Brief Valentine’s Day update!

Hellooo.. Whoever is reading this! Is there anybody left? It’s been a while! 😅

It’s been so long since I last blogged that I don’t really know where to begin. I’ll start with the hard bit and then we can end on a happy note!

Ryan is now on loan to somebody else. I’m completely heartbroken, but hey, that’s life – what can you do? So plans for buying him after graduation are now destroyed. They won’t sell him while he’s on loan, so it looks as though he will be stuck in a school until his final day. Hooray. So anyway, the first time she came to ride Ryan was straight after I’d had a lesson on him doing my first ever flying changes (which was so cool!!!) and I had to hand him over to her. It cut me up inside so I decided not to ride him again, so that situation didn’t arise anymore. Therefore, no more Ryan. For riding, at least!

But this does mean I’ve been riding new horses! Which is good. Really good! Since requesting never to ride Ryan, I have had some really fantastic lessons. I jumped and did some shoulder in with Rufus, practiced leg yielding and more jumping with Saab, medium trot with Ceaster and had some fun with Aer. I also had a prestige lesson on Grand Prix schoolmaster Vince – but I’ll save that for another blog!

I’ve really enjoyed riding more forward going horses as it’s enabled me to work more on my position and aids, as previously I just had to work exceptionally hard to make Ryan move! So hopefully I have made some progress.

I’ll blog again soon with some more info re The Ryan Situation, but for now here are some recent-ish photos of me riding and ponies I’ve been getting to know better.

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  Spending some quality time with my fave boy 😘

  Ceaster the giant warmblood

Saab the tank!
  Grumpy Rufus with his ears forwards!

  Aery fairy

 Trying to collect Aer’s canter
 Prestige lesson on Vince. Such a special horse!

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What’s Occurring?

Hello. Bonjour. Howdy.

It has been a while and a lot has happened. I’m not even entirely sure where I was in my life when I last blogged! So sorry for any potential overlapping of events. 😉

I’m back at university now which means I can see Ryan again! Albeit not as often as I would like. I no longer have him on loan – although I still refer to him as ‘my’ horse, and think I always will. I can’t afford to have lessons each week, both in terms of pennies and time. If I were a millionaire and had 40 hours in a day then I’d still have him! So I can’t have lessons all the time, but I try and aim to have them every 3 weeks. Mostly because otherwise I’d go a bit loopy from missing him (and then I’m really grouchy to be around) but also because I still ride horrifically and need all the help I can afford! I think he is okay, although he hasn’t been looking too great recently. I hope he will be fine though. We will see.

I go home every Thursday and come back on Monday mornings. When I’m at home I usually ride Jill. I feel more ‘at home’ on her now, although I’m not convinced I ride her any better now than I did when I sat on her the first time! But it is nice to not feel constantly on edge all the time when I’m on a horse that isn’t Ryan (which is what was happening before summer). I had a lesson on Jill on Saturday (Hallowe’en, but it wasn’t a scary ride fortunately!) and I think I have another one in 2 weeks. Riding Jill has definitely helped me a lot with riding, but I know I still don’t do her justice. I might put a photo at the end of the blog from our last lesson!

Finally, I have had some really sad news since I last blogged. Two of the horses where Ryan is have gone up to the big horsey heaven in the sky. I’ll post photos of both of them down below. I’m really sad because nobody really knew that they had gone, they just sort of disappeared. And they spent their lives teaching people to ride and being all round good eggs! So I feel sad for them that they left us without any acknowledgement really. Bella was a little grey horse who loved to jump and was a firm favourite with most people! The best jump lesson I’ve had to date was a private lesson on her. She was wonderful and I really do miss her. And then more recently, Rodney joined her. Another grey, he also loved jumping and was used for a few university competitions in the jumping phases. He had funny rabbit teeth and didn’t like being out in the field when his best buddy Kiwi wasn’t there. I only rode Rodney once and I’m glad that I did. The passing of these two has really made me think about how Ryan is getting on a bit now. His health seems to be deteriorating and, like all of us, he isn’t getting any younger. You know when you get those horrible feelings that something bad is just around the corner? That feeling has been haunting me for a while now. So I’m appreciating him as much as I can, just in case. I love my big pony and I honestly can’t imagine life without him now.

Let’s end this blog on a happy note:

In the past few months I’ve also got some new boots, made some new friends, started to love psychology again and I like to think I’ve learnt a lot. On and off the horses. I have a jumping lesson in 9 days and I never ever thought I’d be feeling confident enough to purposely book a lesson purely for JUMPING ever again! But it’s happened. I’m scared to death but I’ve done it and I’m doing it. Onwards and upwards.

Au revoir, mes amis.
Shannah
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Ryannx
Ryan in our last lesson
rodders
Rodney last year


B
ella was such a babe.

Jill
Jill in our last lesson.

Popping the question

Hi whoever-is-left-reading-my-blog-after-I-abandoned-you-all-for-so-long,

Firstly, I am so sorry that I haven’t blogged in what feels like a lifetime. I just haven’t had a lot of free time lately. This year I’m in my final year at university (arghh), the president of the uni riding club and I go home each weekend to ride. Also, I really like the new show ‘Chewing gum’ on E4 so that takes up my time, too…

How have you all been? I will post another blog post shortly (in like 30 mins so I don’t forget!) updating you all on what’s been happening with me and the ginger horses in my life, but firstly I have something important to discuss/ask you about. I barely have time to sit down and laugh at the Big Bang Theory these days and I know #riderhour has been suffering because I haven’t been able to commit each week for the duration of the whole thing! I feel like lots of people are losing interest with it as a result and drifting away, which I don’t want because I like the #twitterfam community feel of all the hours. SO. Here is the question:

Should I get somebody else to run #riderhour? If anybody even wants to, that is. I love doing it but I don’t feel I’m doing it justice. Let me know your thoughts and I’ll take them into consideration.

Later losers,
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No ifs, no butts.

Well. It certainly has been a long time since I posted! I am very sorry and I do hope you haven’t all deserted me…

Ages ago (far too long ago to have left this blog until now, I’m so sorry!) Derrière Equestrian were kind enough to send me a pair of their pants to review. My bum is definitely big enough to cushion my landing when I fall off, but I’m sure we all know the bottom related nuisances of riding. If you’ve forgotten them, here’s a few:

  1. The inevitable wedgie you will get if you wear unsuitable knickers for a long hack with a fair bit of trotting. Unless you’re very comfortable with your hacking partner/s, you will be left squirming about in the saddle trying to fix it without it being obvious. It IS obvious!
  2. Bouncy horse, bouncy trot, long ride, sore bum! Especially if you’re being forced to go without stirrups (because who honestly CHOOSES that?!). Ouch.
  3. VPL aka visible panty line aka it’s laundry day and all I’ve got is these Bridget Jones knickers that are prominent through my jods! Nobody wants VPL and nobody wants to see another person suffering with VPL! 

So there’s a few reasons why I really, really wanted a pair of derrières! Now let’s get on with reviewing them…

Derrière Equestrian were so speedy in sending them out to me I’d have thought they had hired Usain Bolt to hand deliver them! They’re very simple, just black with their logo around the waistband and I couldn’t wait to try them out.

When I tried them on it was a bit odd at first as it is kind of like having a small pillow tucked into your underwear. The fit of them is really good and NO VPL! Wonderful! My only slight concern was that people could see a bulge on my bum from the padding but I don’t know if it was only obvious to me because I knew I was wearing them. 

Since having them, they’ve been on several long hacks and even a lesson. I definitely notice a difference, especially after riding when I can actually sit like a normal person! There’s a photo of them in action at the top of the blog in fact – but obviously you can’t see them, this isn’t THAT kind of site! :O 

You can buy the pair that I have HERE for £34.99, although they do have cheaper options available. I definitely think they are value for money as I can tell a definite difference. But I do find them a little expensive if you are wanting to buy multiple pairs so you can wear them daily. Unless you can afford to (in which case, send some more my way too!) due to the price I would suggest having a pair for long distance/particularly uncomfortable rides or competitions to protect your bum!

The bottom line (get it? Hehe) is I think they’re fantastic and they definitely do what they claim to do. I was a little bit dubious whether they’d make a massive difference but they really are so comfy. Overall I give them a 4.5 out of 5 stars! The only thing stopping them being 5/5 is I’m not sure everybody can afford to get a pair and everybody deserves a comfy butt! 🙂

I know there aren’t many bum puns in this, I’m sorry, but don’t get all butt hurt about it! Go give them a follow on Twitter, here (@DerriereEq). Thank you very much for sending me a pair, sorry to have been a pain in the bum taking so long to write this. 

Colour Enhancing Shampoo review!

Now, if you’re a regular to my blog, you’ll know that fairly recently Ryan and I did our first two dressage tests together. I have shared many photos so you all know how fabulous he looked! 😉 And now I’m going to tell you Ryan’s secret to looking so good (apart from his natural beauty, of course).

Fly Away‘s Colour Enhancing Shampoo! Honestly, this stuff is magical. It smells absolutely lovely and it froths up really easily so you don’t have to use loads of it at a time for it to take affect. I bought a bottle at Badminton (excellent customer service, by the way) and I’m not even halfway through it. And I use shampoo very generously!!

Ryan was quite muddy and dusty before his baths from being in the field and the stable. Despite hours – literally – grooming there were still a few stains that just would not budge! A quick squeeze of shampoo and a scrub with a brush and poof! They were gone! Ryan was sparkling after both baths. For both competitions I had to bath him the day before so I wasn’t sure there would be any point, but even the next day he was still shiny and extra ginger! I was very impressed.

I absolutely love Fly Away. They are a really friendly company with great ethics and fantastic value products. I would never use anybody else! Overall, I would give their colour enhancing shampoo a 5 out of 5! I’m now looking for excuses to compete more so that I have reasons to bath him again soon!!

You can buy their colour enhancing shampoo by clicking HERE!

Here are some photos from bath time and afterwards so you can all see how impressive it is 🙂 I know I am biased but I think he looked fabulous! And it must have been lucky shampoo because we came away with 3rd and then 2nd!

   
  Look at his shiny white sock!

  
 

Unconditional Love

The value of older horses has been playing on my mind quite a bit recently. And I don’t mean their price tag! I’m not sure if maybe it’s because I’m still really new to all things horsey, but I just can’t understand the ‘throw away’ attitude there seems to be towards older horses.

Fly Away posted earlier on their Facebook page about these Golden Oldies, who are cast away in favour of younger horses. I’ve seen it a lot (“Sad Sale: needs to go as I can’t afford two horses and have just bought a 4yo” – admit it, you’ve seen these ads!) but I cannot get my head around it. Surely if you can’t afford two horses, you just don’t buy the second one? It isn’t so bad (hmm..) if you haven’t had the horse very long, but it baffles me how people can have a horse for years and years and years… To then sell them when something younger comes along. Simply because the horse is getting on a bit.

Now, Ryan is 16. So he isn’t a spring chicken but he certainly isn’t past it! Some of my friends’ horses are even older than Ryan and I know they wouldn’t dream of selling their horse in favour of buying a newer model! They are their best friends – not cars or phones due for an upgrade. Surely all those years of loyalty and fun have to count for something?

Anyway. My point is this: I made a promise to Ryan not very long ago, that whenever I could afford to (no matter what the cost to my social life, going on holidays, buying new clothes etc) he would be mine. Whether that be only loaning him or hopefully, eventually, buying him. And I fully intend to stick to that promise. Even if he’s 20+ by the time I can buy him and I’m buying him just to put him into retirement, I’ll do it. I won’t abandon him for a younger, more forward going horse with no health issues. Yeah, that would be nice and it would make my life easier… But it wouldn’t be Ryan.

For the people saying ‘but what about when the inevitable happens? Wouldn’t you rather sell before you have to say goodbye forever?’ No. Even if it (and it will) broke my heart I would rather he went with me than with a stranger I had palmed him off on in favour of a younger horse. I owe him more than that. Which is why I can’t see how people can sell old horses to make room for new, better, younger (this is turning into a Kanye West song) horses.

When Ryan is mine, he will be with me for the rest of his years. I would rather spend all of my money keeping him safe and comfortable in retirement than not have him but have a younger horse that I could ride all the time. I don’t care how old he is or how many years I’ve got left of being able to ride him. Because I love him, unconditionally.

I’d like to point out, this blog post is aimed at people who sell old horses selfishly to make room for younger horses. Those who can no longer afford their four legged buddies and have no choice but to sell, you have my sympathies 😦 

Please comment below any opinions you may have on owning a veteran horse/selling oldies for newbies and other related things – or even unrelated horsey stuff!

Shannah x


“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart and I’ll stay there forever.” ❤️