I am delighted to join the Haynet Blogging Team. I'm counting down the days until Neptune and I head to Addington to compete in the British Dressage Elementary and Elementary Freestyle Winter Regional Championships.
I live in Oxfordshire. I have studied as an instructor with the British Horse Society. I hold the Stable Manager's Certificate, Intermediate Instructor's Certificate and UKCC 3. I am a BHS Accredited Professional Coach. I am a member of British Dressage, Cherwell Valley Riding Club, Oxfordshire Sport Talent Coach and Project 500.
Lowmoor Neptune is 13 this year. Neptune is owned by Rachel Crook. He is a 16.2hh chestnut gelding by Jumbo Hirst, an American TB by Derby Winner The Minstrel. Neptune has good paces, believes in energy conservation, regular pampering and is working on his list of requirements.
Celebrating a New Look
Last September I set myself a goal to lose weight. I joined a programme created by nutritionists Matt Lovell and Gavin Allinson, FWFL Interactive. One of my first tasks was to create a vision of what I wanted to achieve. I thought about how I would like to compete at the Winter Regionals at my goal weight. In September I hadn't yet qualified and I needed to improve my percentages to achieve this.
In September I believed that I would qualify for the Freestyle Championships and was so proud when I achieved this, I set my sights on the double, to qualify for the Elementary Silver too.
In September I wasn't confident about how effective my weight loss regime might be. By November I had completed my elementary qualification and had already posted a dramatic weight loss. At Christmas I achieved my first target weight early. I followed a simple targeted approach to planning meals and eating a sensible balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats.
So 2017 is a time of celebration for me. I am confident that I can achieve my dream of becoming an Equestrian athlete again. In my mind there are many facets to this status. I can enjoy my riding. I can feel good competing and train towards the next stage of advanced dressage and the coveted tailcoat. I can indulge my love of fashion and clothes. I can enjoy competition photo calls again. I can be more relaxed about wearing sponsored clothing. I can feel good about my fitness levels. I know Neptune approves.
I enjoyed a visit to BETA with my friend Amanda Shirtcliffe. BETA is a thriving Equestrian Trade Fair where it's possible to see a good selection of products and meet with wholesalers and manufacturers, to catch up with familiar brands and new faces.
I met with Haygain and talked about how the HG2000 has become a yard essential, Neptune loves the smell and taste of freshly steamed hay. I was able to view their new forager which will be available to purchase soon and promises to be ideal for horses to enjoy their hay in a natural grazing position.
I was invited to test the Avansce Synchronicity system at the Neue Schule stand. Synchronicity enables riders and coaches to measure, analyse and improve contact. Contact is key to effective, tactful and timely communication through rein aids. The system includes sensors discreetly integrated with the reins. Data is collected and shared via an app for instant feedback. The information can be stored and compared too. I am very excited by this technology both as a rider and as a coach.
Dressage is Online
2017 is a great time for Dressage innovation and support. Last night Horse Hour launched pre recorded downloadable music for dressage with Nick Reeves. Nick has creative flair, energy and great musicality. I love the routines he created for Jack (2014) and Neptune's current competition music.
Dressage Hour is a thriving social media event. I have been interacting with riders from all over the world. I have particularly enjoyed finding out more about Dressage Anywhere. I will be entering their Freestyle training class to access judge feedback on my new choreography just in time for the Winter Regional Championships.
Please visit Alison at: http://alisonkenward.blogspot.co.uk/