Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Lager lout pony

So started off improving the halt need to not dribble into the halt but walk into it, also think of the halt coming from my sternum and use legs (!)

Onto trot started off well need to sit left when LY on left rein.

Was just trotting on right rein towards A when I suddenly found myself teleporting 50m down the arena with Chorrie almost taking out Tom (!)

Got some fab work after that certainly had forwards for free, half pass was fab, who'd have thought six months ago I'd have been riding half pass?

Good times

Thursday, 18 September 2014

And so there must come an end

Charlotte Kitley

Charlotte has blogged on The Huffington Post UK since 2013 and sadly passed away on Tuesday 16 September from bowel cancer. She wrote one final post that she wished to share with all of her readers. We are honoured to offer it to you here.

I've always been a good planner. I like lists and tick sheets, to-do notes and objectives. I'm very good at starting things, but honestly, I am also easily bored and quickly lose interest once the original excitement passes.

I haven't had the luxury of being allowed to be bored of having cancer. It isn't something you can just give up if you don't fancy doing it that day. There isn't a switch you can chose to turn off one day from the next. At least not for me. From my first day as a cancer patient, I have attended every test, scan and appointment. I have tried every treatment offered, from the standard medical therapies, to eating oiled cottage cheese, having acupuncture and juicing kale. Cancer has become our life. Holidays, haircuts and helicopter lessons have all been timed around good or bad chemo weekends. Danny and Lu, unwittingly as innocent by-standers have had their childhoods protected but also dictated by my various regimes. This is all they have ever known and, I hope, have still managed to turn out to be pretty good, well-rounded, loved and treasured children.

The innocence that we have protected them from has now had to be revealed. Following my birthday, I started to feel 'unwell'. We 'popped' to hospital where the usual set of tests were carried out. Unfortunately, when combined with a recent scan, the results were nothing short of devastating. We were no longer looking at a month by month action plan with a couple of months buffer at the end. I was given days, perhaps a couple of weeks to live. I wasn't expected to leave the hospital, but somehow, have managed to pull it out of the bag at the last moment and return home, to spend what little time I have with my darling children and loving husband.

As I write this, I am sat on the sofa, relatively pain-free and busy doing my little projects, sorting out the funeral and selling my car. We wake up every morning, grateful I can have a cuddle and kiss my babies.

As you read this, I will no longer be here. Rich will be trying to put one foot in front of the other, to get by, a day at a time, knowing I will no longer awake next to him. He will see me in the luxury of a dream, but in the harsh morning sun, the bed will be empty. He will get two cups from the cupboard, but realise there is only one coffee to make. Lucy will need someone to reach for her hairband box, but there won't be anyone to plait her hair. Danny will have lost one of his Lego policeman, but no one will know exactly which one it is or where to look. You will look for the latest update on the blog. There won't be one, this is the final chapter.

And so I leave a gaping, unjust, cruel and pointless hole, not just in Halliford Road, but in all the homes, thoughts and memories of other loved ones, friends and families. For that I am sorry. I would love to still be with you, laughing, eating my weird and latest miracle food, chatting rubbish 'Charleyisms'. I have so much life I still want to live, but know I won't have that. I want to be there for my friends as they move with their lives, see my children grow up and become old and grumpy with Rich. All these things are to be denied of me.

But, they are not to be denied of you. So, in my absence, please, please, enjoy life. Take it by both hands, grab it, shake it and believe in every second of it. Adore your children. You have literally no idea how blessed you are to shout at them in the morning to hurry up and clean their teeth.

Embrace your loved one and if they cannot embrace you back, find someone who will. Everyone deserves to love and be loved in return. Don't settle for less. Find a job you enjoy, but don't become a slave to it. You will not have 'I wish I'd worked more' on your headstone. Dance, laugh and eat with your friends. True, honest, strong friendships are an utter blessing and a choice we get to make, rather than have to share a loyalty with because there happens to be link through blood. Choose wisely then treasure them with all the love you can muster. Surround yourself with beautiful things. Life has a lot of grey and sadness - look for that rainbow and frame it. There is beauty in everything, sometimes you just have to look a little harder to see it.

So, that's it from me. Thank you so much for the love and kindness you've shown in your own little ways over the last 36 years. From the mean girls in the playing fields who pushed me into the stinging nettles aged six to the bereaved husbands who in the last week have told me what their wives did to help prepare their young children and everyone in between. They and you have all, in some small way helped me become the person I have been.

Please, now use that love for me and pass it to Rich, my children, family and close friends. And when you close your curtains tonight, look out for a star, it will be me, looking down, sipping a pina colada, enjoying a box of (very expensive) chocolates.

Good night, Good bye and God bless.

Charley xx

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Crisp and correct

So Tom lesson this morning , explained C was a bit stiff and stuffy yesterday for Katie

Tom said he appeared to be a bit 'caus' as in casual he needs to walk on crisply and walk out

Keep him interested by keeping him busy, transitions, move him around, rein back nothing needs to be hard either on him or for him but keep his attention and waiting for the next thing

Trot do a 1/4 circle  of trot then walk, rinse and repeat keep doing this, the way to access his back is to keep him onside and interested and not drill him into submission

Did some canter, initially just let him roll onwards then onto long side   2m loop counter bend ask for counter canter walk then true canter rinse and repeat

Canter serpentines in counter canter with simple changes

Finish on canter serpentines in true canter

Friday, 12 September 2014

Day trip to Paris

Went on a day trip to Paris for Tony's birthday was fabulous day but very long we were up at 03:00 and not into bed until 01:00 so 22 hours awake

Louvre saw the Jan van Eyke The Virgin of Chancellor Ronin which is just amazing , the longer you look the more detail  you see

Then onto the Musee D'Art Decoratifis which was fascinating until it got to the 1980s!

Lunch in our old haunt behind Rue d'Hyacinth with classic French surliness when asked for water which rather got thumped down

Stroll back through Tulleries to Orangerie then onto Musee D'Orsay which is my favourite the building is amazing and I love the collection

Whilst not the biggest Van Gough fan I adore his La nuit etoilee that they have

Coffe in the cafe as was starting to droop then back to Gard du Nord where we bought Champagne and Pringles for the journey home 

Fabulous day :-)

Timings for future reference

Thornhill X90 that left Oxford at 04:10 to Victoria
07:01 Eurostar

20:13 Eurostar back home around 00:30

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

You've got to want it

You've got to want it was  the phrase that stuck from last night's lesson

I wanted to work on half pass in walk particularly doing the zig zag as that is where I get most confused

Take homes are keep the poll up, especially in trot, straighten, change bend FINISH the movement, DO not flop keep riding as Tom said you can't ride a walk/trot like that. Didn't have the heart to tell him that was pretty much how I've ridden ALL my tests BT (Before Tom)

Then onto canter did four loop serpentines with simple change over centre line very pleased with boy and with me too

I had started thinking this was beyond my skill level so set off half assed, at which point Tom pointed out you have to WANT IT, so rode a circle and restarted with a bit of fcuking conviction and lo it happened

Really chuffed with the boy

He was really onwards bound after the walk half pass and felt up for it, the trot work was just lovely a little on the edge at times but he was just lovely and to think forwards used to be such a big issue 

Tuesday, 2 September 2014


My back was dire so Tom rode

Wow that pony can move was so good to see him powering around the arena enjoying himself.

Tom said he feels better than the last time he rode him :-)

Have finally bitten bullet and ordered Sprenger stirrups to see if will help back/knees