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Quiet Flows The Don

Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby Chevalblanc » Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:23 pm

Good news about Donnie :thumbup: Went to see Tracey's new place last week and had a chat with the owner, who seems keen for us to come and do some archery, so all is not lost :-D
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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby littlewhitehorse » Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:17 pm

:eek: all change then
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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby Late Starter » Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:35 pm

Been a bit quiet for the last few months. I have been trying to sort out some grown up riding at Tracey's Place. The only options that I seem to have been offered are private lessons. I need saddle time, but I think I need to ride in the real world not 1:1 instruction in school. Anyhow, I think I have cracked it. I managed to arrange a hack on the Don while Katherine was having a lesson. Emma showed me round a neat 1 hour hack with a bit of a canter in it. Would have been brilliant apart from the rain, hail, thunder and lightning. The Don took it all in his stride. The only thing he had a good long look at was a couple of bicycles. They must have been even madder than we were. At least we had our own central heating between our legs. I will try and make this a regular event. Dried off and showered now. I think I will get soem fish and chips. Post Brexit comfort food.
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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby Chevalblanc » Sat Jun 25, 2016 5:29 pm

Should've taken an umbrella, came in very handy for Ali this afternoon :lol:

ImageDSC_1366 (2) by Helen Barnes, on Flickr
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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby Late Starter » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:06 am

As a birthday treat for myself I booked a session round the cross country jumps at Holtwood on the Don. OK, if you look at the photos, the jumps look quite small, but they certainy don't feel small going round. The lesson before he had been carrying a girl from Mencap and was a bit lethargic in the warm up. I was on his case all round the school while cantering and trotting. After five minutes I was knackered. Must be out of condition. The first couple of times over the practice jump, it felt like I was carrying him. Once I got a bit more assertive with about telling him when I wanted to jump we got a couple of good ones in. Then we went out to the course. It's only nine or ten jumps at the moment. There is a mixture of logs, fences ditches, tyres and a sneaky little downhill jump. We went round, looked at and jumped, each fence individually to make sure I understood what was being asked technically. The first is a solid fence at the bottom of a downhill approach, so it looks smaller than it is and you need to make sure that you do not loose control, otherwise there is plenty of room to run out. The getaway is uphill to a log. Then there is a sharp left turn with a downill approach to a decent sized log on a downhill slope. The getaway is downhill to another log on a left hand bend, so getting the approach right is critical. Slightly unnerving in that the approach line is taking you directly towards a tree ten metres beyond the jump. After that the course flattens out under the trees. I am a tall bloke on a big horse, so duck those whippy low branches! There is a straight sequence including (in no particular order) a couple of logs, and open ditch, a fence and some tyres. Then you can walk back to the start again :-D
Taking it all as a piece it was a real adrenaline rush. After the first couple if individual jumps, the Don got going. He must have remembered his hunting days. By the time we were going under the trees he was really motoring. All I had to do at that point was keep him pointed at the fences. TH eonly difficulty I had was at the corner log. I could not quite get my head around aiming at that damned tree. He sensed my indecision and took th eeasy route round the log. I am sure you will all see a myriad of technical faults in my riding, but the session was less about technique and more about getting out there and DOING IT! Katherine is seriously pissed off at me now though, because up to now she has had bragging rights "I've done cross country and you haven't, so I am a better rider than you". Ah the joys of pre-teen competitiveness and insecurity.
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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby Trudi » Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:58 pm

Well done :hurray:

OK, if you look at the photos, the jumps look quite small

Contrary to popular belief size isn't everything :lol:
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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby littlewhitehorse » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:26 pm

Oh what fun to have a go over some Xcountry fences, I used to love hunter trials for a course of nice natural fences, did a few but never had the right horse at the right time and no transport to go often.
Looking good :thumbup:
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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby Late Starter » Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:31 am

Katherin is in Freiburg this weekend on a German/Music trip. Not sure how much German is being spoken, but they will be playing their instruments in the town square. I think Katherine will be on Ukulele and Soprano recorder. Hopefully not at the same time. Anyhow, this was an ideal opportunity to get out and do some riding in the real world. I said to Tracey "anything, even gridwork without stirrups and/or reins :wink: ". In the end she offered me a hack on the Don with Emma on Milly. Emma knows the hacking round Holtwood and suggested three options. First, to go the same route as last time (when we got caught in a thunderstorm). Second, a circular route but all walk/trot on roads. Third, a there and back hack to a nice track for a longer canter, but we would have to put in a brisk trot to get there and back in time. Obviously I went for the third option. On the way out to the canter, we were overtaken by a white Lamborghini. It is a bit odd to see the roof of a car even lower than your boot. I even started to think about the possibility of using it as a urban cross country obstacle. By the time we got to West Woodhay and the farm track, the brisk trot was starting to tell. I must be a bit out of shape. When we got to the faarm track, it had a lovely smooth grass track alongside, which has been kept mowed short. The track was gently undulating and about a couple of furlongs (about a quarter mile). The plan was canter down. catch our breath and canter back. Emma lead off and I followed. As always the Don needs no urging out of school. It was an utterly fab ride. I sat in to the canter on the way out and took the light seat on the way back. I think that the variety is good for me and good for him. After a brisk trot back, I was knackered! The Don had barely broken sweat. Milly is more highly strung and was sweating buckets. I think that was the longest canter I have put in so far.
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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby Late Starter » Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:41 am

A post script to the canter. I stopped off at Homebase to pick up some woodstain. Liz was restaining the garden chairs and benches while I was out. We know how to celebrate our anniversary (27 years) in style :lol: . While I was heading to the tills, a niceblonde asked me if I could tell her where she could find some pads for chair and table legs. Apparently black jods, half chaps and a Cotteswold Mounted Archers po lo shirt looks like the shop uniform. After I had told her that while I understood very well what she wanted, I couldn't help as I did not work there. She was a bit miffed that I had let her ramble on, but chuckled when I said it had more comedy value that way and anyhow, I don't get approached by many random blondes anymore. Home to cook a special dinner and get plastered......
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Re: Quiet Flows The Don

Postby Chevalblanc » Sun Jul 10, 2016 2:24 pm

:lol: I wore my CMA polo shirt to the GB v NL match and everyone though I was on the Dutch team.......
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