Hi everyone! I have some pretty exciting, but also some sad, news to reveal. Unfortunately, in February we had to wave goodbye to my lovely loan gelding Sean, as he went back to live with his owners. He is greatly missed, and he was surely one of a kind. I mean, not every horse gets to star in a Masta video. But with Sean leaving, there was space for a new kid on the block, and the horse hunt began.
NOT love at first sight!
A few weeks later we had three horses lined up to view on the same day, one cancelled on us, one was lame when we viewed it and the other was Merlin. I have to admit, I wasn’t too keen on him to start with, but the more I worked him the more I fell in love and from then on I knew this was the horse I wanted. Merlin, aka Paintball Pow Wow, is a 16.1hh, Irish Sport Horse cross Thoroughbred, who is one of a kind. He had mainly been used for hunting and team chasing so I knew I would have my work cut out to turn him into the dressage diva he needs to be for eventing.
After a cross country rally with our Pony Club we quickly found out he much preferred cross country to dressage, He flew over all fences put in front of him, including some of the BE100s. We also discovered he was quite the little show jumper, when he picked up a 3rd in the 80cm and a 1st in the 90cm at our first show jumping competition together.
Eliminated in the dressage!
However, our first dressage didn’t quite go the same way. He entered down the centre line beautifully, but as we turned right at C he had a panic and threw himself out of the arena and refused to go back in. This ended in elimination — it’s a bit hard to complete a test when your horse won’t enter the arena. So since then, it’s been all hands of deck to improve the dressage and get him out to as many one day events (ODE’s) as possible to get him used to the environment. Thankfully, he is starting to turn his head to it and is showing his true potential.
We’ve been doing lots of interesting and quick schooling sessions with him, to keep his brain active and encourage him to enjoy dressage. He carries himself very nicely, so that’s not something I have to worry about, it’s more about getting him to bend and focus on what he is doing. We have been incorporating lots of serpentines, circles, leg yields and transitions into our schooling to keep him forward and thinking. We’ve also learnt he is quick to get bored so we’ve been doing short schooling session with a hack, or play in the field afterwards as something to cool him off and relax him again.
With my GCSE’s now out the way I have an extra long summer that will be filled with Merlin. We have lots of lessons and clinics lined up to continue our progression together, and we have a few arena eventing competitions and a few ODE’s to see if all the work is paying off.
What I’ve been wearing..
My favourite product, that I’ve been wearing recently, is my sculpting breeches. They have kept me extremely cool in the recent heat wave, and are so comfortable. The elasticated bottoms make tucking them into long socks very easy and it adds to the comfort. Also, if you haven’t already I highly recommend you check out the Harry Hall One Club which allows you to get 30% off all the brands on the Harry Hall website, up to £10million liability insurance and up to £10L personal accident insurance all for just £40 a year.