Bury Farm Dressage -choosing the right shows to go to

Mairi and The Farmer’s Boy aka Gilly – final halt at the end of the test at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre

As many of my riders will know, I personally like training for the sake of training and I am not particularly competitive. I much rather see my riders go out and do well, it’s great to see them try their best, look after their horses in a stressful environment and develop their horsemanship that way.

Having said that, I do love a bit of a challenge too so a show now and then keeps me focused on the quality of the teaching and level of my own riding. The key in incorporating shows into training is to choose the right ones, the ones that will complement the work we do at home and allow the horses and riders to learn rather than be over faced or under challenged.

There are fair amount of very good venues in our area (South East) so as a result, there are also many small, local shows as well as bigger events at larger competition centres to choose from.

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Caitlin and Gilly. Prelim 2

For training dressage at grassroots level, I personally like the well run unaffiliated shows which often have British Dressage judges involved. This gives the riders a good experience of the atmosphere and quality of the judging (useful comments that are both fair and encouraging). They are much more affordable than affiliated shows and provide a great preparation ground before going affiliated 🙂

We went for Bury Farm dressage this month and it was a fantastic education experience with Introductory tests being run in the centre’s International arena and Preliminary tests in quite busy indoor next to one of the warm ups.

Mairi and Caitlin did their first larger dressage show on Gilly and despite some first-time nerves they both had a great time. Mairi’s score qualified her for Trailblazers 2nd round so we are planning to give it a go on the 3rd of April 🙂

Mairi and Gilly. Prelim 2.

Watching the riders perform without any help or instruction is, I find, a great teaching tool as it gives me ideas on where we need to put more work into and how to plan the training so it creates a thinking and confident rider and horse.

Gilly. Thank you to his owner, Georgia, for trusting us with the lease of him. He is a fabulous schoolmaster and we can’t imagine him not being the part of the team now!

I took young Una for her owner, Kelly, and we did survive some “oh my god how big and scary is this arena” moments 😉 It was a superb experience for her and I look forward to taking her out again and in the meantime we shall work at home on staying relaxed and attentive in new environment.

How do you choose the shows to go to? Do you go for local shows or pick and mix to find the best educational experiences for your horse(s)?

Una Bury Farm Dressage March 2016
Una (Undeg Trofarth) at the end of her Intro C test (left) and in the warm up for Prelim 2 (right)


Do you run a box /lorry hire or know of someone who does? We are seeking local transport options to add to our existing one to be able to take several riders at a time to schooling sessions at different venues and shows. If you are based near Northolt, West London, give us a shout! aspire@outlook.com 



How to wash wool – video launched by NuuMed

NuuMed Vid

Wool has so many benefits when incorporated into a saddlepad or numnah, but some people can be a little concerned about its care. That’s the reason that British saddlepad and numnah manufacturer, NuuMed, created a video to explain how easy it is.

The short video highlights the fact that NuuMed’s wool saddlepads and numnahs can be washed in a domestic washing machine on a 30 degree wool wash, and also suggests that a specially created laundry detergent, like NuuWash, will deliver the best results.

“Wool is a brilliant natural fibre that’s so well suited to equine use,” says Rosie Pocock from NuuMed. “Not only does it provide cushioning over key pressure points, but it also absorbs up to 30% of its own weight in moisture to keep the horse dry and, as it’s natural, it’s less likely to cause any type of skin reaction, so it’s perfect for sensitive horses. What’s more, it’s hardwearing, it remoulds around the horse as it moves, it helps to reduce temperature fluctuations in the muscles and it’s no more difficult to care for than a ‘normal’ saddlepad.”

The video advises that, after riding, the saddlepad or numnah should be left to dry naturally before being brushed to remove any dirt or loose horsehair. When this has been done, the pad can be washed using a detergent like NuuWash that has been specially formulated for use with most materials that come into close contact with the horse. After the wash, just dry naturally.

The video can be viewed on NuuMed’s Youtube channel, which can be found at https://www.youtube.com/user/Nuumed

To find out more, see www.nuumed.com or call 01458 210324.

Prepared by: Rhea Freeman PR  Email: rhea@rheafreemanpr.co.uk  Tel: 07980 757910 

Attention: parents of pony mad children :)

Good news for all pony loving, riding adventures seeking children!

2 Places Available
From April 2016, we are opening 2 new places within the Kids Academy and are looking forward to hearing from parents of children (7-13 yrs) who are after a fun, educational yet focused and quality training oriented riding programme.

From absolute beginners to children who already learn how to school their ponies, West London based.
All lessons have “own pony” experience.
Please message with any questions and share with any friends who you think might be interested! 

Thank you!