Pony Progress Squad Training

I’ve just back from a very wet and windy weekend at Pony Progress Squad training with the lovely pony stallion Cyden Oostings Amigo.

We had a run-through of our FEI Pony Team tests under the watchful eye of the GB selectors and our Pony Progress Squad trainer, Dan Sheriff.

This was Amigo's first run-through of the test with the selectors present, so I am delighted to say it went really well. I need to practice taking more time over the halt into rein-back movement and Amigo's feedback was that we needed to spend some time over the weekend further developing his left hindquarter in his trot work. Given that Amigo is only six, to receive such strong positive feedback was brilliant and testimony to all the hard work his owner Lara Edwards has put into his training.

The training sessions over the weekend very much focused on the hindquarter work. Dan is really knowledgeable about how to get the best out of stallions, so it was great to get lots of tips from him on how to help educate Amigo without getting into a battle with him.

We also had a really interesting talk by the GB Pony Squad Chef D'Equipe, who told us all sorts of things Pony Squad members need to know so that their lorries, riders and ponies can legally travel internationally if selected and to ensure that the ponies are FEI legal. Amigo now has an extra log book to be filled in when he receives medicine and drugs – luckily there is a great application for smart phones that will help us ensure that we don't use any banned substances on both him and Tiff. There are so many banned substances, even in even horse shampoo, so it's a really tricky area to handle. Luckily, our Dengie feeds are manufactured in accordance to BETA’s NOPS scheme, so that's one less thing for us to worry about.

Next week, I am off to the yard of the legend that is the Paralympian superstar Sophie Wells, who very kindly supports Tiff and me with access to her GB support team for osteopathy treatments. I have been doing my exercises daily since last month, so let's hope I am making progress.

Olivia

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