We catch up with brand ambassador Claire Taylor to find out what she has been up to recently with her team of horses.
Where to start… Team Taylor have had such a busy time recently! We all had a lovely Christmas and the ponies even enjoyed a can of Guinness on Christmas morning.
You may remember from my last blog that we were heading to our local venue Willow Banks for some festive showjumping. The classes were all very busy with well over 20 horses in most, so you can imagine my surprise when the patchy pony won two out of her three classes and then came second in the third… we were holding on to the lead until the very last competitor, who beat us by under a second.
Willow Banks is the most amazing venue with lovely big arenas, a friendly atmosphere and a great set of up-to-date jumps. I was so impressed and I’m looking forward to going back, plus they are one of a growing list of venues now on Equo!
Following this I took Patch showjumping again, this time to Hill House, where it did nothing but rain! She was perhaps a little quieter than normal, but gained a respectable fifth place against some seriously speedy ponies in her first class, and had a very uncharacteristic pole in the second. This is the first time that I can ever remember her knocking a pole while competing, so she was definitely not feeling herself, but of course tried her heart out as per normal.
Last month, for the first time in 17 years of owning Patch, I took her for a lesson with Philip Curtis, who starred in Equo’s Trainer in the Spotlight feature. Philip has been helping me with my youngster Oakley, but as Oakley was sidelined at the time I thought I would take Patch along.
We worked on keeping her soft through her transitions and getting her moving forward a little more, before popping over some good-sized fences. The old girl just keeps getting better with age. I have just renewed my membership with Senior Showing and Dressage Ltd and am looking forward to getting out doing what we do best – showing!
Oakley is finally back in full work now after five weeks off (most of which was spent stood in, battling mud fever). Last weekend we took him to an indoor cross-country clinic. He has done very little jumping, but I wanted to get him out in company and simply give him something to think about.
Oakley surprised us all by being brilliantly behaved, even if still very green and wobbly. I’m sure that he thought that everything was out to eat him, yet he is the least spooky horse at home! Nevertheless once he had a good look around he popped over everything: water trays, barrels and skinnies were no problem, and he even managed to put them all together at the end of the session!
Now that he is going well we will try and keep him busy, he’s much better with something to think about to get his brain working. He will be out this weekend, most probably at Willow Banks for some dressage. Oakley too will start showing very soon.
Monty Brown has also just come back into work, he’s had a good few months off now, so he will be on the boring old walk work for a while… at least my Equo exercise sheet will come in handy for that! Hopefully in my next blog I will have some more to say on Monty, but at the moment he is brown, hairy and fat!
My thoroughbred eventer Classy is due to foal in April so preparations are underway for transforming my Mum’s yard into the maternity ward!
There’s lots to look forward to, even if it isn’t very inspiring sat listening to storm Henry outside!
Do you enjoy reading Claire Taylor’s blogs? If so remember to find out what else Team Taylor have been up to in her other Equo brand ambassador blogs.