Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Website Nearly Ready! In the Meantime, an Update :)

By Kc2610 @kc2610
I haven't abandoned you guys, don't worry, my website is well on its way and should be live within the next couple of weeks! John at All About Online is doing an incredible job with it, and I'm so happy with the look and feel of it. Very different to this Teen Dressage Dream site, but then again I am also very different to the girl I was when I created this. It kinda signifies how I am growing and developing from the naive but brave young teenager I once was to the determined and focused nearly-20 year old I am now.  My new blog will be there for everyone to read and will be much more "Casey Stickland Equestrian" focused, again making obvious the transition from a teenager with big dreams to a young adult trying to build a business.
SO what's been happening over the past couple of months? Well here is a quick rundown:
  • Baby Bertina is back in action with me at Ampney, being as amazing as ever and bringing a huge smile to my face every time I ride her, walk into her stable, or even look at her looking at me over her stable door! I've never known so much love for a horse, it's like when you meet a really gorgeous guy who makes you laugh and smile all the time and you think you are soul mates.... except Bertina has lasted more than two weeks with me - big difference there. In fact, Bertina is such a star that I took her to her first competition last weekend and did the Moloh Young Horse class for the Badminton Championships in July, and she qualified! I had about 3 more qualifying competitions planned for her so we had more chances to qualify, but I need not worry now :D

  • Lincoln, who I have in to sell, went out a couple of weeks ago and got an awesome 68% in a PSG. I've been training him for the past 6 months and he has really come a long way, so it was such a proud, emotional moment when we got that score after months of hard work. Just goes to show that you have to believe in the horse if you want it to succeed. Believing you can is the first step to success.

  • Chad is growing up so fast and getting stronger every day. His jumping is awesome now and he jumped a full course of jumps last week out in a field with Leonard Goerens, my jumping trainer. Yes, I rode him in a field! He actually felt lush out on the mountainous grassland (ok slight exaggeration) which goes to show that if they are trained well, they should feel great and be obedient whatever the surface or environment. Takes me back to when Leonie was competing in Germany and had to warm up in the middle of a field. At first I was horrified, but then soon realised well, there's no choice but to man up and get on with it. So back to Chad's jumping, he gave me the best feel over a jump that any horse has ever given me, and he's 5. I tend to over-jump the jump and throw myself too much forward to help the horse, and I've been working on fixing that but with Chad, I literally felt like I could just lift my bum up and back while lowering my body like it was the most natural thing ever. So THATS how its supposed to feel. Got it ;)

  • Chad isn't the only one doing some jumping, Julius is also hitting new heights with his jumping - literally! I've had South African eventer and good friend Alex Peternell come and help me with his jumping in return for schooling some of his horses, and we've been working on improving his weaknesses in both jumping and dressage so he can still continue to do both, whilst trying not to go lame. Right now its the snappiness of his canter and jump, and to build strength in lifting his shoulders. Alex put up a whopping great oxer (well, what me and Julius thought was whopping and great) and practised jumping it with a moving ground-pole and raised striding pole. The most important thing was to get julius's canter "with" me between my leg and hand, balanced in the corner, and to not help him over the jump, just set him up as best I can and let him do the work as he leaves the ground.
  • Seb has gone to bootcamp with Gareth, as I've been struggling to fit in the quality time to train him to the standard he needs to be at to do well this season. I feel I've got so many balls to juggle with trying to run the business, teach, compete, train the young horses and client's horses, and I don't have any back up to keep Seb going when I'm not around for a day or two. But at Gareths, there is consistent high-quality training in a system he has been working in for a few months and there is always a back-up if Gareth can't be there to ride him. I can head up there to ride him a few times a week and have my lessons up there with other horses and ride Seb too, so it works perfectly. Once I am based at home at the new yard in the winter, it will be so much easier for me to commit to Seb's training as I will always be around. I just have to put up with missing him until then! :(
Turns out Seb being at Gareths was a very good decision, as at the moment I can't ride at all. I have pulled a muscle in my groin (I know, ideal isn't it) and am completely out of action except for hobbling around the yard. And another stroke of bad luck is that my groom Will was down with Norovirus since Friday so it proved quite difficult to get the yard done when I can only move at a snail pace. Luckily my mom is back in England so she came to help me. I am supposed to be on complete rest but that's impossible, so I'm just dosed up with painkillers.
I've had a couple of really generous people offer to ride the horses for me to keep them ticking over, so they are just getting lunged and lightly schooled at the moment. The worst part is that I was supposed to be competing today with Chad and Bertina, and I am meant to be taking Seb and Lincoln to Somerford Premier League next weekend, but that doesn't seem likely to happen. Lincoln was supposed to do Addington Premier League last weekend too but because Will was off sick, I had to stay back at the yard to do the horses and couldn't get away to compete. Absolutely gutted about all of it.
BUT these things happen, and it's not for forever so I just have to be patient and look forward to getting back on a horse and doing my best to get to the next competition. On the bright side I have been able to catch up on a lot of sleep so I definitely don't feel as burnt out as normal. It's nice for my body to keep wanting to go, to get in the saddle or go for a run or something (usually I'm just always tired!) but then as soon as I move I am firmly reminded that it just won't happen, not yet.

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