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Alex Holman – November Blog

Well, another month has been and gone and despite having finished my event season 2 and a half months ago, winter is still looming ahead, with over 3 months to go until the 2017 event season starts! It’s all been very busy over the past month as I’ve begun to juggle working full time for Dickon Reader, and keeping my second horse, Hope ticking over at a separate yard.

Hope is very happy at her new yard, and is feeling extremely good now she’s back in proper work. She started jumping again a few weeks ago and popped round a 1m and a 1.10m course clear at some local clear round show jumping, and her flatwork is really coming on, so fingers crossed I’ll find the time to get her out competing and win some money now she’s more established.

My main horse, Alfie, is also feeling fantastic! We’ve had a great month of training with lots of dressage lessons from Dickon, and the difference in him compared to during the event season is unbelievable. He heads to his first winter show with some dressage in early December, so hopefully he’s not too fresh and I manage to show him off well to the judge! After this he will start jumping again as we really start the countdown to the event season. As my aim is to move up to BE Intermediate level next season, we’ve already been introducing some higher level dressage movements such as shoulder in, so we can perfect them before next March. It’s very hard as I’m learning how to ride these movements at the same time as trying to teach them to Alfie, but we’ve picked it up quite quickly and produced some good work so far. It’s helpful that Dickon is also from a totally non-horsey background, and so can understand the difficulties I face with this! Hopefully the improvements with the jumping will be just as good over the next month…

In mid-November I had a great visit from other sponsors ‘Terri Webb Saddles’, having all of my saddles checked, and they also braved a freezing cold day to watch me have a lesson on Alfie to see our progress. Thankfully it was worth it as Alfie went very well and they were very impressed!

I have also received my first payment of £250 from Ascot Buildings as part of my sponsorship, which is so generous and really will make a huge difference. It isn’t cheap owning and running 2 horses; however this extra money will allow me to make the most of them both, and make sure I gain maximum benefit from riding and competing them both regularly. This will only aid me, as I really need to gain experience of riding multiple horses if I am to go down the route of riding professionally in the future, and my two are quite tricky and pretty different which is particularly handy.

Unfortunately this month I haven’t managed to get any great photos of the horses, but here are some I have taken as groom – my job involves lots of cold mornings and even more tack cleaning!
Until next month,