all, the ponies and the results made up for the miserable weather!

Im lucky enough to live not far from the South West Equine Water Treadmill, and I have been taking Rhingo for a weekly session for the last few weeks now. I have really noticed a difference to his fitness levels by the way in which we are finishing the cross country course. Typically I start the course a little behind the time, and when I do my checks I am very aware that we need to push on. Prior to his treatments, I was having to push to get that extra amount of effort from him to finish, but now, we are cruising to the finish with time to spare…I can only conclude that his general fitness levels are increasing and that when I need that extra push, he has the energy and the stamina to rise to it.  

He is currently up to 22 minutes in his session, each sessions is adjusted to how the horse reacts and his movement within the water. When we first started, the water was just up above his hooves and he was splashing through it, now, as the sessions have progressed, we are using more water and in for longer. 

Rhingo usually has his weekly session on a Monday, which is great if we have competed that weekend as it gives his legs another blast of cold which I think we are all really appreciative of when running on this hard ground. He has 10 minutes where the water is up to and around his knees, so this is great for any minor swellings or heat in the legs as it gives the legs a massive cold burst of therapy!

The sessions increase in time as the horse gets fitter, the measurement is the horse lifting his legs up and over the water, when they start to drag their legs through the water, then you know the horse is tired.

Training has continued as normal this month, we have enjoyed our weekly jump lessons with Pippa Tucker, and now that the ground has dried out we are able to use her grass dressage arena for practise as well.

Rhingo has had his monthly clip, being a cob he tends to get very hot so I find it best to keep him clipped all year round, to keep him cool, especially in this heat!

We have had good results at Treborough Hill where I am hoping we picked up our 3rd Regional Qualification, just awaiting the email confirmation from BE. Finishing 4th, just an unlucky couple of poles down in the show jump stopped us climbing into the top 3, but unfortunately due to a delay in the arena I misjudged the warm up so he didn’t enter the ring as best prepared as he usually does, so I can’t be too upset at the result.

Chepstow was another great weekend, again finishing 4th on exactly the same score as Treborough 34.8, so at least he is consistent!

I am pleased with our progress at BE90 this season, we started just outside the top 10 at the beginning of the season, and now at half way point we are knocking on the door of the top 3, so I think we are doing OK!

Rhingo’s eventing partner in crime – Bru, unfortunately is out injured, so he is having to travel to events on his own for a while…however I have promoted Steve (my eventing partner in crime) to top groom and chauffer..Just so he doesn’t feel left out! Here’s hoping Bru makes a good recovery and him and Rhingo can go back out together.

July sees us heading down the road to Bicton then down to Launceston in Cornwall at the end of the month.

Whilst the hot weather continues I am talking shelter in my air conditioned office whilst continuing to work through the summer. Just sometimes it’s ok to have a 9-5 desk job!! 

See you all in July!

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